Advanced phase change materials (APCMs) are capable of storing and releasing high amounts of energy, whenever these materials change their state. Phase change materials can be segmented into organic, non-organic and bio-based. Increase in total energy supply, growth of construction industry in developed and developing economies and superior heat storage capacity of these materials are a few key drivers which are expected to increase the demand for APCMs.
In addition, increasing use of these materials in textile industry and temperature controlled packaging coupled with the growth of these industries is expected to boost the demand over the next few years. However, the high cost and hazardous nature of these materials is expected to hamper the growth of this market. Economic growth in emerging economies of Asia Pacific is expected to open new opportunities for the growth of this market.
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Paraffin was the largest product segment of this market accounting for over 50% of the market in 2011. It has high heat storing capacity and is chemically stable in nature. However, others product segments of APCM which include bio-based phase change materials are expected to show the fastest growth within the forecast period. Growing demand for bio-based products is expected to be one of the primary factors expected to drive the demand for other phase change materials. In addition, research and development for this product segment is expected to boost its demand. Other product segment is expected to account for over 13% of the market in 2018.
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APCMs in building and construction were the largest application segment within the market accounting for 24% of the market in 2011. Increasing population in large economies such as China, India and U.S. are driving the construction which in turn is expected to fuel the growth of APCM over the next few years. In addition, demand for “green” construction is expected to contribute to the growth of the market.
Shipping and transportation is expected to be the second-fastest growing application segment of phase change materials. Increase trade activities and development of APCMs which enable transportation of perishable goods such as medicines and food is expected to drive the demand in this application segment. Shipping and transportation is expected to account for over 10% of the market in 2018.