World Analysis - Oxo Alcohols

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

Market Overview

Duration: Long-term outlook to 2050

Although over 90 percent of plasticizer and solvent alcohols are derived via oxo technology, some are produced via ethylene oligomerization with a Ziegler catalyst (alpha alcohols). Plasticizer alcohol is an industry term for C6 to C13 alcohols that are primarily used as chemical intermediates for plasticizer manufacture. C3, C4 and C5 oxo alcohols are called solvent alcohols, recognizing that the largest historical area of use for these alcohols and their derivatives is as carriers/diluents for paints and other surface coatings. Normal butanol (NBO) is a C4 alcohol, while 2-ethylhexanol (2-EH) is a C8 alcohol. NBO remains an important intermediate used in the production of acrylate esters, butyl acetate, glycol ethers, plasticizers and solvents. 2-EH is also called a plasticizer alcohol. With a percentage share of about 70%, plasticizers are by far the largest end-use segment for 2-EH. They provide flexibility to normally rigid and brittle PVC, and are used in the manufacturing of consumer goods, such as toys, cling film, flooring, cable insulation, and medical tubing. The second largest 2-EH derivative, 2-ethylhexyl acrylate (2-EHA), is mainly used as a monomer to produce acrylic resins for latex paints, especially for exterior applications, and for pressure sensitive adhesives. Other end-uses of 2-EH include lube and oil additives (zinc di-2-ethylhexyl dithiophosphate), mining chemicals, surfactants, and diesel fuel cetane improvers such as 2-ethylhexyl nitrate (2-EHN).

The oxo process, originally developed in Germany in the late 1930s, is the principal synthetic route for production of C4 and C8 alcohols. 2-ethylhexanol, n-butanol and isobutanol are produced from butyraldehydes, which are generated via the oxo reaction of syngas with propylene. The Ziegler process has ethylene as a feedstock and involves chain growth, oxidation and hydrolysis to yield even numbered carbon linear alcohols (C6, C10). Minor quantities of plasticizer alcohols are obtained from natural products and other processes. Isobutanol and n-butanol can also be produced by fermentation processes, also known as bio-based butanols.

Key Benefits

Duration: Long-term outlook to 2050

The World Analysis – Oxo-Alcohols provides a comprehensive analysis and key insights of critical market developments as they shape the future outlook for the global 2-ethylhexanol and n-butanol markets.

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, 2-ethylhexanol and n-butanol, capacity data and brief textual analysis are provided for the following product:

  • Isobutanol

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: Cyclohexane (CHX), Caprolactam (CPL), Adipic Acid, HMDA, Nylon Polymerization


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: Cyclohexane, Cyclohexanol/one, Caprolactam, Adipic Acid, HMDA, Adponitrile, Nylon 6 & 6,6 Chip/Resin, Polybutylene Adipate Terephthalate (PBAT)


Frequency: Quarterly
Format: Excel
Timeframe: up to 2050
Area Coverage: For the critical regions of North America (US), Europe & Asia
Chemical Coverage: Cyclohexane, Caprolactam, Adipic Acid


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: Cyclohexane, Caprolactam, Adipic Acid, HMDA, Adiponitrile


Frequency: Annual
Format: PDF/HTML
Timeframe: 5-year history, forecast to 2050
Coverage: Regional market summaries

  • Production economics/snapshots for selected regions/processes
  • Production process/technology overview
Chemical Coverage: Cyclohexane (CHX), Caprolactam (CPL), Adipic Acid, Adiponitrile HMDA


  • 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
  • Executive Overview 5
  • n-Butanol 5
  • 2-Ethylhexanol 8
  • Strategic Insights 11
  • Economic Forecast Update 11
  • Higher energy prices and cost competitiveness 12
  • Oxo-alcohol capacity developments and outlook – Mainland China and India 13
  • Asian plasticizer market developments and impact on 2-EH demand 14
  • Bio-based butanol and isobutanol 15
  • Production Process Overview 16
  • Introduction 16
  • Oxo Process 16
  • Bio-based Butanol 17
  • Price Forecast 18
  • Methodology 18
  • Price Forecast Tables and Graphs 19
  • Supply/Demand Forecast Methodology 22

Market Coverage


Paint & Coating



Joyce Jahyung Lee

Joyce Jahyung Lee Associate Director, Acrylates / OXO Alcohols Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Joyce Jahyung Lee is an Associate Director with the Asia Olefin Team at Chemical Market Analytics. Joyce is based in Singapore. She is responsible for providing various market advisory services and world analysis on propylene derivatives products of Global Acrylates and Oxo services – Acrylic Acid, Acrylate, SAP, Oxo Alcohols and Plasticizers in Asia(ex-China). Before Chemical Market Analytics in 2021, she worked at Hanwha Solutions, South Korea, for 12 years, covering various roles in commercial, procurement, planning & new business development in petrochemical products, including ethylene and propylene derivatives and chlor-alkali products. She also has extensive experience in research and analysis on international trade and overseas sales in the steel & iron industry for around six years. She holds master's and bachelor’s degrees from Korea University, majoring in International Commerce (M.A.) and Public Administration as a double major (B.A).
Julian Gunther

Julian Gunther Associate Director, Olefin Derivatives - Americas Acrylic Acid, Acrylates, SAP, MMA, Oxo Alcohols, Plasticizers Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Julian Gunther is an Associate Director on the Global Olefins team at Chemical Market Analytics's Houston, Texas, office. Mr. Gunther is responsible for the propylene derivatives market, including acrylic acid, acrylates, methyl methacrylate (MMA), super absorbent polymers (SAP), oxo alcohols, and the plasticizers market in the Americas. Mr. Gunther worked with ODS-Petrodata’s offshore rig team from 2006-2012. In addition to ODS, Mr. Gunther worked as an account manager at S&P Global and OptaSense. Mr. Gunther holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of Houston in Houston, Texas.  
Martin Staley

Martin Staley Executive Director, EMEA Acrylates / OXO Alcohols Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Martin Staley is the Executive Director for the Acrylic Acid and OXO Alcohol value chains at Chemical Market Analytics. Martin Staley joined Chemical Market Analytics in March 2022 and served as the Research and Analysis Director for the Acrylic Acid and OXO Alcohol value chains, which includes Acrylic Acid, the acrylate esters; Butyl acrylate, 2-EH Acrylate, Methyl Acrylate and Ethyl Acrylate and Super Absorbent Polymers (SAP). The closely related chemical, methyl methacrylate (MMA), is also under Martin’s purview, as well as the downstream OXO plasticizer derivatives. These chemicals are covered in the Market Advisory Service reports, published monthly, and the World Analysis reports, published annually. Martin has over 30 years of chemical industry experience, having recently served as the Regional Vice President for Third Coast International for 14 years. Third Coast is a leading chemical service provider with operations in the Houston area and historic joint ventures in Singapore and Qatar. The company is a leading automotive brake fluid producer, marketer of propylene glycol and a leading contract manufacturing company. Before Third Coast, Martin spent 17 years in a variety of roles with LyondellBasell with a focus on the Propylene Oxide and derivatives business, including  PO-based glycol ethers, glycols, 1,4-Butanediol and derivatives and C4 specialties. He also held the Chair of the Glycol Ether sector for the Oxygenated Solvent Producers Association (OSPA), an industry trade body under C.E.F.I.C., helping prepare the industry for the introduction of REACH. Martin started his chemical industry career in the United Kingdom with what is now Univar. Martin holds a BSc. Hons. Degree in Biology with subsidiary subjects of Biochemistry and Biotechnology from Portsmouth University.

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