The 1, 4-butanediol (BDO) markets stood around USD 4.1 billion in 2014. BDO is growingly used in drug formulations. The worldwide BDO-PTMEG-Spandex market witnesses regulation from several agencies, with either financial or environmental guidelines. BDO has attracted many legislative policies & actions regarding its safe adoption.

THF is a key BDO derivative. It experiences catalyzed polymerization to produce polytetramethylene ether glycol (PTMEG). PTMEG refers to a wax-like white solid. It finds applications in the production of polymers like urethane elastomers, polyamides, polymaides, etc. However, one of the key PTMEG uses is the production of elastene/spandex/lycra fiber.

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The PTMEG market garnered about USD 2.7 billion in 2014. With regards to value chain, BDO is a key raw material in the production of elastene, with PTMEG as the transitional chemical. Globally, spandex produced about USD 2.1 billion in 2014, with China grabbing nearly 30% volumes that year.

Chief governmental policymakers controlling market dynamics are EPA, FDA, REACH, European Commission, and ECHA. The BDO-PTMEG-Spandex market is classified as per applications and regions. BDO applications comprise polyurethanes, tetrahydrofuran (THF) and gamma-butyrolactone (GBL), among some others.

THF was the biggest BDO segment in 2014. It occupied nearly half of the total volumes the same year. Urethanes, spandex, and copolysters eslatomers (COPE) are the applications of PTMEG. Spandex dominated the PTMEG market in 2014, with over 75% of the global incomes. Textiles were the leading end-user of elastene in 2014.

‘Medical & hygiene’ followed textiles that year. Augmenting hygiene & safety standards across healthcare amenities should complement this segment in the near future. Regions wise, the market is divided into Asia Pacific, North America, Europe, and Central & South America.

In 2014, North America contributed 11.6%, 17%, and 11.3% of the overall PTMEG, BDO, and spandex volumes respectively. The region is marked by adherent policies on human health & ecology. Asia Pacific dominated the market in 2014 regarding the largest sales & consumer base.

Key companies in the global BDO-PTMEG-Spandex market consist of Invista, Dairen Chemicals, DuPont, BASF, and Ashland. Market earnings are shared by highly integrated firms. By placing themselves through the value chain, these firms meet the requirements of different end-users and application segments.

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