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  • 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 homolytic cleavage.
  • 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 metallic impurities.
  • 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 stearyl alcohol.
  • 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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