Japan-based TFC has partnered with Sinopac Asset Management to establish the operation, which will invest $21m (€14.9m) to construct production facilities with an output of 10,000 tons a year.
In addition Sinopac’s production facility for dimethyl sulfide (DMS), an intermediate ingredient of DMSO, will be used by the joint venture.
TFC claims it is already the world’s biggest producer of DMSO, and the only in Japan, with a combined output of 17,000 tons a year from its sites in Chiba and Tokai, both of which are in its home nation.
By boosting production levels the companies believe they can take a larger share of the market for DMSO, which was estimated to be 60,000 tons in 2008 and is rising because of increased demand from China.
The joint venture will give TFC a base in China, with operations situated in Cangzhou, and help it meet the nation’s rising demand that is driven by growth in the pharma and agrochemical sectors, as well as increased need for cleaning agents.
TFC’s competitors in the DMSO market include Arkema and Gaylord Chemical.
DMSO has an array of applications in the pharma industry and is widely used as a reaction agent in the synthesis of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API).
Proponents of DMSO claim it results in faster reactions than other solvents and is easily recyclable. It can be used in numerous reactions including esterification, alkylation and substitution.
In addition DMSO has a history of being used in drug delivery, high-throughput screening (HTS) and as a topical analgesic. The solvents ability to penetrate nails has led to it being combined with an antifungal to treat ailments.