Antifreeze coolant market size is forecast to reach US$5.6 billion by 2027 after growing at a CAGR of 4.5% during the forecast period 2022-2027. Antifreeze coolant is generally a mixture of deionized water and a base liquid that is usually ethylene glycol or propylene glycol. Antifreeze coolants have a dual purpose, to decrease the freezing point of the coolant and increase the boiling temperature. In automobiles, the basic requirement of an engine coolant is to transfer heat from the internal combustion engine to the radiator, where the fluid is cooled by means of airflow. A traditional coolant contains mineral or inorganic inhibitors, such as phosphate, borate, silicate, nitrite, and nitrate. An organic additive technology coolant contains only organic corrosion inhibitors, such as carboxylates. The rising sales of electric vehicles acts as a driver for the antifreeze coolant market.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a severe impact on several industries including the aerospace industry. The aerospace industry was one of the very first sectors that were affected by the pandemic. As cases surged, governments worldwide struggled to stop the spread of infection and introduced border closures, travel bans, and restrictions as a result of which flights were grounded. According to International Air Transport Association (IATA), passenger air transport measured as revenue passenger kilometer was down 90% YoY in April 2020 and still down 75% in August 2020. The collapse in economic activity and trade affected freight, which was almost 30% lower YoY in April 2020 and still about 12% lower in August 2020. The aerospace industry has been among the worst hit by the pandemic, with many airlines forced to suspend operations which also led to layoffs. The International Air Transport Association (IATA), Airport Council International (ACI), and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) predict that the sector will take at least 3-4 years to roll back to pre-pandemic levels. With many airlines still not being allowed to fly, less maintenance is required and thereby also affecting the demand of antifreeze coolants.
Antifreeze Coolant Market Segment Analysis – By Technology
Organic acid technology held the largest share in the antifreeze coolant market in 2021 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.2% during the forecast period. Organic acid technology is predominantly based on carbon-based molecules, typically organic acids that protect cooling systems. This technology has a lifespan of 5 years or approximately 200,000 km in automotive applications. Organic acid technology coolants are devoid of both phosphates and silicates. They are designed to offer anti-corrosive protection to the aluminum and nylon parts in newer model cars. Unlike inorganic additive technology-based coolants, organic acid technology products use propylene glycol as the base, so they are less harmful to pets, children, and the environment in case of a spill or boil-over. Therefore, organic acid technology is forecasted to dominate the antifreeze coolant market.
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Antifreeze Coolant Market Segment Analysis – By End Use Industry
The automotive segment held the largest share in the antifreeze coolant market in 2021 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.1% during the forecast period. Continuous technological developments in the world have led to an exponential increase in the demand for automobiles. According to the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA), in 2021, 57.26 million cars were produced, a 10% increase from 2020. The automobile industry faces a continuous challenge to provide an efficient and economical engine in terms of fuel supply, lubrication system, transmission system, and cooling system while adhering to all the regulations. According to Bluestar, the engine’s cooling system is designed to control and regulate the high temperatures produced due to the ignition of fuel in the engines. The cooling system must maintain the engine at a constant temperature whether the outside air temperature is 100 degrees Fahrenheit, or -30 degrees. If the engine temperature is too low, fuel economy will suffer and emissions will rise. If the engine temperature gets too hot over a long period of time, the engine will break down. The operating temperature range for engines of most cars is between 195-220 degrees Fahrenheit. The higher temperature differential between the engine coolant and outside air makes heat transfer more efficient. Thus, antifreeze coolant plays an important role in the automotive industry and thus, this industry is set to dominate the antifreeze coolant market.
Antifreeze Coolant Market Segment Analysis – By Geography
The Asia Pacific region held the largest share in the antifreeze coolant market in 2021 up to 38% on account of the growing automotive and aerospace industries in the region. After the initial lockdown ended, countries in this region began ramping up production to overcome the economic repercussions with China leading the way. The automotive industry had a turbulent year in 2020 but in 2021 it picked up. Production data from OICA is reflective of this. For instance, China is the largest manufacturer of automobiles in the world. In 2021, production in China stood at 18.24 million compared to 16.98 million in 2020. In 2021, production in India stood at 3.29 million compared to 2.15 million in 2020, a dramatic 53% increase. In 2021, production in Indonesia stood at 0.79 million compared to 0.48 million in 2020, registering a 64% increase. A similar increase in production was also seen in other Asian countries such as Japan, Pakistan, Thailand, South Korea, etc. According to the World Economic Forum, most of the transport growth is expected to take place in emerging markets like China and India, as global populations are set to rise by another two billion over the next 25 years to 9.2 billion and these two countries are expected to still be the most populated. Growing GDP in these regions will increase demand for automobiles and flights. Hence, this region is expected to dominate the antifreeze coolant market during the forecast period.
