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Ruthenium containing catalysts can act as homogenous or heterogeneous catalyst in organic reactions such as olefin metathesis.  Few examples of commercially available ruthenium catalysts includes benzeneruthenium (II) chloride dimer, ruthenium (III) iodide hydrate, ruthenium (IV) oxide, triruthenium dodecacarbonyl, and chlorotris (triphenylphosphine) ruthenium(II) acetate among others. It is used in different organic reactions such as alkylation, arylation, allylation, cyclopropanation, hydroformylation, cyclization, hydrogenation, hydrosilylation, isomerization, hydroxylation, oxidation, olefin metathesis, tandem reactions, transfer hydrogenation, and water splitting. Ruthenium catalysts is utilized in the production of biologically active compounds such as Swainsonine, Castanospermine, and Epothilone C. It is used in the synthesis of chemotherapeutic agents, smart materials, supramolecular assemblies, biopolymer, specialty polymers, and agrochemicals.

Market Dynamics

Rise in applications of ruthenium catalyst in petrochemical, pharmaceutical, and chemical industries is augmenting growth of the global ruthenium catalyst market. According to the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations, global pharmaceutical industry is expected to reach US$ 1,430 billion by 2020. This growth in the pharmaceutical industry is driving growth of the global ruthenium catalyst market, owing to applications of ruthenium catalyst in synthesis of active pharmaceutical ingredients such as macrocyclic peptides. Growing demand for chemicals is further propelling growth of the global ruthenium catalyst market, as it is used in production of chemicals such as low temperature synthesis of ammonia and acetic acid production. According to the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC), a trade association for European chemical industry, global sales of chemicals was values at US$ 4,015.62 billion in 2015, which increased to US$ 4,031.22 billion in 2016. Demand for Grubbs catalyst, which consists of ruthenium catalyst, is increasing due to its advantages such as efficiency, cost effectiveness, user friendly, and broad array of applications such as bond breaking, formation, and rearrangement in chemical reaction. Grubbs catalyst is used in olefin metathesis, which is used for synthesis of pharmaceutically active ingredients, fine chemicals, and organic compounds such as spirocyclic amine, azapane and neohexene. This, in turn is driving growth of the global ruthenium catalyst market. Furthermore, development of new applications of ruthenium catalyst such as its use in catalytic wet oxidation process for waste water treatment is fuelling growth of the global ruthenium catalyst market.                                 

Market Outlook

Asia Pacific ruthenium catalyst market is expected to exhibit high growth in the global market. This is owing to applications of ruthenium catalyst in olefin metathesis in various industries including chemical and pharmaceutical industry. According to the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC), sales of chemicals in China increased form US$ 1,532.25 billion in 2015 to US$ 1,593.3 billion in 2016. Growing chemical industry is driving growth of this market as ruthenium catalyst is used in synthesis of different organic compounds such as polydicyclopentadiene (pDCPD). Furthermore, ruthenium catalysts are used in the petrochemical industry for removing hydrogen sulfide from gaseous streams in the refining process. Growth in the petrochemical industry is contributing to growth of the ruthenium catalyst market in Asia Pacific. According to Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Government of India, production of petrochemicals in India was around 31.16 million metric tons in 2012–2013, which increased to 36.42 million metric tons in 2016–2017.

North America held significant market share in the global ruthenium catalyst market in 2017. Ruthenium catalysts such as Grubbs catalyst is used in pharmaceutical research and development for synthesis of novel lead compounds, scaffolds, and pharmaceutical active ingredients. Also, it is used in various organic reactions involved in R&D such as oxidative dehydrogenation of alcohols, asymmetric epoxidation of alkenes, generation of dioxygen species, and dihydroxylation of olefins. According to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association (PhRMA), pharmaceutical research and development expenditure in the U.S. was around US$ 47.05 billion in 2015. Also, firms in the U.S. conduct more than half of the global pharmaceutical research and development thereby, driving growth of the ruthenium catalyst market in this region.

Ruthenium catalyst market in Europe is expected to exhibit growth, owing to significant demand from the chemical industry ion the region. Ruthenium is used as a catalyst in the production of unsaturated alcohols, which is further utilized as final ingredient or synthetic intermediate. It is also used for the catalysis of 1, 4-hydrogenation reactions of dienes, asymmetric hydrogenation reactions, ring-closing metathesis (RCM), cross-metathesis (CM), ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) and enyne metathesis. According to the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC), chemical industry in Europe Union ranks second with 15.1% market share in 2016. Furthermore, Germany was the largest chemical producing country in Europe, in 2016 along with third-largest sales of US$ 173.39 billion in 2016, in the world. Thus, broad array of applications of ruthenium catalyst in the chemical industry is driving growth of this market in Europe.

Key Players

Key players operating in the global ruthenium catalyst market are BASF S.E., Merck KGaA, Johnson Matthey Catalog Company, Inc., KaiDa Technology Limited, Strem Chemicals, Inc., Vineeth Precious Catalysts Pvt. Ltd., Heraeus Holding GMBH, American Elements Corp., Apeiron Synthesis S.A., and Loba Chemie Pvt. Ltd.

Market Taxonomy

On the basis of end-use industry,global ruthenium catalyst market is segmented into:

  • Chemical
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Petrochemical
  • Others (Waste Water Treatment)

Ruthenium catalyst Market Key Developments:

Key companies operating in ruthenium catalyst market are undertaking various strategies such as production capacity expansion and product development in order to maintain their competitive position in the global market. For instance, in February 2017, Apeiron Synthesis, research partners in COSMOS project, has developed a new class of olefin metathesis catalysts: bis (cyclic alkyl amino carbene) ruthenium indenylidene complexes.

In November 2017, BASF, leading chemical company and supplier of catalyst, opened world-scale chemical catalyst manufacturing plant in Caojing, Shanghai, first production plant for chemical catalyst in Asia.

Furthermore, various organizations are contributing to the development of ruthenium catalyst market with new research initiatives. For instance, in February 2019, the researchers of University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), developed novel ruthenium catalyst that outperforms platinum in alkaline water electrolysis for hydrogen production. This scenario of continuous research & development is projected to fuel the demand for ruthenium catalyst over the forthcoming years.

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