Acetylation, also known as ethanoylation, is a process of adding an acetyl functional group to a chemical compound. Under this process, a hydrogen atom of hydroxyl group is replaced with an acetyl group. Replacement of hydroxyl group with acetyl group leads to the formation of a specific ester. Acetic anhydride is one of the commonly used acetylating agents in the acetylation process.
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Wood acetylation is the process of acetylation of wood and wood products for preservation of wood from various insects, microbes, and other environmental factors. The process chemically modifies wood and wood products, and protects them from various factors affecting wood products. Acetylation of wood reduces hygroscopicity, and increases dimensional stability and resistance to biological attack. Under the wood acetylation process, the wood is reacted with acetic anhydride, resulting in esterification of hydroxyl group present in the cell wall of the wood. The byproduct formed through this reaction is removed, as treated wooden products are used in various applications. The byproduct generated causes irritation to the human nose, as the nose is sensitive to the odor of acetic acid. The wood acetylation process is easy to carry out in case of wood particles and fibers; however, the process is somewhat difficult in case of solid wood.
Based upon application, the wood acetylation market can be divided into furniture & decking, marine, construction, and others. The furniture & decking segment held major share of the global wood acetylation market in 2016. Acetylated wood lasts for longer period of time and offers better performance compared to other chemically treated wood products that get affected easily by microbes and various other factors. The marine segment is projected to expand at a faster CAGR compared to other application segments across the globe. Growth in the marine segment is projected to boost the wood acetylation market. Construction and others segments constituted average share of the global wood acetylation market in 2016. These segments are anticipated to expand at average CAGR during the forecast period.
Asia Pacific is one of the key regions of the global wood acetylation market. It held the major share of the global market in 2016. The market in the region is anticipated to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period due to the rise in standard of living and increase in population in the region, North America and Europe follow Asia Pacific. Demand for wood acetylation in Asia Pacific is projected to rise at a rapid pace during the forecast period. Increase in demand for furniture & decking in countries such as China and India due to the rise in income and improvement in standard of living of the people is one of the reasons for growth of wood acetylation market in Asia Pacific region. Growth of the construction industry and increase in demand for decking materials in North America and Europe are projected to augment the demand for these in the region. Latin America and Middle East & Africa accounted for low share of the wood preservative chemicals market in 2016, as wood and wood products are not used on a large scale for construction purposes in these regions.
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Key players operating in the wood acetylation market across the globe include Eastman Chemical Company, Tricoya Technologies, Arnold Laver, Evorich Holdings, and Solvay Group.