There might be hardly anyone present today who is not familiar with cold drink, soda, and water bottles. These items can be found easily in every household, or at least most of them. This shows that how common the utilization of plastic materials has become today. One of the major types of plastic which is used for the formation of these ordinary items is polyethylene terephthalate (PET). PET plastics are used extensively for manufacturing different containers as it is shatter-resistant, lightweight, and strong. Furthermore, PET aids in keeping the fizz in carbonated beverages as it possesses strong carbon dioxide barrier properties.
Because of rising consumer demand for such products, the requirement for PET is also growing rapidly. Due to this, the need for raw materials which are used for manufacturing PET is bound to increase as well, which is why the demand for paraxylene is growing swiftly. The aromatic compound, which is extracted from mixed xylenes stream and derived from crude oil sources, is utilized as feedstock for the manufacturing of dimethyl-terephthalate (DMT), which is then used in the manufacturing process of PET. Ascribed to these reasons, the paraxylene market is expected to advance at a considerable pace in the near future.
Other than DMT, paraxylene also finds application in the manufacturing process of di-paraxylene (DI-PX) and pure terephthalic acid (PTA). Out of these, the largest demand for paraxylene was created for the manufacturing of PTA in the past, which can be attributed to the rising demand for polyester manufacturing. PTA offers better properties than other polyesters for utilization in textiles and food and beverages industries and is economically feasible. In addition, paraxylene provides high shatter resistance and high tensile strength in PTA applications, which is why is highly preferred for its manufacturing.
Polyester fibers and packaging sector are the major end users of paraxylene, between which, the larger demand for the compound was created for polyester fibers in the past. The textile industry is witnessing rapid growth due to the surging population and the rising disposable income of people all across the globe. This is leading to a rise in demand for polyester fibers as they are utilized for the manufacturing of apparels and home furnishings, including bedspreads, curtains, bed sheets, and draperies. Polyester fiber is used along with natural fibers such as cotton for producing clothing line with high wear and tear resistance and high wrinkle resistance.
Because of the swift urbanization, growing population, and expansion of the textile industry in Asia-Pacific (APAC), the region emerged as the largest paraxylene market in the past. Other than these aspects, the growing focus of governments in the region on recycling and adopting bio-based renewables is encouraging manufacturers to develop new products. Within the region, China emerged as the largest consumer of paraxylene followed by South Korea and India.
In conclusion, the demand for paraxylene is growing due to the high consumption of PET and expanding textiles industry.