World Analysis – Butylenes

  • Market Overview
  • Key Benefits
  • Service Features
  • Annual Table of Contents

Market Overview

Duration: Long-term outlook to 2050

Butylenes are four-carbon mono-olefins that are principally sourced from olefins production by steam cracking or by catalytic cracking at petroleum refineries. These processes produce mixed four-carbon mono- and di-olefin streams that also contain saturated C4 hydrocarbons. These streams are processed to higher value products in the refinery and petrochemical complex. In addition, several other processes are available that can produce butylenes. This World Analysis provides the outlook for the global markets of contained isobutylene, contained normal butylenes, high purity isobutylene (HPIB), and butene-1.

Products made from contained isobutylene (also called raffinate-1 or refinery butylenes/butane streams) include MTBE, polyisobutylene, methyl methacrylate, isoprene, diisobutylene, isooctene and isooctane. Contained normal butylenes streams (little or no isobutylene) are sourced from process units that selectively remove isobutylene from the C4 streams. These streams contain high concentrations of normal butylenes and are utilized as feedstocks for a variety of products. Since the isobutylene has already been removed, physical separation of the normal butylene isomers is much easier. Normal butylenes are also produced by the dehydrogenation of butane; however, these normal butylenes are generally converted directly to butadiene. Contained isobutylene and contained normal butylenes can find their way into the gasoline pool as butylene alkylate. Butylene alkylate is formed when combined with isobutane.

High purity isobutylene (HPIB) refers to 99.0% minimum purity isobutylene. A large percentage of the HPIB produced in the world is used to make butyl rubber. Butyl rubber production accounts for nearly 60% of HPIB demand while the second largest end-use segment, highly reactive polyisobutylene, consumes nearly 25%. Much smaller amounts are typically consumed to produce other derivatives such as methyl methacrylate (MMA), isononyl alcohol, neopentanol, t-butyl phenol antioxidants, and other specialty chemicals. Butene-1 is either produced by the fractionation (extractive distillation) of a butene-1 rich normal butylenes stream (raffinate), the Ziegler oligomerization of ethylene (in alpha olefins plants), or by the dimerization of ethylene. Butene-1 is mostly used as a comonomer in all threeHigh-purityethylene types (LLDPE, LDPE, HDPE). Other applications for butene-1 include the production of polybutene-1, amyl alcohol and butylene oxide. In addition, several companies use butene-1 as a comonomer in the manufacture of specialty hot melt adhesives and amorphous polymeric modifiers for bitumen for use in the manufacture of single-ply roofing materials.

Key Benefits

Duration: Long-term outlook to 2050

The World Analysis – Butylenes (data-only) provides a comprehensive analysis of critical market developments as they shape the future outlook for the global markets of contained isobutylene, contained normal butylenes, high-purity isobutylene, and butene-1.

The following reports, data files, analytical tools and visualization modules are available online and can be downloaded from our website:

  • Direct Access to the Subject Matter Experts
  • In-depth exploration of present market strategic insights, recognition of critical challenges, and presentation of our experts’ forecasts and analysis
  • Explanatory Notes detailing data sources, methodologies, unit and conversion factors, and World Analysis deliverables.
  • Energy and Economy assumptions
  • Price, cost, and margin base assumptions forecast and sensitivities analysis, including price assessment methodology and price definitions across all regions.
  • Excel data files with standard supply/demand graphics and price forecasts extended to 2050, trade grids with country and regional trade flows Data appendix (Excel) with supply/demand, capacity and trade tables.
  • An online dashboard visualization of capacity, supply/demand, trade grids, and price, cost and margin forecasts
  • Supply/demand and capacity database access via data browser
  • Data Appendix (Excel) with supply/demand and capacity tables
  • Capacity by company/shareholder, capacity integration, top producer/consumer and surplus/deficit capacity ranking, and ownership/subsidiary information

In addition to the main products, contained isobutylene (CISB), contained normal butylenes (CNB), high purity isobutylene (HPIB), and butene-1 (BU1), capacity data are provided for the following products:

  • Alkylation (ALK)
  • 1,2-Butylene Oxide (BUTOX)
  • Butadiene (BDE)
  • Butyl Rubber (BUR)
  • C4s Hydrogenation (C4H)
  • Diisobutylene (DIB)
  • Ethyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (ETBE)
  • Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC)
  • High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
  • Heptenes (HEP)

This World Analysis contains detailed information on capacities, production, demand, and trade for all significant producing and consuming countries and regions. Although data gathering is essential for understanding history and potential future trends, we believe that the interpretation and analysis of the data is the most valuable information to our clients.

Service Features

Duration: Long-term outlook to 2050


Frequency: Bi-annual
Format: Excel
Timeframe: 10-year forecasts available from periods 1990 – 2050
Area Coverage: By country/region; include “hypothetical” capacity changes in the forecast period
Chemical Coverage: High Purity Isobutylene, Butene-1, Contained Isobutylene, Contained Normal Butylenes


Frequency: Updated daily
Format: Excel
Timeframe: 10-year forecasts available from periods 1990 – 2050

  • Nameplate capacity on individual plant location by producer and by the shareholder for main study products + essential derivatives
  • Integration table and top producer and consumer ranking tables (includes net surplus/deficit)
Chemical Coverage: Polybutylene Terephthalate (PBT) Alkylation, Butadiene, Butene-1, Butyl Rubber, C4s Hydrogenation, Ethyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (ETBE), Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC), HDPE, High Purity Isobutylene, Isooctane, LLDPE, Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK), Methyl Methacrylate (MMA), MTBE, Other Butylenes, Polyisobutylene, Polyisobutylene (highly reactive), Polygas/Dimersol, Propylene Oxide, 1,2-Butylene Oxide, t-butylphenols/amines, tert- Butyl Alcohol (TBA), Diisobutylene, Heptenes, Isooctene, Octenes, Polyalphaolefins, Polybutene-1 resins


