In terms of revenue, the global lignosulfonate market was valued at US$ 709.86 Mn in 2025. It is anticipated to expand at a stable CAGR of 3.6% during forecast period, according to a new report published by Transparency Market Research (TMR) titled “Lignosulfonate Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast, 2017–2025”. Expansion of the global lignosulfonate market is driven by the strong demand from the concrete admixtures market, globally. Europe is a prominent market for lignosulfonate, and the region accounts for almost two-fifth share of the global lignosulfonate market.
Strong Demand from Concrete Admixtures Market
Large amount of cement is used in the construction industry. This, in turn, fuels the demand for lignosulfonates. Development of infrastructure and increase in population in developing economies are anticipated to boost the demand for lignosulfonates in residential and non-residential buildings. Construction of new projects or renovation of old buildings is also projected to increase during the forecast period, despite the economic slowdown in Europe. Lignosulfonates are ideal for usage in developing countries in Asia Pacific, wherein demand for water-reducing chemicals is considerably high, due to their low cost. Thus, demand for lignosulfonates is likely to increase in the construction industry in Asia Pacific during the forecast period
Rising Demand as an Animal Feed Binder
Lignosulfonates are primarily utilized as animal feed binders (pellet binders) in the animal feed industry. They provide the necessary calcium and sodium, which serve as inorganic electrolytes appropriate for animal health.
Additionally, lignosulfonates balance the beneficial bacteria in animals and promote feed efficiency, thereby increasing the weight of the animal by at least 5% to 10%. Europe is expected to witness a higher consumption of lignosulfonates, as compared to other regions, in the animal feed industry in the near future. However, the rise in demand for animal feed in countries in Asia Pacific is anticipated to significantly boost the animal feed segment of the lignosulfonates market in the next few years. Global production of animal feed stood at 979.5 million tons in 2015 and is estimated to reach 1,055.0 million tons by 2024, expanding at CAGR of 0.8% from 2016 to 2024
Availability of Application-specific Substitutes
Lignosulfonate is employed as an intermediate in the synthesis of numerous products. Its unique chemistry has led to its application in diverse sectors including coatings, textile lubricants, polishes, detergents, pesticides, and personal care products. Lignosulfonate is observed to have low toxicity. It does not cause any major side-effect in humans; however, prolonged exposure has been observed to cause serious irritation to the eyes and skin.
In industrial settings, lignosulfonate is manufactured and handled primarily in closed processes, which limit its exposure. Lignosulfonate has been listed on the following regulatory agencies; AICS, IECSC, ECHA, EPA, and NFPA. Currently, not many side-effects or toxic effects of lignosulfonate have been listed; however, it is likely to be restricted or banned in the future, if any negative health issues are detected. Consequently, the restraint for lignosulfonate is medium to low.
Sodium Lignosulfonate to Dominate the Product Segment of Global Lignosulfonate Market
The lignosulfonate market has been segmented based on product, application, and region. Based on product, the lignosulfonate market can be classified into sodium ligosulfonate, calcium lignosulfonate, magnesium lignosulfonate, and others. Sodium lignosulfonate is the most commercialized lignosulfonate. It is primarily utilized as an economical plasticizer in concrete admixtures and pellet binder in animal feed. The sodium lignosulfonate segment is expected to expand rapidly, primarily in developing countries in Asia Pacific, due to the high demand for sodium lignosulfonate in the construction industry. Sodium lignosulfonate was a dominant product segment in Europe in 2016. Diverse applications of sodium lignosulfonate are anticipated to boost the segment during the forecast period.
Animal Feed Binder Segment is anticipated to Dominate Lignosulfonate Market
In terms of application, the global lignosulfonates market can be classified into oil well additives, concrete additives, animal feed binder, dust control, and others, which includes plasterboard, leather tanning, and additive to lead batteries. The animal feed binder segment accounted for more than 35% share of the global lignosulfonate market owing to the rise in demand for animal feed across the globe. Market share held by the animal feed binder segment is likely to increase in the near future. The animal feed binder segment is anticipated to create an incremental opportunity in terms of revenue during the forecast period.
Lignosulfonates are employed as effective animal feed binders, as they balance the beneficial bacteria in animals, provide essential nutrients to improve their gastrointestinal health, and improve feed efficacy, which helps increase animal body weight. High demand for lignosulfonates witnessed in the animal feed binders segment in Europe and North America is expected to boost the lignosulfonates market in these regions
Developed Regions such as Europe Dominate the Global Lignosulfonate Market
In terms of region, Europe witnessed high demand for lignosulfonate products in 2016. The region accounted for almost half of the global lignosulfonate market. Asia Pacific contains more than half the global population and emerging economies, which is a major reason for the high demand for MDEA in the region. International players are also focusing on investment in Asia Pacific. The region consists of India and China, which are major producers and consumers of MDEA along with the U.S., across the globe. China and India are major importers of MDEA across the globe. Expansion of industries such as paints & coatings, textiles, and oil & gas in Asia Pacific is a major reason for the high demand of MDEA.
North America and Europe followed Asia Pacific, in terms of volume, in 2016. North America and Europe are mature markets for Lignosulfonate. They provide limited opportunities in terms of untapped potential. Demand for lignosulfonate in Canada and Germany is expected to rise at a rapid pace, as these developed countries offer lucrative opportunities for the lignosulfonate market. The lignosulfonate market in Latin America is likely to expand at a significant growth rate during the forecast period.
Brazil accounted for a key share of the market in Latin America in 2016. The southern states of Brazil are primarily engaged in construction due to the growth in population. Expansion of the paint industry is estimated to boost the demand for lignosulfonate in the sub-region. The market in Middle East & Africa is expanding at a rapid pace, with GCC leading the demand for lignosulfonate. Demand for lignosulfonate is estimated to increase in Middle East & Africa, owing to the rise in number of development projects witnessed in construction, manufacturing, and oil & gas industries.
High Degree of Competition Exist among Established Players in the Global Lignosulfonate Market
Key players profiled in the global lignosulfonate market include Borregaard LignoTech, Tembec Inc., Sappi Limited, Nippon Paper Industries Co. Ltd., and Burgo Group. Collaborative agreements between manufacturers and production capacity expansions are the key market strategies opted by the manufacturers of lignosulfonate.
Borregaard LignoTech, a key player in the lignosulfonate market, headquartered in Norway, has made substantial progress in the lignosulfonate business sector by spreading its distribution channel across the globe. In 2015, Borregard LignoTech and Rayonier Advanced Materials (RYAM) entered into an agreement to manufacture lignin products suitable for concrete admixture application to target markets in North America and Latin America.