Organic compounds with acidic properties are organic acids. Carboxyl acids are the most common type of organic acids used commercially, carboxyl acids comprise carboxyl group with long carbon chain. Organic acids produced by replacing one hydroxyl group in sulfuric acid are sulfonic acids such as toluenesulfonic acid, methanesulfonic acid, etc. Carboxyl acids are weak organic acids whereas sulfonic acids are among the strongest acids available. Some of the commonly used organic acids include acetic acid, lactic acid, citric acid and uric acid among several others.
Certain organic acids are produced by fermentation process of several microorganisms and are typically used in food and beverages industry. Organic acids are also produced synthetically on a wide scale for several commercial applications including catalysts, surfactants and dyes among several others. Formaldehyde is used in production of organic acids as an antimicrobial agent. Glycerine is used as an energy source in organic acids production. Some of the other feedstock used in the production of organic acids includes amino acids, oil, sulfuric acid, enzymes, proteins, salts of acids, etc.
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Major end user industries for organic acids include food & beverages, petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, textile and adhesives among others. Food & beverages dominate the global demand for organic acids and the trend is anticipated to continue for a foreseeable future. Pharmaceutical is anticipated to be the fastest growing end user segment for organic acids. Organic acid is also widely used in the production of several chemicals and materials used in automotives and construction industry.
Demand for organic acids is profoundly dependent on food & beverages market which is the largest end use industry for organic acids. Therefore, increasing population and GDP growth in a region are among major factors influencing demand for organic acids. High growth in pharmaceutical industry also has been among foremost factors fuelling demand for organic acids. Moreover, several synthetic organic acid are produced using non renewable sources and are hazardous to the environment which has led to several stringent regulations to control the use of these organic acids. Increasing research and development to produce efficient organic acids from bio based sources is anticipated to offer huge growth opportunity in the market.
Asia Pacific dominates the global organic acid market and the trend is expected to continue during the forecast period. Asia Pacific comprises India and China, two of the largest nations in terms of population which has been among major factor driving demand for organic acids in Asia Pacific. Moreover, high growth in the emerging economies of Asia Pacific is anticipated to drive market growth for several end user industries including pharmaceutical, food, beverages, etc. On account of which, Asia Pacific is also expected to be the fastest growing region for organic acid demand. Increasing number of regulations to control the use of several synthetic organic acids has led to sluggish market growth in North America and Europe. Bio based organic acids are expected to drive market growth in North America and Europe.
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Organic acid market is highly competitive and major players compete on pricing differentiation. Moreover, increasing demand for bio based organic acids has led to a surge in investment for research and development activities in organic acids market. Some major players in organic acid market include BioAmber, Genomatica, DSM Cargill and The Dow Chemical Company among others.