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Methanol/Pharmaceutical Industry Methanol Plays an Important Role for India's Pharmaceutical Industry

Editor: Dominik Stephan

Methanol – much talked about as a biofuel or fuel additive all arounbd the world – plays a rather different role in India: This simple alcohol fills an important niche in the country's pharmaceutical sector. Now traditional, modern and alternative uses of methanol drive the market: The methanol race has just begun, insiders say...

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Methanol: Biofuel, basic chemical and pharmaceutical?
Methanol: Biofuel, basic chemical and pharmaceutical?
(Picture: Wikimedia Commons)

Methanol, also known as methyl alcohol, finds veesatile use in the industry. This is an alternative fuel for internal combustion and other engines, where it is often used in combination with gasoline. The chemical is generally derived from fossil or natural gas, however, it also can be made through synthesis of carbon-di-oxide and hydrogen. Today, methanol is an essential chemical building block for numerous products, and an emerging energy resource.

India accounted for four per cent of the overall Asia-Pacific methanol market demand share in the year 2011. The end-use segments for methanol in India are different to the end-use segments in other regions in the world. In India, methanol fills an important niche in the pharmaceutical sector market. However, the major end use was formaldehyde-based resins, and this is expected to grow further by 2021 due to healthy demand from the flexible packaging sector.

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The booming methanol market will generate huge revenues for economies in Asia and the Middle East: According to recent studies by GBI Research, already in 2010 the Asia–Pacific region accounted for 64% of the global methanol demand. More in China and Middle East Compete for Leadership in Methanol!

Methanol Fills an Important Niche in the Pharmaceutical Sector

MTBE, which has its end use in applications in the automobile sector, is expected to be the next end use sector – which is likely to drive methanol consumption in India during 2021. Following a brief decline in prices during the recession, global methanol market is all set to recuperate and gain momentum in the following years. Production capacity as well as production of methanol is expected to surge in the following years. As such capacity as well as production has been increasing over the last few years and the trend is expected to continue.

Discover more about the traditional and alternative uses of methanol and why the methanol race has just begun on page 2!

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