The growing use of sulfuric acid as an additive in several applications is one of the core factors behind the progress of the global sulfuric acid industry. Sulfuric acid one of the most broadly used inorganic chemicals and it is utilized in the manufacturing of a wide range of products that find application across several vertical industries. It is a highly corrosive, oily, and dibasic strong acid which is colourless in the pure form.
Meanwhile, China is expected to be a dominant region in terms of demand, and the country’s rapidly growing infrastructure sector coupled with growth of the agriculture sector has been a key regional driving force. The Indian agriculture sector also happens to be an important driving force in the Asia Pacific region for the sulfuric acid market.
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In order to meet growing demand from several end-use industries, leading companies are focusing on maintaining a strong foothold in the market. The market is identified as fairly fragmented with the organized sector having a fair share in the global sulfuric acid market followed by Tier 2 and small scale manufacturers. The chief aim of the manufacturers has been expansion of market footprint via expansion of product portfolio and strengthening of sales and distribution network. Recently in November 2017, BASF SElaunched a new, cesium-based sulfuric acid catalyst with unique geometrical shape, with 30% greater catalytic surface area compared to conventional catalysts. This translates into higher conversion in catalyst beds, reduction in SO2 emissions and improved performance in plants with limited catalyst volumes. Product development can be leveraged to augment the in-house sulfuric acid production efficiency and help leading companies stay on the forefront.
According to a new report published by Future Market Insights (FMI), the global sulfuric acid market is projected to witness a 2.5% CAGR from 2018 to 2028. In 2017, the market was worth US$ 8,368.4 Mn and is projected to touch US$ 11,670.6 Mn by the end of 2028.
Growing Use in Mining Operation to Augur Well for Market
Sulfuric acid finds applications in the production of various metals, such as copper, zinc and nickel. Of these, the production of copper dominates the sulfuric acid market in terms of consumption in mining application. Production of copper, zinc, and nickel metals is significantly high in the U.S. as compared to the rest of world. For instance, production of copper in 2012 was around 1,170 (‘000) MT, which increased to 1,380 (‘000) MT in 2015, whereas Zinc production rose from 738 (‘000) MT to 825 (‘000) MT during the same period. This increase in the production of metals in the North America region, especially in the U.S., has substantially affected the consumption of sulfuric acid for the leaching of metals from their oxide ores.
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High Demand for Organic Fertilizers to Pose Threat to Market
In the last couple of years, there has been growth in awareness pertaining to health and environmental issues. The demand for organic food has grown manifold, especially in the U.S. and EU, over the last decade. Consumers are becoming more aware about the quality and safety of the food they eat. Consumer demand for organically produced food has exhibited double-digit growth over the past few years. As a result, there has been a substantial increase in organic farmlands under cultivation in Europe and even greater in other regions. Thus, to meet the growing demand for organic products, large amounts of organic fertilizers are required, which, in turn, is expected to hamper the growth of inorganic fertilizers. Growing demand for organic fertilizers is expected to indirectly hamper the growth of sulfuric acid market globally.