Cellulose is an organic compound which is built from polysaccharide and is present in plants. It is a natural long-chain polymer that has multipurpose uses in various industries such as veterinary foods, wood and paper, cosmetic, fibers, clothes, and pharmaceutical industries. Pure cellulose is available in various forms with very different pharmaceutical and mechanical properties. The difference is related to size, shape and degree of crystallinity of the particles. Cellulose derivatives are water-soluble compounds that exhibit semisynthetic nature. Cellulose derivatives are used in bioadhesive and mucoadhesive drug delivery systems in the pharmaceuticals industry.
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Cellulose ethers and cellulose esters are two main types of cellulose derivatives exhibiting different mechanical and physicochemical properties. These polymers are mostly used in the healthcare products and formulation of dosage forms. Cellulose derivatives offer characteristics such as high lubricity, thickening, water retention, binding, and film formation. This has led to increase in consumption of cellulose derivatives in mining, construction paper, and personal care industries.
In the pharmaceuticals industry, cellulose derivatives are used in extended release formulations, osmotic drug delivery systems, enteric coated solid dosage forms, compressibility enhancers, and numerous other applications. Methyl cellulose derivative offers excellent water retention and efficient thickening properties. Owing to these properties, it is widely used in personal care products such as shampoos, liquid soaps, and toothpastes. This in turn, has led to increase in consumption of cellulose derivatives in the personal care industry. Hydroxyethyl cellulose products are extensively used in latex paints, oilfield chemicals, and building materials as they show pseudo plastic solution behavior, resist salts, and form films. Carboxymethyl cellulose is used in viscosity modification or thickening, has excellent water holding capacity and stabilize emulsions in various products such as ice cream.
Cellulose Derivative Market Outlook – Numerous Applications in the Pharmaceutical Industry Expected to Fuel Demand
Increasing consumption of cellulose derivatives for manufacture of pharmaceuticals to fulfill demand of advanced drugs such as acyclovir and its growing use in the personal care industry is a major factor fueling growth of cellulose derivative market. Asia Pacific is expected to be the most potential market for the cellulose derivatives manufacturers. This is mainly attributed to robust growth of major end-use industries such as automotive, pharmaceuticals and personal care products industries in the region.
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Fluctuating prices of raw material such as high grade cotton, which is used in the production of high purity cellulose derivatives is expected to be one of the restraining factors for the growth of cellulose derivative market over the forecast period. Mergers and acquisitions, innovative product portfolio such as Culminal and Combizell methylcellulose derivatives by Ashland Specialty Chemicals are some of the key strategies adopted by the top players to maintain their position in the market. Some of the companies operating in the global cellulose derivative market AkzoNobel Performance Additives, China RuiTai International Holdings Co., Ltd., The Dow Chemical Company, CP Kelco, SE Tylose GmbH & Co. KG, Ashland Specialty Chemicals, Lotte Chemicals, Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Ltd.