Super absorbent polymer (SAP) is a new functional polymer material, which can absorb water of hundreds and thousands times of its own weight, and has very good water retaining capacity. Therefore, SAP has widely been used in agriculture, forestry, physiological health, food, civil engineering, daily chemical industry, health care, etc.
SAP can be dived into different types according to the raw material source, structure, and performance. Based on its raw materials, it can be divided into starch type, cellulose type, and synthetic resin type which includes the polyacrylics (salts), and polyvinyl alcohol.
Global production of SAP is quite stable and relatively concentrated. The three SAP production giants with the production capacity above 600,000MT/year are NSKK, BASF, and Evonik. Some other enterprises with the capacity above 200,000MT/year are Sumitomo, SDP,LG, Danson, Formosa Plastics, etc.
China is the most potential market for SAP. With the increasing demand for downstream diapers and sanitary products, SAP has become an indispensable raw material for people's daily life. In 2018, sanitary products accounted for more than 90% of the total SAP demand.
With the steady increase in demand, China’s SAP has been developing rapidly in the recent years,, and in 2018, the production capacity was increased to 1.3 million tons and in 2018, the SAP output reached to 802,000 tons.
Major SAP producers in China in 2018 includes Danson Technology, SDP (Nantong) and Banglida Technology which account for 19.92%, 17.62% and 10.73% respectively in the total production capacity.
Major SAP Producers in China
Though the SAP industry is developing rapidly in China, there is still a gap between domestic products and foreign products in terms of technology. In the field of infant diapers with high quality requirements for SAP products, foreign enterprises and imported products still have a high market share, and domestic enterprises still have a lot to do to substitute the imported products in the future.