Epoxy Soybean Oil Industry Development Path Is Difficult

In recent years, environmental awareness has gradually increased, and the demand for traditional phthalate plasticizers containing certain toxicity has gradually declined, especially in food contact products, medical supplies and toys. On the contrary, environmental plasticizers have become more and more concerned, of which DOTP is obvious. In the DOP industry, the DOP industry is showing signs of decline, the growth of production capacity is more obvious, and the utilization rate of the equipment is higher than the average level of the plasticizer industry. In 2016, the domestic DOTP total capacity was 1.79 million tons, and the output was 863,000 tons, the average operating rate is 48.21%, while the average operating rate of the DOP industry in 2016 is only 38%.


    Although epoxidized soybean oil is also an environmentally friendly plasticizer, it has not been promoted by social environmental awareness, and its industry development path is still difficult. In 2016, the domestic production of epoxidized soybean oil was 434,000 tons, a decrease of 36,000 tons compared with 2015, a decrease of 7.66%. Most of the epoxidized soybean oil production enterprises are small and micro enterprises, each of which is fighting, the industry is not in scale, and the market is chaotic, which leads to limited development prospects of the industry. The main reasons behind this are:


    First of all, from the product itself, epoxidized soybean oil is a light yellow viscous liquid with a pungent odor. Compared with colorless plasticizers such as DOP, it attracts most customers and its competitiveness is even lower. In clear epoxy methyl ester. Before the fourth quarter of 2014, due to the relatively low price of epoxidized soybean oil, it often replaced some DOP to reduce costs. In 2015-2016, the prices of plasticizers such as DOP and DBP continued to fall as international crude oil futures continued to be at a low level. Although there has been a rebound during the period, the overall situation is still low. Taking the DOP market as an example, the average annual price of DOP market in East China is 6912 yuan/ton, the highest price in the year is 9,000 yuan/ton, and the lowest price is 5725 yuan/ton. The high and low price difference is 3,275 yuan / ton, while the average price of epoxy soybean oil epoxy resin 6.0 is 7367.74 yuan / ton, which is 455.74 yuan / ton higher than the average price of DOP. The substitution effect of epoxy soybean oil is obviously weakened.


    Secondly, from the perspective of its production, the current domestic production process of epoxidized soybean oil mainly includes solvent method and solvent-free method, and a considerable number of devices currently use the solvent method (that is, benzene and its homologues are required as solvents) to operate intermittently. It is easy to pollute the environment, the subsequent processing is cumbersome and the product quality is poor. In the later period, the state will continue to strengthen environmental protection, and such devices will soon face rectification or elimination. On the other hand, the investment cost and industrial starting point of epoxidized soybean oil are relatively low, and most of the production enterprises are small in scale and scattered in layout.


    Finally, from the standard point of view, the epoxy value is the characteristic index of epoxidized soybean oil. Some manufacturers have a factory standard of 6.6 or more, while some are about 6.3, and there are 6.0 and 6.2. In general, the epoxy value of epoxidized soybean oil produced by epoxidation of first-grade soybean oil is generally above 6.0. Although there is no national indicator of epoxidized soybean oil in China, in some influential epoxidized soybean oil In the technical books, the epoxy value index of epoxidized soybean oil is set at 6.0 or above; at the same time, major companies also set this value as their own corporate standard. However, some companies have set their own epoxidized soybean oil's epoxy value high for the sake of data aesthetics. When the customer actually tests, the test results are far from their own indicators, so they appear on the market. A more confusing epoxy value standard.


    In addition, the molecular weight of epoxidized soybean oil is too large, so it can not completely replace DOP, DOTP, etc. in soft products, and can only be partially replaced, because the compatibility of epoxidized soybean oil and PVC is not as good as DOP (commonly known as "oil" ), making it more limited in the field of PVC soft products. At the same time, epoxidized soybean oil has certain influence on the loss of electrical properties and flame retardant performance. It can not use epoxidized soybean oil in high-flame-retardant insulating materials, and it also restricts the high flame retardant of epoxy soybean oil system to some extent. Application in insulation materials.


    In summary, in the epoxy soybean oil industry, the substitution effect of epoxy soybean oil is weakened, some production processes are facing elimination, the scale of production enterprises is small, the layout is scattered, there is no unified industry standard, and there is a lack of performance. The outlook is difficult to be optimistic. Therefore, relevant people pointed out that if you want to promote the healthy development of the epoxidized soybean oil industry, you need to do the following two things: First, improve the synthetic process, production equipment, and self-control level of industrially produced epoxidized soybean oil, reduce production costs, and reach scale. Second, promote the introduction of national unified standards, accelerate the development of high epoxy value epoxidized soybean oil, further reduce product color and improve product thermal stability. However, the above two points require the concerted efforts of the various production companies, and their progress is relatively slow.

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