Diketene is a light colored or colorless liquid, non-hygroscopic that is polymerized on standing. It has a pungent odor and is irritant to eyes, nose and throat. Diketene is inflammable and has a moderate risk of fire. It is a dimeric form of ketene and is similar to but less toxic than ketene. It readily polymerizes and hence cannot be stored or shipped in gaseous state. Diketene is not isolated but it is consumed once as it is produced. It is known by the formula (CH2CO) 2 and is a member of the oxetane family that is formed by dimerization of ketene. Diketene is produced by dehydrating acetic acid at a temperature of 700 to 750 degree celcius in the existence of triethyl ether as a catalyst. The other method for manufacturing diketene is by thermolysis of acetone at a temperature of 600 to 700 degree celcius in the presence of catalyst such as carbon disulphide. Some of the diketene derivatives include acetoacetates, arylamides, alkylamides, acrylic acid esters and other diketene derivatives.
Diketene is an important industrial intermediate that is used in the manufacture of acetoacetate amides and esters which also substitutes 1-phenyl-3-methylpyrazolones. It is also used in the production of dyestuff and pigments. Diketene is a highly reactive building block that can be combined to manufacture a wide range of products. It has applications in vitamins, pharmaceuticals, pigment and agrochemical industries among others. Some of the niche markets are in plasticizers, cosmetics and paints to name a few.
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The factors which drive the diketene market are the growing applications in the pharmaceutical and pigment industries. In the pharmaceutical industry, diketene is used in the manufacture of wide range of antibiotics. The others industries such as the paints and agrochemical are also anticipated to boost demand for diketene in the market in the near future. Among the above mentioned factors, the upcoming application in the pesticide industry is also expected to fuel demand for diketene as 40% of diketene is consumed by the pesticide industry.
The factors that are responsible to hamper the growth of the market include the ill effects of diketene on human health as it is a strong irritant to eyes, nose and throat. Inhalation of diketene causes respiratory tract infection and irritation, can be harmful if swallowed and can be harmful if absorbed by skin causing skin irritation. These factors act as restraining factors for the growth of the diketene market.
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The key segments for diketene market include North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Rest of the World (RoW). The strong growth in the pigment industry in the developed countries such as U.S. is expected to cater demand for diketene in the market. The developing country such as the Asia Pacific has huge growth potential for the pharmaceutical industries and hence is anticipated to boost demand for diketene. China has huge production facilities for diketene and hence it consumes huge amount of diketene for a wide variety of applications.
The major companies profiled for diketene are Lonza (Switzerland) and Synthetic Chemical Industry, UCC, FMC (United States), Eastman (United States), Celanese (Britain), Hoechst (Germany), Teijin Shoji Co. Ltd (Japan), Daicel Chemical Industry (Japan). The companies like Eastman have expanded the production capacity of diketene, primarily the derivatives such as acetoamides, acetoacetates and acetoacetanilides to meet the growing demand of the pharmaceutical industry and the pigment industry.
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