Methylene chloride also known as dichloromethane (DCM) is manufactured by reacting methane or methyl chloride with chlorine gas in a distillation process. Methylene chloride is a colorless, volatile liquid with a slight sweet odor. The major application of methylene chloride is as a solvent in various end-user industries such as paints & coatings, pharmaceuticals, textiles, adhesives & sealants and aerosols among others.
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Methylene chloride is used in paint stripper and degreasers. It is also used in beverage industry to decaffeinate tea and coffee. In addition, methylene chloride finds applications in polyurethane foams as a blowing agent and metal cleaning applications. Moreover, methylene chloride is used in manufacturing of hydroflorocarbons such as HFC-32.
The market for methylene chloride was mainly driven by high demand from paints & coatings market. Methylene chloride is used as solvent in paints & coatings and huge demand from paints and coatings industry is driving the market in past few years. Other end-user industries such as adhesives & sealants, textiles and pharmaceutical are expected to exhibit steady demand for methylene chloride in upcoming years. Increasing demand from fluorocarbons is likely to provide bigger opportunities for the methylene chloride market in next few years.
Increasing demand for HFC-32 from end-user industries is likely to offer more demand for methylene chloride in years to come. However, stringent government regulations faced by methylene chloride industry due to being considered as potential carcinogenic chemical is anticipated to hider the growth of the market in next few years.
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In terms of demand, Asia Pacific was the leading region in methylene chloride market. Asia Pacific is expected to be one of the fastest growing markets for methylene chloride due to increasing demand for solvents from various end-user industries. China exhibited the highest demand for methylene chloride in Asia Pacific region in 2012. The market for methylene chloride was mainly driven by increasing demand for methylene chloride in paint stripper and in degreaser applications. India and Pakistan accounted for second-largest market share for methylene chloride in Asia Pacific region.
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