Cellulose acetate is a man-made substance that is derived from the naturally occurring organic compound - cellulose. Cellulose is the main structural ingredient of plants, and is usually considered to be the most common organic compound on earth. Cellulose acetate fibres are used for textiles and clothing. Cellulose acetate is also used in filtering and other applications like magnetic computer tape, wound dressings, personal hygiene products, absorbent cloths and wipes, as specialty papers, as filter media, including cigarette filters etc. Such materials are often referred to as â€œtowâ€. Cellulose acetate film is also used in photography. Cellulose acetate polymers have some good properties like good toughness, deep gloss, and high transparency with a feel that can be described as â€œnaturalâ€. Commercially, cellulose acetate is made from processed wood pulp. The pulp is processed using acetic anhydride to form acetate flake from which products are made. Coming from wood pulp, means that unlike most man-made fibres, it comes from a renewable resource and is biodegradable. Another technique for producing cellulose acetate involved treating cotton with acetic acid, using sulfuric acid as a catalyst. Cellulose acetate is available in the form of flake, powder, granules of fibre and the flakes, which are non hazardous. Major players profiled in the report include Celanese Corporation, Celanese Acetate, Daicel Chemical Industries, Eastman Chemical Company, Mitsubishi Rayon Company Limited, Primester, Rhodia Acetow GmbH, and SK Chemicals Co. Ltd. Cellulose acetate is a mature product and has experienced a decline in volumes in practically all major world areas except China, Central Europe and Russia during the last several years. New polymers and textiles with enhanced properties have eroded textile fiber applications formerly held by cellulose acetate. It is estimated that the global market will grow at 1 to 2% per year to reach 840,000 to 850,000 tonnes by 2015. The world cellulose acetate fiber market is predominantly controlled by smaller cigarette filter tow manufacturing companies, which are also engaged in the manufacture of textile fibers. There is no production of cellulose acetate in India. Most of the demand is met by imports. Demand for cellulose acetate in all major global markets has matured over the years, while regions such as Russia, Central Europe and China continue to pose large demand for cellulose acetate, largely driven by the growing filter tow market. Healthy growth in the number of smokers in regions such as Eastern and Central Europe, India, China and Latin America is being attributed as a major factor driving growth of tow consumption in these regions. This is directly boosting the cellulose acetate market. Moreover, emergence of newer legislations that demand for lesser emission of nicotine and tar in the smoke are paving way for increased use of filter tows, and the absence of stringent rules and regulations to guide the consumption of cigarettes is further bolstering the demand for cellulose acetate.