Phosphate ester which is also known as organophosphate is abbreviated as OP. Phosphate ester is a general name that is used to refer the esters of phosphoric acid. Phosphate ester includes a wide spectrum of physical and chemical properties. Using the hydrolysis process alcohols can be easily separated from phosphate esters. Phosphate esters are a group of synthetic chemical compounds that mainly comprises of carbon, phosphorus and hydrogen. Phosphate ester is mainly found as essential biochemical in DNA and RNA of plant and animal cell. Phosphate esters are widely used in the manufacturing of insecticides, nerve agents and herbicides. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has listed phosphate ester as highly toxic to humans, wildlife and bees. Phosphate esters are widely employed for a wide range of synthetic as well as natural applications owing to the ease with which the organic groups can be linked with each other. Phosphate ester finds wide range of applications as solvents, plasticizers, and EP additives. Phosphate esters are common carriers of organic groups in several biosynthesis processes. The most commonly used phosphate esters include malathion, parathion, methyl parathion, diazinon, phosmet, tetrachlorvinphos, azamethiphos, fenitrothion and azinphos methyl.
Increasing demand for food owing to the growing population coupled with decreasing cultivable land has boosted the demand for various fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides and indirectly for phosphate ester. Phosphate esters are widely used as pesticides, herbicides and insecticides. However, owing to the toxic nature of phosphate esters many governments and regulatory bodies have banned the usage of these pesticides on the crops. The rise in hazardous effect of phosphate esters on animals and microbes has restrained the growth of the market in this particular segment. However, different forms of phosphate esters are used in the residential landscaping, agriculture, public recreation areas and public health pest control programs such as mosquito eradication. Despite of having several positive effects on the productivity there are stringent restrictions regarding its application. In U.K. the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affiars is principally responsible for regulating the various uses of the phosphate esters for the agricultural use. Phosphate esters are also used for manufacturing a wide range of plasticizers and additives. Other bodies that are involved in regulating the research as well as use of phosphate ester include the Health and Safety Executive, the Veterinary Products Committee, the Committee on Safety of Medicines, the Advisory Committee on Pesticides and the Committee on Toxicity. Usage of phosphate esters as a therapeutic agent is widely studied in the various research institutes.
Asia pacific is the major manufacture of the phosphate ester mainly due to the presence of small scale manufacturers in China. North America and Europe have stringent regulations regarding manufacturing as well as usage of phosphate ester. Thus owing to the presence of few manufacturers in North American and Europe, there is low production in this region.
The Dow Chemical Company, Ashland Inc., Akzo Nobel Chemicals Inc., Colonial Chemical, Inc. and Stepan Company are some of the key participants of the global phosphate esters market. The company’s are more focused towards research and development as they are keen to introduce new products in the market. The company’s are trying to develop products with reduced toxicity level such that it can comply with the stringent regulations.
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