Maleic anhydride (MA) is derived from butane in the US. In Europe and Asia, MA is derived predominantly from butane units, although a small amount is produced by benzene units.
Accounting for more than 50% of consumption, the primary outlet for maleic anhydride is for the manufacture of unsaturated polyester resins (UPR), which is used to reinforce fibreglass going into boat hulls, vehicle bodies, building panels, storage tanks or cast to form putty resins for automobile repairs. UPR is also used as sealants. An important outlet in Asia is the production of 1,4-butanediol (BDO), tetrahydrofuran (THF) and g -butyrolactone. Other uses are in surface coatings, agrochemicals, lubricants, fumaric acid and malic acid. MA is commercially available in bulk, liquid or solid (flake) form.
MA is toxic and an irritant to the skin and mucous membranes.
ICIS pricing quotes maleic anhydride in Europe, USA and Asia-Pacific.
To find out more Maleic Anhydride Methodology August 2013