Optical brighteners are extensively used across various stages in the textile industry as well in the laundry and detergents sector. Optical brighteners absorb light from the violet and ultraviolet ends of the visible spectrum and only emit blue light, resulting in a whitening effect for the observer, while also eliminating any shade of yellow tint that is responsible for unappealing aesthetic quality.
They help materials appear new and brighter for a long time, and hence, play a key role in laundry, textile, and apparel industry. White color in textile products is commonly associated with purity and cleanliness. For this reason, chemical bleaching processes are followed to improve the commercial value of textile goods, and optical brightening agents are used in detergent powders.
Given these unique benefits and technological edge of their product chemistry, optical brighteners is finding increasing demand in the above-mentioned industries, which is a key driver for the expansion of the optical brighteners market size in the long run. The inherent photochemical properties of optical brighteners are stimulating market growth.
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- BASF SE
- Huntsman Corporation
- Eastman Chemical Company
- Milliken & Company
- Clariant AG
- Meghmani Organics Ltd
- Zhejiang Transfar Chemical Co., LTD
- Rudolf GmbH
- Blankophor GmbH & Co. KG
- Paramount Minerals and Chemicals Limited
- Dayglo Color Corp
- Kolorjet Chemicals Pvt Ltd
- Aron Universal Ltd
- Brilliant Group
Optical Brighteners Market Trends
Diverse Applications of Optical Brighteners Stimulating Demand: On the end-use front, cosmetics has emerged as a significant new market for optical brighteners, apart from their conventional end-use areas of laundry and textiles. Optical brighteners are being used as color-correcting or brightening additives in personal care and cosmetic products such as shampoos, conditioners, and eye make-up products.
They are being increasingly added to widely-used hair care products for washing and conditioning gray or blonde hair, to increase the luminance and sparkle of hair and correct dull, yellow discoloration without darkening the hair. Recently, manufacturers have begun using optical brighteners in the form of microspheres for the production of advanced face and eye powders that brighten dark areas of the skin. Antibacterial and anti-fungal properties are some of the other advantages that make optical brighteners an increasingly preferred choice in this application area.
The coatings sector has also come across as one of the key industrial sectors that is witnessing growing usage of optical brighteners. A key application area of optical brighteners in this field is for coatings that produce luminous and lustrous white finish on material surfaces. However, laundry, detergent, and textiles applications continue to be the cornerstone of demand for the optical brighteners market. Their ideal photochemical and cleaning properties make them an essential additive in laundry care and detergent products.
Development of Ecofriendly Product Variants Gaining Prominence: The most commonly used optical brighteners are stilbene-based products, which are non-biodegradable and purely chemical-based. These products can cause skin or respiratory allergies for some users, and hence, there has been more focus towards developing safer and more environmentally-friendly alternatives.
In-line with the trend of growing prominence of bio-based or ecofriendly products as compared to synthetic products based on chemical ingredients, key companies in the optical brighteners market are focusing on development of ecofriendly alternatives to existing formulations. New advancements are being sought in product development, which would drive down costs as well as provide much more benefits to end users. This reduction in price may result in a resurgence of usage of optical brighteners in paper manufacturing, and give the laundry and detergents industry a great new avenue for revenue generation in the optical brighteners market space.
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Regional Outlook of Optical Brighteners Market
Asia Pacific and Europe together account for more than two-third of the optical brighteners market share as far as demand is concerned. In the Asia Pacific region, developing economies and improving living standards are driving demand for laundry & detergent products and textiles, as well as finished apparel and personal care products. Changing social attitudes are driving development and demand for cosmetics and personal care products focused on male consumers, which is a significant trend in these regions.
In Europe and North America, the optical brighteners market is in a comparatively mature stage as compared to developing regions of the world. The optical brighteners market is still in a comparatively early phase across the Middle East & Africa region, and is projected to witness moderate to significant proliferation in the decade ahead.
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Optical Brighteners Market: Competitive Analysis
The optical brighteners market is moderately fragmented in nature, with the top ten global manufacturers accounting for only around one-third of global revenue generation. Developing sustainable customer relationships, working on product innovation for new applications, and expanding production capacity to fulfil market requirements are key trends observed from manufacturers who are active in the optical brighteners market.
Key participants in the global optical brighteners market include BASF SE, Clariant AG, Huntsman Corporation, Eastman Chemical Company, Archroma Brand & Performance Textile Specialties Milliken Chemicals, and Rudolf GmbH, among others.
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COVID-19 Impact on Optical Brighteners Market
The outbreak of COVID-19 has affected most countries and sectors across the world. Sluggish manufacturing activities have led to decreased demand for optical brighteners. However, with the opening up of economies and relaxation of restrictions, the market will gradually get back to its original growth pattern.
The global optical brighteners market is projected to witness stable growth over the long-term forecast period, led by extensive demand from established sectors. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected demand patterns in the short term, with significant disruptions on both, the supply side as well as demand side. However, the long-term forecast for the optical brighteners market continues to be positive, with continuing demand from traditional applications and incremental growth from new ones.
Key Segments of Optical Brighteners Market
PMR’s study on the optical brighteners market is divided into three significant segments - product, application, and region. This report offers comprehensive data and information about the important market dynamics and growth parameters related to these categories.