Ketene is a highly reactive colorless gas that is extremely irritating when inhaled as it affects the lungs. Ketene readily polymerizes and hence cannot be transported easily in its gaseous state. Ketene is not isolated but it is consumed immediately after it is produced. Diketene is an important industrial chemical which is manufactured from ketene. Diketene is produced by autodimerization of ketene and is very stable in nature, thus can be easily stored for weeks under refrigeration. Ketene and diketene are very important industrial intermediate which is mainly consumed at its production site.
Majority of the ketene manufactured is used in the manufacturing of acetic anhydride. China is the largest producer of acetic anhydride and hence in turn is the leading producer and consumer of ketene as well. Increasing demand for the cellulose acetate flake has also boosted the overall demand for the ketene market. Middle East is expected to witness huge demand for ketene in the coming years owing to the presence of one of the world’s largest acetyl facility in Saudi Arabia. The growing Chinese demand has boost the production capacity of acetic anhydride and sorbic acid is expected to drive the global ketene market. In addition, the increasing demand for diketene in India has led to an increase in the demand for ketene market. There was a steady shift of the ketene consumption witnessed from U.S to the Asia Pacific regions. Other regions in the world are expected to witness slow growth in the demand for ketene market. However, the increasing environment awareness has led to the development of stringent regulation regarding the manufacturing process of ketene which in turn is expected to hamper the growth of the market to a great extent.
Some of the key manufacturers of ketene include Lonza Group Ltd., Kemira Tiancheng Chemicals (Yanzhou) Co. Ltd., Hangzhou Trigger Chemical Co. Ltd. and Hairongtai (Tianjin) Chemical Co., Ltd.among others.