Isopropyl isocyanate is an organic compound that belongs to the isocyanate group. Isocyanates is an important class of intermediates that belong to a family of compounds commonly known as heterocumulenes. The chemistry of these compounds is characterized by nucleophilic addition and cycloaddition reaction modes. Other common names of isopropyl isocyanate are propane, 2-isocyanato, 2-isocyanatopropane, and methyl ethyl isocyanate. Isopropyl isocyanate is a colorless liquid and it possesses strong pungent odor.
The molecular formula of isopropyl isocyanate is (CH3)2CHNCO and its molecular weight is 85.11. A major route for the industrial production of isopropyl isocyanate is through the reaction of N-propan-2-ylcarbamoyl chloride with 2, 4, 6-trichlorophenol, which offers the product yield of around 88%. Isopropyl isocyanate is incompatible with several groups of chemical compounds and it reacts exothermally, releasing noxious gases.
Isopropyl isocyanate is principally used as an intermediate for the manufacture of several industrial chemicals in industries such as fertilizers, pharmaceutical, and chemical. It is used as a reagent in the synthesis of O-aryl N-isopropyl carbamates. The compound is also used as a reagent in the manufacture of the androgen receptor antagonist used for treating prostate cancer.
It is also used as a derivatization reagent in the stereo-isomeric analysis of secondary alcohols. Isopropyl isocyanate is employed to synthesize the selective dual inhibitor of mammalian target of rapamycin 1 and 2 (mTORC1 and mTORC2). Isopropyl isocyanate is toxic. It can cause skin irritation and is fatal if inhaled. Reactions of this compound with alkali metals, aldehydes, mercaptans, phenols, alcohols, amines, ketones, peroxides, strong oxidizers, or hydrides result in the release of extreme heat.
These reactions can occur with explosive violence. Increasingly stringent regulations regarding the use of toxic chemicals across the world are anticipated to restrain the growth of the isopropyl isocyanate market during the forecast period.
Demand for isopropyl isocyanate is strongly dependent on macroeconomic factors such as a region’s GDP and purchase power parity (PPP). Asia Pacific is the leading producer and consumer of isopropyl isocyanate. China and Japan are the primary producers of the compound in the region. Asia Pacific is anticipated to maintain its dominant position in the global isopropyl isocyanate market in the near future, due to rising demand from key end-use industries such as fertilizers, chemical, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology in the region.
The recent surplus production of crude oil in North America caused by the emergence of a new technology to obtain shale oil has resulted in the decline in crude oil prices in the region. This factor is likely to drive the isopropyl isocyanate market in North America. U.S. and Canada are expected to significantly increase their production of isopropyl isocyanate market during the next decade.
Demand for isopropyl isocyanate in Europe is expected to increase at a sluggish rate during the forecast period, primarily owing to the increasing number of stringent environmental regulations. Germany, Belgium, and France are the leading consumers of isopropyl isocyanate in Europe. Growth of the isopropyl isocyanate market in Europe is expected to be primarily promoted by the countries in Eastern Europe.
Countries in GCC are increasingly investing in the manufacture of downstream petroleum products in order to leverage on the high rise in crude oil production. The market scenario in Latin America appears to be challenging due to slowdown in the economy of Brazil and political instability in several parts of the region.
Some of the key players operating in the global isopropyl isocyanate market are Beijing Hwrk Chemicals, TCI Japan, 3B Scientific Corporation, NovoChemy, Alfa Chemistry, J&K Scientific, Meryer Chemical Technology, Shijiazhuang Sdyano Fine Chemical, and HBCChem, and Waterstone Technology.