Fluorotelomers are telomers or oligomers based on fluorocarbons, having few monomer units. Certain fluorotelomers and their compounds serve as raw materials to environmentally persistent perfluorinated carboxylic acids such as perfluorononanoate (PFNA) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). PFNA and PFOA are primarily used in a wide range of applications across various industries due to their eco-friendly nature and inability to bioaccumulate in animals.
Different types of fluorotelomers are used in the industry such as fluorotelomers iodide, fluorotelomers alcohol, and fluorotelomers acrylate. Fluorotelomers alcohols such as TEOH-6 and TEOH-4 are some of the highly consumed products in the fluorotelomers industry. TEOH-6 and TEOH-4 have the ability to biodegrade to perfluorinated carboxylic acids that are present in the environment. Fluorotelomers are used in a wide range of applications such as textiles, stain resistant fabrics, food packaging and fire fighting foams among others. Fluorotelomer coatings are applied to food contact papers in packaging applications for preventing paper from absorbing oil from fatty food products. In addition, they are also used in pizza box liners, fast food wrappers and popcorn bags. Textiles account for the largest application segment and are anticipated to be the fastest growing application on account of the growing demand from end-user industries such as clothing and yarn for as a means to replace harmful fluorocarbons.
The fluorotelomers industry is still in its developing stage and is expected to gain significant share over the next few years on account of its increasing use as a substitute to other fluorocarbons. The global market for fluorotelomers has been witnessing a noticeable increase owing to growing demand from its application and their end-user industries. Increasing use of fluorotelomers as coating in food packaging on account of growing demand for ready-to-eat food products has significantly contributed towards the growth of the market. In addition, different strategies by large scale companies such as DuPont for developing innovative fluorotelomers products for textiles and fire fighting foam industries have also led towards the growth of the market.
DuPont focuses on developing innovative fluorotelomers products for surfactants and repellants for delivering maximum performance with minimal negative impact on the environment. Moreover, the company previously acquired the surface protection and fluoroadditives business of Atofina Chemicals, Inc. and became the largest manufacturer of fluorotelomers-based specialty products for surface protection applications in Europe and North America. However, rising awareness regarding the toxicity of certain fluorotelomers alcohols in food packaging applications is expected to hamper the growth of the market.
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