Mixed xylenes are colorless aromatic hydrocarbons produced by catalytic reforming of petroleum naphthenic fractions or distillation of coal. Mixed xylenes is a mixture of xylene isomers m-xylene, o-xylene, and p-xylene. Mixed xylenes contain 40% to 65% m-xylene and 20% each of o- and p-xylene and ethylbenzene. Mixed xylenes are miscible with alcohol, ether and many other organic solvents, but are insoluble in water.
They are used as chemical intermediates in the manufacture of high octane gasoline and thinners, agrochemicals such as pesticides, and protective coatings. Mixed xylenes are used as solvents in the manufacture of lacquer, alkyd resin, cement, enamels, etc. They are also employed as raw materials in the manufacture of metaxylene (isophthalic acid), orthoxylene (phthalic anhydride), styrene monomer, and p-xylene. P-xylene is used in the manufacture of purified terephthalic acid (TPA) and its derivative, dimethyl terephthalate (DMT), which, in turn, is employed in the manufacture of polyester textiles and PET plastic bottles.
Rise in demand for PET plastic bottles across the globe is expected to drive the mixed xylenes market during the forecast period. Increase in demand for polyester in various other applications such as textile, packaging, and construction materials is also anticipated to boost the global mixed xylenes market. Lower availability and high prices of mixed xylenes are estimated to restrain the market during the forecast period. Rise in number of regulations on limiting aromatic content in gasoline is also projected to hamper the mixed xylenes market in several ways. For instance, lower value returns on aromatic may compel manufacturers to shut down their production facilities. This, in turn, is likely to lead to supply-demand gap. However, increase in research activities to raise the octane content of gasoline by using mixed xylenes is expected to provide lucrative opportunities to manufacturers in the near future.
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