Antifreeze Coolant Market Drivers
Rising Sales of Electric Vehicles (EVs)
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), in 2020 roughly 3 million electric cars were registered, a 43% increase over 2019. Also, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), EVs are expected to hit 10% of global passenger vehicle sales by 2025, rising to 28% in 2030 and 58% in 2040. According to IEA’s Global Electric Vehicle Outlook, the number of electric cars, buses, vans, and heavy trucks on roads is expected to hit 145 million by 2030. The rise in electric car sales in 2020 came even as the worldwide automobile market contracted by 16% due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. In Q1 2021, electric car sales were almost two and a half times higher than during the same period in 2020. Most EVs use a cooling loop to regulate the temperature of the battery pack. This cooling loop usually contains an ethylene glycol coolant. This coolant is circulated through the batteries using an electric pump. The increase in electric vehicle manufacturing and sales drives the sales for antifreeze coolants as well.
Development of Bio-Based Antifreeze Coolants
Propylene glycol is currently synthesized from petroleum-based propylene oxide. Propylene glycol is a less toxic alternative to ethylene glycol in antifreeze but is more expensive. Glycerin, a byproduct of biodiesel fuel, can be converted into propylene glycol. Ashland Inc. and Cargill created a new joint venture devoted solely to the development and production of biobased chemicals. The venture’s first product was propylene glycol. Using both licensed and proprietary technology, the joint venture produces high-grade propylene glycol from glycerin, an abundant co-product of biodiesel production. A Swedish forestry company, Sveaskog is testing a new coolant in their forest machines in cooperation with Avantherm, a Swedish developer of renewable specialty chemicals. The unique coolant is patented by Avantherm and is based on renewable isoalkane produced by Finland-headed oil and renewable fuel major Neste. The new product is expected to be highly beneficial for the climate, people, and productivity. Thus, the development of such bio-based products paves the way for sustainable products and thus drives the antifreeze coolant market.
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Antifreeze Coolant Market Challenges
Toxicity of Ethylene Glycol
Antifreeze products contain ethylene glycol, propylene glycol, methanol, or a combination of those products. Of all these products, ethylene glycol is the most serious. It has a sweet taste and smell. According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ethylene glycol has a sweet taste and is often accidentally or intentionally ingested. Once ingested, ethylene glycol is chemically broken down into toxic compounds. These by-products then affect the central nervous system, the heart, and then the kidneys. Most automotive antifreeze coolants contain ethylene glycol and pose the greatest risk to pets. Depending on the quantity of ethylene glycol consumed, death can occur within the first 24 hours and permanent damage to the nervous system may also occur, which can cause blindness and decreased mental functioning. Several children and pets, especially cats and dogs have died from accidental ingestion of antifreeze containing ethylene glycol. Concerns over this chemical resulted in several appeals especially in the US and UK to ban it from antifreeze. This can prove to be a challenge for the antifreeze coolant market.
Antifreeze Coolant Industry Outlook
Product launches, acquisitions, and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in this market. Antifreeze Coolant top 10 companies include:
1. BP plc
5. Cummins Inc
6. Royal Dutch Shell
7. Total SA
In August 2021, Valvoline Inc. and Haertol launched new coolants technology specifically designed for modern engines, Valvoline Antifreeze Coolant HT-12 Green and Valvoline Antifreeze Coolant HT-12 Pink.
In July 2021, Castrol launched Castrol ON e-thermal fluid, an advanced new direct battery e-thermal fluid that will enable future generations of EVs to be charged more rapidly and offer increased performance, protection, and sustainability
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Antifreeze coolants are essential for the proper functioning of engines. It helps to maintain the engine temperature and prevents it from overheating.
The base liquid used in most antifreeze coolants are ethylene glycol and propylene glycol. Antifreeze coolants are widely used in the automotive industry.
The major opportunity for this market is to develop eco-friendly and biobased antifreeze coolants.
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