Frequency: Bi-annual
Format: Excel
Timeframe: 1 year of history, up to 10 years of forecast
Area Coverage: Between partner countries and by region
Chemical Coverage: High Purity Isobutylene, Butene-1


  • Access to our global team of subject matter experts
  • Interactive data visualization module (dashboard)
  • Standard supply/demand graphs
  • Data appendix with supply/demand and capacity tables
  • Supply/demand and capacity database access via data browser

Annual Table of Contents

  • Introduction 4
  • Sources of Butylenes 6
  • Steam cracking 7
  • Fluid catalytic cracking 9
  • Selective hydrogenation of crude C4s 13
  • Definitions of Butylene Streams 14
  • Contained Isobutylene 14
  • Contained Normal Butylenes 15
  • High Purity Isobutylene 17
  • Butene-1 17
  • Supply/Demand Forecast Methodology 19

Market Coverage



Industrial Products


Anthony Song

Anthony Song Executive Director, APAC C4 & Elastomers Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Anthony Song is the Executive Director for APAC C4 & Elastomers at Chemical Market Analytics. Anthony (Young Ho) Song is the executive director for C4 olefins, derivatives, and natural rubber in Asia outside of mainland China at Chemical Market Analytics. He has over 20 years of experience in the petrochemical industry, mainly in the olefins business but also in chlor alkali and aromatics. Within the Asia region, he works closely with petrochemical, oil and financial industries, bringing support and guidance throughout the petrochemical chain. He is currently the service leader for the Asia C4 weekly report and contributes to the global outlook for C4 and elastomer reports. Anthony started his career as a petrochemical trader at Hanwha Corporation in Korea. His duties were to trade various gas products, including light and C4 olefins products, in Asia. He has spent about a year in Dubai as a regional expert program by Hanwha Group, researching and developing future strategic programs within the Middle East, from product development to investment portfolio. In 2008, he came to Singapore as a trading team manager at Hanwha International (overseas office in Singapore). Anthony graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics.  
Bill Hyde

Bill Hyde Vice President, Olefins and Elastomers Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Bill Hyde is the Vice President of Olefins & Elastomers at Chemical Market Analytics. Mr. Hyde is a member of Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS, A Dow Jones Company. He leads a group that analyzes markets related to C4 Olefins, synthetic and natural rubber, and tire raw materials. He has been consulting in this market since 2002. Hyde began his career with the Union Carbide Corporation in 1990, where he had various positions, including production engineering, optimization, planning, and logistics. In 2000, he joined Texas Petrochemicals as a Business Analyst. In 2002, Hyde joined CMAI, which was acquired by IHS in 2011, in the Olefins Consulting Practice, focusing on C4 Olefins and rubber, assuming responsibility for that practice in 2006. The Base Chemicals Group of HIS Markit, which includes the C4 Olefins and Elastomers Practice, was divested to News Corp in June 2022 and became Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS, A Dow Jones Company. He has published several papers on the Olefins and Elastomers industries and presented at numerous Olefins and Elastomers Conferences worldwide. Hyde has BSc and MSc Degrees in Chemical Engineering from Brigham Young University and an M.B.A. from Tulane University.
Remko Koster

Remko Koster Executive Director, EMEA C4 Olefins Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Remko Koster is the Executive Director for C4 olefins and derivatives in Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Chemical Market Analytics.. During his time with the company, he has taken various roles across a broad range of product areas. With over 20 years of experience, Remko is a key resource within the business for understanding and insight into the C4 and derivatives sector of the petrochemical industry. Within the EMEA region, he works closely with the petrochemical, oil and tire industries, bringing support and guidance throughout the petrochemical chain. His current area of focus includes oversight of the ‘Global Tire Type Indices Report’, primary input and insight for the ‘Global C4 Olefins & Elastomers Report’, as well as for the World Butadiene, MTBE, Rubber, and Butylenes analyses. His prior experience includes more than ten years of industrial experience with SABIC, including commercial responsibilities for C4 streams and aromatics and as a global market intelligence leader for polypropylene. Remko joined our company in 2011 as a polyethylene and polypropylene consultant for EMEA, contributing to the ‘Global Plastics & Polymers Report service’ and for World Polyethylene and Polypropylene Analysis. Remko Koster has a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
William Chen, PhD

William Chen, PhD Executive Director, Asia Olefins and Derivatives Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

William Chen is an Executive Director of the Asia Olefins and Derivatives at Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS, a Dow Jones Company. Dr. William Chen is the Executive Director at Chemical Market Analytics. He leads Asia Olefins' business and has research responsibilities for providing insight into the dynamics associated with the ethylene, propylene, C4, and derivatives value chain markets. Provide thought leadership on the markets relating to supply, demand, price and economics, as well as competitive dynamics and changing industry structural elements. William also leads Asia Olefins' business for strategic growth and provides ongoing commercial management. Focus on nurturing client relationships and deepening services as part of clients’ commercial and strategic decision-making processes. Nurture relationships with clients, including SOEs, POEs and MNCs, to deepen services in clients’ commercial and strategic decision-making processes. William has been involved in many petrochemical consulting projects and client studies, including the China Coal Chemical Study, Global Propane Dehydrogenation Research, and Refinery-cracker/aromatic complex feasibility study. Before Chemical Market Analytics, William worked for ChemChina. William started as a chemical engineer at the company at a Lanzhou fiber plant in Northwest China. Then, he moved back to Beijing to focus on downstream application development. In the last two years with ChemChina, William took charge of sales and marketing responsibility in NE Asia. William earned a Ph.D from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and majored in Polymer Chemistry and Physics. William is based in Beijing, China.

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