Microcrystalline waxes are a type of wax produced by de-oiling petrolatum, as part of the petroleum refining process. In contrast to the more familiar paraffin wax which contains mostly unbranched alkanes, microcrystalline wax contains a higher percentage of isoparaffinic (branched) hydrocarbons and naphthenic hydrocarbons. It is characterized by the fineness of its crystals in contrast to the larger crystal of paraffin wax. It consists of high molecular weight saturated aliphatic hydrocarbons. It is generally darker, more viscous, denser, tackier and more elastic than paraffin waxes, and has a higher molecular weight and melting point. The elastic and adhesive characteristics of microcrystalline waxes are related to the non-straight chain components which they contain. Typical microcrystalline wax crystal structure is small and thin, making them more flexible than paraffin wax. It is commonly used in cosmetic formulations.
Increasing demand for the decorative, scented, designer candles, packaging and cosmetics use, growing percent of tires and rubber related products contributes to the growth of microcrystalline wax. Moreover, the increasing inclination towards the natural waxes, highly preferable wax properties such as elasticity, melting point, and flexibility favor the growth of microcrystalline wax. The cosmetic industry is a rapidly growing market facilitating the growth of the microcrystalline wax market as people are more conscious and concern about their looks and appearances. The macroeconomic factors such as growing trend for the scented and designer candles, per capita income and increasing spending power ratio facilitate the market to gain traction in the forecast period.
The estimated value of the microcrystalline wax market in 2018 is US$ 810.4 Mn, which is expected to expand at a CAGR of 3.9% and reach US$ 1,102.3 Mn by the end of 2026. In addition, the microcrystalline wax market is projected to create an incremental $ opportunity worth US$ 291.9 Mn during the forecast period.