Tetramer is an olefin with a branched structure. It is also known as propylene tetramer, dodecene or isododecene. It is a colorless clear liquid and has a mild pleasant odor. Tetramer is soluble in most organic solvents such as ethanol, ethyl ether, acetone, etc. and insoluble in water. Tetramer is manufactured synthetically in the industry by oligomerization of propylene. The product mixture consists of several isomeric olefin compounds with the double bond located at different positions and varying amount of branching. Tetramer is highly combustible material and is utilized in the industries only. Tetramer has a high vapor pressure and a low flash point of 58 degrees Celsius. Exposure to tetramer may cause irritation on the skin and eyes along with headache and dizziness. If ingested tetramer is hazardous and may cause inflammation and edema in the lungs. Tetramer is not toxic and has zero potential for bioaccumulation as it is a volatile organic compound (VOC) and degrades rapidly in the atmosphere.
Tetramer is primarily used as a chemical intermediate for the synthesis of isotridecyl alcohol, dodecyl mercaptan, dodecylphenol and isoparaffinic solvents which are utilized for the production of plasticizers, surfactants, polymerization agents, lubricant additives, and coating components. It is utilized by automotive industry, original equipment manufacturers (OEM), synthetic resins manufacturers, detergent manufacturers, industrial and municipal cleaning chemicals and other plastic and polymer manufacturers. Tetramer is employed as an intermediate for synthesis of a wide range of chemicals due to its unsaturated double bond and high branching.
Tetramer market is driven by its demand from the chemical and polymer manufacturing industries globally. Demand growth is expected to be driven by the growth of end use industries of tetramer products such as waste water treatment, surfactants, lubricating oils and plastisizers. However, regulatory stand against volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as tetramer is expected to restrain market growth, especially in the developed regions of the world. High demand growth for surfactants and other derivatives of tetramer in Asia Pacific and Rest of the world can be a prospective market opportunity for further demand growth of tetramer.
In terms of geography, North America is the largest consumer of tetramer riding on high sales of surfactants and lubricating oils to its large industrial sector. However, the market is saturated and the major part of revenues of market players is from exports to Asia Pacific region. In Asia, major industrial economies including China, India, Japan and South Korea are the major consumers as well as producers of tetramer for application in a variety of chemicals, lubricating oils, surfactants, polymers and plasticizer manufacturing applications. Europe is the second largest market for tetramer after North America. However, the demand growth is expected to be flat owing to the strict stance of regulatory authorities against volatile organic compounds (VOC) in the region. Europe is also expected to earn major part of their revenues from exports to the developing regions of the world including Asia and Africa. In Rest of the World, Brazil, Argentina Middle East and South Africa contribute to major demand for the market.
Some of the market players include Exxon Mobil Chemical, Bayer AG, Braskem, E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, Shanghai Petrochemical, Qilu Petrochemical, Dow Chemical Company, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, and TPC Group among many others.