Lubricity is the amount of reduction in friction and/or wear by a lubricant. Diesel fuel inherently contains compounds that provide lubricity. However, in countries such as the U.S. and those in the European Union, stringent environmental regulations have been implemented to lower sulfur content in diesel oils in order to reduce the emission of pollutants.
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This has compelled diesel manufacturers to reduce the level of sulfur in the range of 10 ppm to 500 ppm in order to produce ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD). Desulfurization is accomplished through hydro-treatment and hydrocracking processes, which help remove most of the natural lubricity-imparting polar compounds in the diesel. This lowers the original lubricity ability of diesel fuels, thereby leading to inadequate lubricity of ULSD. The addition of lubricity-improving additives to diesel fuel enhances the lubricity of USLD and prevents excessive engine wear.
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The lubricity improver market is driven by the implementation of stringent environmental norms, increase in usage of complex fuels, and advancement in vehicle hardware. Over the last two decades, usage of crude sources have increased, while that of fuel sulfur has decreased significantly. Furthermore, there has been a rise in the use of biofuels and highly paraffinic diesel. Advancements in vehicle hardware and improvements in the materials used in critical areas have also taken place. As a result, the specifications governing the quality of diesel fuel have been tightened gradually in order to ensure the fuel used is good and offers suitable protection to the advanced hardware.
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The lubricity improver market can be segmented based on product, end-user, and region. In terms of product, the market can be divided into acidic lubricity improver and non-acidic lubricity improver. Based on end-user industry, the market can be segregated into automotive, agriculture, and manufacturing. The automotive segment can be further classified into passenger vehicles, light commercial vehicles, and heavy commercial vehicles.
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Based on region, the lubricity improver market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, and Latin America. In terms of volume, Europe is likely to dominate the global lubricity improver market during the forecast period owing to the high demand for ULSD in the region. In terms of consumption, Europe led the global lubricity improver market in 2016, followed by North America and Asia Pacific. The market in North America is projected to expand at a low pace due to the relatively mature markets in countries such as the U.S. and Canada. However, implementation of stringent norms regarding emission of pollutants in the U.S. is anticipated to drive the market in the region during the forecast period. Asia Pacific is anticipated to be an attractive region for the lubricity improver market due to the presence of rapidly emerging economies such as China and India.
Furthermore, industrialization in India and China, increasing demand for automotive in countries such as Japan, South Korea, and India, and the change in the agricultural techniques from traditional methods to advanced methods in Malaysia, China, and India are estimated to augment the lubricity improver market in the region. The lubricity improver market in Middle East & Africa is likely to follow that in Asia Pacific in terms of growth rate during the forecast period.
Key players operating in the global lubricity Improver market include Afton Chemical Corp., Dow Chemical, Total S.A., BASF SE, Cummins Filtration, Cerion Energy Inc., ADCO Global Inc., ACE Geosynthetics Enterprise Co., Ltd., Aicello Chemical Co. Ltd., The Lubrizol Corporation, Innospec Inc., Chevron Oronite Company, Abhitech Energycon Limited, Infineum International Ltd., Chemtura Corporation, Alexandria Company for Petroleum Additives (ACPA), Huntsman Corporation, and Fuel Additive Science Technologies Limited (FAST).