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Solvents Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Product Type (Alcohols, Ketones, Esters, and Others), Application (Paints & Coatings, Printing Inks, Industrial Cleaning, Adhesives, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2021-2028

Last Updated: April 08, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI102135



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The global solvents market size was USD 43,845.7 million in 2020. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with solvents witnessing a negative demand shock across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a decline of 2.96% in 2020 as compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2017-2019. The market is projected to grow from USD 45,058.8 million in 2021 to USD 67,837.8 million in 2028 at a CAGR of 6.0% during the 2021-2028 period. The sudden rise in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.

A solvent is a substance that dissolves a solute and converts it into a solution. Generally, these are available in liquid form, but can also be solid or gaseous. They are categorized into methanol, ethanol, butanol, propylene glycols, glycol ethers, butyl glycol ethers, acetone, esters, toluene, and hydrocarbons.  These products have the ability to dissolve, absorb, and dilute other substances in a very fine distribution without changing them chemically. The rising innovation and advancement in chemicals coupled with the increasing demand for bio-based products owing to the increasing stringency of environmental regulations will drive the product demand. Furthermore, the rapid growth in the paints & coatings industry will also play a major role in boosting the global market growth during the forecast timeline.

Disruptions in Paints & Coatings Industry amid COVID-19 to Result in Market Decline

The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected the paints & coatings industry and brought all the activity to a grinding halt. This is due to government regulations to control the pandemic, which has restricted the movement of man and material alike. Furthermore, the manufacturing of paints & coatings-based products, such as lacquers, varnishes, and water-repellent coating, remained closed owing to the massive shortage of skilled & unskilled laborers, closure of manufacturing plants and machinery, and the lack of availability of raw materials. These factors have directly impacted the demand for the product in the paints & coatings industry.

Moreover, countries such as the US, China, India, and Germany have faced the closure of assembly plants and disruptions in the whole supply chain of the domestic paint & coatings industry. On the positive side, governments in these countries are coming up with supportive regulations and are trying to bring the working of their industries back on track. Hence, the market is expected to be regularized in the upcoming years.


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Rising Demand for Bio-based Products over Chemical-based Products to Fuel Market Growth

The increasing demand for bio-solvents over chemical-based ones contributes to propelling the market’s growth. Alcohols and glycol ethers are being widely adopted owing to their organic nature. They are mainly manufactured from cellulose, sugars, oils & fats, and agricultural products. In addition, they offer non-toxic, carbon-neutral, and eco-friendly properties. Moreover, factors such as increasing VOC emissions, rising pollution, and stringent government regulations are providing growth opportunities for bio-based products. These factors have forced various manufacturers to produce bio-based products over chemical-based ones. For instance, in 2018, Circa Group launched Cyrene, a bio-based dipolar aprotic solvent and an alternative for conventional solvents such as N-Methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) and petroleum-derived Dimethylformamide (DMF). Hence, the rising preference for bioproducts will flourish the market growth in the next couple of years.


Increasing Demand from Paints & Coatings Industry to Boost the Solvents Market Growth

The growing demand from the paints & coatings industry is expected to boost the market growth. Properties such as temperature resistance, durability, and cost-effectiveness make this product a preferred choice in the paints & coatings industry. In paints, the product is highly used to avoid clumps or globs and provide the desired consistency in different applications. Moreover, the rising demand for paints due to the rapid growth in the construction industry and surging infrastructure development in countries such as China, India, and the US will boost the adoption of paints & coatings.


Hazardous Impacts Caused by Chemical Solvents to Hamper Market Growth

Chemical-based solvents can affect human health in different ways. They not only affect the environment but also severely affect the health of humans as well as animals. Also, the workers who work regularly in chemical factories deal with severe health issues due to the prolonged exposure to such substances. For instance, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, the health hazards associated with solvent exposure include reproductive damage, toxicity to the nervous system, respiratory impairment, liver and kidney damage, dermatitis, and cancer. These are some of the factors that may restrain product adoption.


By Product Type Analysis

Alcohols Segment to Hold Largest Share in the Market

On the basis of product type, the market is segmented into alcohols, ketones, esters, and others. The alcohol segment accounted for the largest market share. The growth is due to the increasing demand for ethanol, methanol, n-butanol, and isopropanol for various applications. Ethanol finds its consumption in perfumes, vegetable essences, and medical drugs, whereas methanol is highly utilized in inks and adhesive applications. Hence, the increasing adoption of these products will boost the segment’s growth.

Ketones are extensively utilized as a solvent owing to their low molecular weight. They find their application in adhesives, surface coatings, chemical intermediates, and printing inks. Moreover, increasing demand for esters to remove organic solutes from aqueous solutions will provide significant growth to the esters segment, from 2021 to 2028.

