The global anhydrous ferric chloride market size is likely to observe potential gains in the near future, and witness significant CAGR over the forecast period (2019 - 2027).
Ferric chloride, also called iron chloride and iron(III) chloride (or iron trichloride), is an inorganic salt used as a coagulant in the chemical industry; specifically for waste water treatment. The iron trichloride solution is colourless (or takes a faint tinge of brown) with an odor that carries a hint of hydrochloric acid. The iron(III) chloride solution is highly corrosive to most metals, as well as tissue. Furthermore, owing to its non-combustible nature and ability to react to corrosive metals or acid solution contained in water, ferric chloride has major application in the process of sewage treatment and water purification. Additionally, ferric chloride is able to etch copper by promoting oxidation from copper (I) to (II), which makes it an ideal ingredient in the process of printing circuit boards in the electronic industry.
Ferric chloride also has industrial uses including manufacturing of pigments, surface treating agents and plating agents, solids separation agents, and process regulators. In laboratories, minimal amount of neutralized iron(III) chloride solution is used for the colorimetric testing for phenols. Upon adding the neutralized solution to the water, the water takes a momentary or permanent tinge of blue, green, or purple if it detects presence of a phenol in the water.
In addition to its wide range of industrial applications, the production cost of ferric chloride is considerably low. As a result, a large number of producers of chlor-alkali are investing in the production of ferric chloride. Moreover, growing awareness regarding wastewater treatment, combined with the demand for clean drinking water in emerging economies is expected to drive the growth of the global anhydrous ferric chloride market. In comparison with alternative water treatment chemicals such as alum, ferrous sulphate, and polyaluminium chloride, ferric chloride is cost efficient and performs effectively, which in turn could propel its demand in the market.
However, owing to its corrosive and acidic properties, ferric chloride can be hazardous in terms of health and safety. Upon heating ferric chloride, it emits toxic fumes, and ingestion of these gases can result in morbidity, and in some cases it can also cause death. These factors are expected to restrain growth of the global anhydrous ferric chloride market during the forecast period.
Asia Pacific is expected to contribute the highest market share owing to increasing industrialization, urbanization, and an increasing demand for wastewater treatment in the region. Rising population, growing presence of key players, and water recycling in end use industries such as pharmaceuticals and food and beverage in emerging economies such as India and China. Other regions such as Africa and Latin America have also shown significant industrial and economic growth over the past few years which can be a contributing factor for the growing demand for ferric chloride in these regions.
Some of the key players engaged in the global anhydrous ferric chloride market are Thermo Fisher Scientific, National Biochemicals Corporation, PVS Technologies, Inc., Anachemia Chemicals, BASF SE, PVS Technologies, Inc., and Alfa Aesar.