NEW YORK, Nov. 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Stringent automobile emission control norms worldwide and concerns regarding fuel efficiency have compelled manufacturers to take measures for reducing vehicle weight considerably, thereby propelling demand for lightweight vehicles. One method of reducing vehicle weight is incorporating polycarbonates as replacement for part of the steel structures used in auto manufacturing. However, polycarbonates suffer from some drawbacks, such as low scratch resistance, which brings titanium dioxide into play. This material is used for coating polycarbonate structures that are further utilized in the auto manufacturing process. Using polycarbonates enables in reducing the weight of a vehicle and consequently enhancing fuel efficiency. Other applications of titanium dioxide in plastics include improving color, strength and opacity. An expansion being witnessed in the construction industry constitutes a major factor that is bolstering demand for titanium dioxide. The use of this material in paints and coatings, its largest application area, is being supported by a simultaneous surge in construction activity, which has been more evident in the developing economies of Asia-Pacific and South America. China leads the global demand for titanium dioxide in the construction sector, with other regions, such as India, Southeast Asia, Brazil and Mexico not far behind.On a negative note, strict environmental regulations constitute a detrimental factor that restrains demand for titanium dioxide. The process of producing this material causes a number of harmful solid and acid wastes to be produced and several regulations are now in place, more so in developed regions, for controlling the emission and disposal of these wastes. Among the two processes used for manufacturing titanium dioxide, the sulfate process, predominantly used in China, leads to large amounts of solid waste being produced. This has led Chinese manufacturers to change tack and implement a slew of alternatives aimed at lowering the pollution caused by production of titanium dioxide.