By Application Analysis

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Paints & Coatings is the Dominating Segment in the Global Market

Based on application, this market is segmented into paints & coatings, printing inks, industrial cleaning, adhesives, and others. Amongst these, the paints & coatings segment accounted for the dominant market share and is expected to grow at the highest CAGR owing to its high usage in the construction industry. The rapid growth in the construction industry coupled with advancements in paints to make them more sustainable is contributing to the growth of this application segment.

Printing inks is the second-leading segment in the market. Solvents such as methanol, ethyl acetate, and aromatic hydrocarbons are used in printing applications.

The rising product demand to remove dirt, flux, greases, containments, and baked-on oils in various industries will fuel the industrial cleaning segment.

The growth of the adhesive segment is attributed to the increasing product demand from composites, metals, glass, and plastic applications.  


Asia Pacific Solvents Market Size, 2020 (USD Million)

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The market size in the Asia Pacific stood at USD 17,676.7 million in 2020. In this region, China holds the highest market share owing to the large paints & coatings production in the country. The growth is due to the increasing demand in the paints & coatings industry. Further, rising infrastructure development coupled with innovation in bio-based products will fuel market growth in the Asia Pacific region.

North America is the second-leading region in the market. The rapid growth in the automotive industry and the increasing demand for industrial cleaners to remove oil and grease from vehicles will drive market growth in this region.

The rising use of alcohol in the cosmetic and food & beverage industries is anticipated to boost product demand in Europe. Moreover, the increasing use of bio-based products as an alternative to chemical-based products will propel market growth in the region.

The high adoption of ketones in industrial cleaning and paints & coatings adhesive applications will drive product consumption in the Middle East & Africa.

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In Latin America, the market’s growth is associated with the increasing use of oxygenated solvents in adhesive and printing ink applications.


Key Players Adopted Several Strategic Initiatives to Increase their Market Presence

Major market players operating in this industry are Royal Dutch Shell, Eastman Chemical Company, and BASF SE, who are involved in capacity improvements, product innovations, acquisitions, mergers, and collaborations in the global market. For example, in 2019, BASF SE expanded the capacity of its integrated ethylene oxide and derivatives complex at its Verbund site in Antwerp. The company specializes in the manufacturing and distribution of chemicals. Its operation facilities are located in 80 countries across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East & Africa.


  • Royal Dutch Shell Plc (The Netherlands)

  • Eastman Chemical Company (U.S.)

  • LyondellBasell Industries Holdings B.V. (The Netherlands)

  • Ashland Global Holdings Inc. (The U.S.)

  • BASF SE (Germany)

  • ExxonMobil Corporation The (U.S.)

  • Celanese Corporation (The U.S.)

  • Honeywell International Inc. (The US)

  • INEOS Group AG (UK)

  • Gandhar Oil (India)

  • Other Key Players


  • March 2021 – Braskem and Dutch-based NXTLEVVEL Biochem collaborated to study the renewable solvents market. This partnership encompasses solutions for segments such as paint and coatings, agrochemicals, personal care, homecare and industrial and institutional cleaning. The goal of the joint effort is to launch more sustainable solvents in Latin America made from renewable raw materials.


An Infographic Representation of Industrial Solvents Market

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The global solvents market research report offers a detailed study of the market and emphasizes crucial factors such as sources, applications, products, and leading companies. Also, the report gives quantitative data in terms of volume and value, research methodology of qualitative data, and insights into solvents market trends, and highlights vital industry developments. In addition, the report covers various factors that contributed to the progress of the market over past years.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



  Value (USD Million); Volume (Kiloton)


  Product Type; Application; and Geography

By Product Type

  • Alcohols

  • Ketones

  • Esters

  • Others

By Application

  • Paints & Coatings

  • Printing Inks

  • Industrial Cleaning

  • Adhesives

  • Others

By Geography

  • North America (By Application)

    • The U.S. (By Application)

    • Canada (By Application)

    • Mexico (By Application)

  • Europe (By Application)

    • Germany (By Application)

    • France (By Application)

    • The UK (By Application)

    • Italy (By Application)

    • Spain (By Application)

    • Rest of Europe (By Application)

  • Asia Pacific (By Application)

    • China (By Application)

    • India (By Application)

    • Japan (By Application)

    • Southeast Asia (By Application)

    • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Application)

  • South America (By Application)

    • Brazil (By Application)

    • Argentina (By Application)

    • Rest of Latin America (By Application)

  • The Middle East & Africa (By Application)

    • South Arabia (By Application)

    • UAE (By Application)

    • Rest of the Middle East & Africa (By Application)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 43,845.7 million in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 67,837.8 million by 2028.

In 2020, the market value stood at USD 43,845.7 million.

Growing at a significant CAGR of 6.0%, the market will exhibit considerable growth in the forecast period (2021-2028).

The alcohols segment is expected to be the dominant segment in this market during the forecast period.

The increasing product demand from the paints & coatings industry is expected to be the key factor driving the market.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Eastman Chemical Company are the leading players in this market.

China held the largest share in the global market in 2020.

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