- Antioxidant is a
substance added in small quantities to hydrocarbons which are
susceptible to oxidation, such as rubbers, plastics, foods, and oils
to inhibit or slow oxidative processes, while being itself oxidized.
- There are two basic
types of antioxidants: primary and secondary . Primary antioxidants
are defined as additives that intercept and stabilize free radicals
by donating an active hydrogen atom, gaining their name “radical
scavengers”. Secondary antioxidants prevent the further formation of
free radicals by decomposing unstable hydroperoxides prior to their
- Secondary antioxidants
perform better with the incorporation of a primary antioxidant.
However, not every type of primary antioxidant can be incorporated
with any type of secondary antioxidant.
- Antioxidants are
employed to retard the degradation of polymers due to air oxidation.
Free radicals are initiated by reactions within the polymer
brought-on by heat, ultraviolet radiation, mechanical shear or
- DLTDP, DTTDP and DSTDP
are all produced by reacting the same intermediate,
thiodipropionitrile (TDPN), with different fatty alcohols. DLTDP
uses lauryl alcohol, DTTDP uses iso-tridecyl alcohol and DSTDP uses
- All three chemicals
are used as secondary antioxidants in a variety of polymer systems
including polyolefins, ABS, styrene-butadiene emulsions and certain
adhesives. These antioxidants are added to help preserve the
integrity of the plastics to which they are added.
- Thioesters are usually
used in end products with requirements that include long-term
exposure to high temperatures, such as under-the-hood automotive
applications and home appliances.
- Primary antioxidants
and thioesters are added to the polymer to provide end use product
stability while secondary antioxidants are added to provide color
and processing stability during pelletization and extrusion/molding.
- China's demand for
Antioxidants has grown at a fast pace in the past decade. In the
next five years, both production and demand will continue to grow.
- Demand and production
of antioxidants are continually shifting from the USA, Western
Europe and Japan to the emerging markets of Asia; particularly China
and India. This is mainly because wages there are lower and
environmental regulations are not as strict.
- The rubber-processing
industry, the plastics industry, the fuel and lubricant industry,
and the food and feed industry are major consumers of antioxidants.
- Antioxidant producers
have been facing a significant shift of their customer base to the
Asia Pacific region, particularly to China. At the same time, market
competition from China and India is growing rapidly.
- In 2008, rubber (and
latex) applications accounted for 54% of total antioxidant
consumption in the major regions, followed by plastics (34%), food
and feed (8%) and petroleum fuels (4%) on a volume basis.
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