Global Ferrous Sulfate Market – Insights
Ferrous sulfate, also called as iron (II) sulfate, is a salt with the formula FeSO4·xH2O. Ferrous sulfate exists in hydrous and anhydrous form. Hydrous and anhydrous ferrous sulfate mainly exist in the form of heptahydrate. Ferrous sulfate is commonly found as a hydrated salt. The hydrous forms of ferrous sulfate are monohydrate, tetrahydrate, pentahydrate, and heptahydrate. The most commonly used hydrous ferrous sulfate is monohydrate and heptahydrate.
Ferrous sulfate monohydrate is obtained from heptahydrate by heating it above 65 degree Celsius. Ferrous sulfate heptahydrate is obtained by processing ilmenite ore in manufacturing of titanium dioxide, or as a co-product of steel pickling. It is used as a reducing agent in treatment of hazardous waste and as a coagulant in treatment of sewage waste, drinking water, and industrial effluents. It is also used in the cement industry to reduce harmful hexavalent chromium content in cement binding agents. Anhydrous ferrous sulfate is produced by reacting elemental iron with sulfuric acid to produce ferrous sulfate and hydrogen gas. Another method is oxidation of pyrites, which is used for correction of iron deficiencies in plants and soils, and also as a moss killer.
Increasing demand for ferrous sulfate in the water treatment sector is a major factor driving growth of the global ferrous sulfate market owing to increasing production capacity of ferrous sulfate across the globe. Stringent government regulations have made industrial wastewater treatment mandatory before discharging it in the environment. These regulations are expected to increase demand for ferrous sulfate in industrial wastewater treatment. According to China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment and General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, 2018, the effluents released from outlet of ship sewage treatment facility should have pH value of 6 to 8.5 and suspended solids content should be less than 35 mg/l.
Ferrous sulfate is the most commonly used supplement in animal feed as it helps in stimulating growth. Ferrous sulfate manufacturers offer food grade ferrous sulfate to be used in animal feed industry. In 2014, European Food Safety Authority approved the use of ferrous sulfate heptahydrate in animal feed for all animal species. The decision is expected to drive growth of the ferrous sulfate market in Europe. According to European Feed Manufacturers Federation, the global compound feed production was 989 million tons in 2015, of which 158 million tons was produced in EU-28. The compound feed production reached 161.3 million tons in 2018.
Ferrous sulfate is also used in the treatment of iron deficiency (anemia) by oral administration. Iron deficiency or anemia is common in humans. For instance, according to the World Health Organization, anemia affected 1.62 billion people globally in 2008. Therefore, increasing prevalence of anemia is also expected to boost the market growth.
However, in wastewater treatment, ferric chloride and alum are used as alternative coagulant for ferrous sulfate. Low cost and easy availability makes ferric chloride and alum easy substitutes for ferrous sulfate. Therefore, the availability of substitutes for ferrous sulfate can hamper growth of the ferrous sulfate market over the forecast period.
The global ferrous sulfate market was valued at US$ 844.5 Mn in 2018, and is expected to reach US$ 1,099.8 Mn by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 3.0% over the forecast period.
Figure 1. Global Ferrous Sulfate Share (%), By Application, 2018
Source: Coherent Market Insights, 2018-19
Among applications, the water treatment segment is held dominant position in 2018, with a market share of 39.9% in the global ferrous sulfate market. The segment is expected to witness significant growth during the forecast period due to high demand for ferrous sulfate in the wastewater treatment industry. According to the International Water Association’s report 2018, around 80% of all wastewater is discharged into the world’s waterways where it creates health, environmental, and climate-related hazards. The discharge of untreated wastewater leads to eutrophication and hazards to human health as well as emission of greenhouse gas in the form of nitrous oxide and methane. For wastewater treatment, ferrous sulfate is used as a coagulant due to its high effectiveness in water clarification. Ferrous sulfate not only acts as coagulant but also maintains the PH value of effluent. Therefore, increasing demand for wastewater treatment is expected to aid in growth of the segment.
Figure 2. Global Ferrous Sulfate Market Share (%), By Region, 2018
Source: Coherent Market Insights, 2018-19
Asia Pacific is expected to account for significant market share in the global ferrous sulfate market in terms of revenue over the forecast period. China accounted for the largest market share in Asia Pacific ferrous sulfate market in 2018. According to a survey of Princeton University in 2017, housing sales totaled 1.94 trillion US$, which is equivalent to 16.4% of China’s GDP. This shows increasing construction activities due to rapid urbanization in the country, which is expected to increase demand for cement. The cement industry uses ferrous sulfate for reduction of harmful hexavalent chromium content in the end product. Therefore, increasing demand for cement is expected to drive growth of the ferrous sulfate market in the region over the forecast period.
Major Players in the Global Ferrous Sulfate Market
Some of the key players operating in the global ferrous sulfate market include, Crown Technology, Inc., Venator Materials PLC, Verdesian Life Sciences, LLC, Rech Chemical Co. Ltd., Coogee Chemicals Pty Ltd., Chemland Group, Hong Yield Chemical Industrial Co., Ltd., Changsha Haolin Chemicals Co., Ltd., and PJSC Sumykhimprom.
Ferrous sulfate is produced as a co-product during ilmenite ore processing to produce titanium dioxide. The processing method is called sulfate process. In this process, ilmenite ore is treated with 60 % excess of concentrated sulfuric acid at a temperature of around 100 degree Celsius. Ferrous sulfate is removed in next stage. Ferrous sulfate is not soluble at low temperature, so the solution is cooled at around 15 degree Celsius. Ferrous sulfate crystal is formed, which is removed through filtration.
Moreover, ferrous sulfate is produced during acid recovery in steel pickling process. Spent pickle liquor (usually contains sulfuric acid) used in steel pickling process is used to produce ferrous sulfate during acid recovery process. During acid recovery process, the spent pickle liquor goes through a pre-filter and suspended particles are removed from the acid solution. The solution’s temperature is lowered. Iron present in solution forms ferrous sulfate crystals. The crystals formed are then removed from solution using a crystal settler.
Among product type, the anhydrous segment accounted for the largest revenue share in the global ferrous sulfate market in 2018. Anhydrous ferrous sulfate has many applications such as soil acidifying agent, turf culture as a moss killing agent and source of iron supplement in animals. Anhydrous ferrous sulfate is produced by reacting elemental iron with sulfuric acid to produce ferrous sulfate and hydrogen gas. Growing demand of anhydrous ferrous sulfate in many application, it is expected to drive the market growth of ferrous sulfate.
Among regions, increasing demand for iron oxide pigments in various end-use industries is expected to drive growth of the ferrous sulfate market in Europe. Ferrous sulfate is an important source of iron and is used to produce yellow, black, and red iron oxide pigments. Iron oxide pigments find application in various end-use industries such as coatings, inks & plastics, construction, pharmaceutical, and cosmetics. Growing cosmetics market in Europe is expected to increase demand for iron oxide pigments, which in turn is expected to drive the market growth for ferrous sulfate. For instance, according to Cosmetics Europe, in 2017, the cosmetics and personal care industry in Europe was valued at US$ 88.7 billion, which increased by 1.3% to reach US$ 89.9 billion in 2018.
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