Sulfuric Acid Market – Insights
The molecular formula for sulfuric acid is ‘H2SO4. It is categorized as a strong mineral acid with high corrosive abilities. Sulfuric acid is a viscous liquid that is soluble in water and its color varies from yellow to colorless, which depends upon its concentration. Sulfuric acid is used in the manufacture of commercially important chemicals such as hydrochloric acid, nitric acid, sulfate salts, synthetic detergents, dyes, pigments, explosives, and drugs.
Sulfuric acid is used in the production of phosphate fertilizers such as monoammonium phosphate, diammonium phosphate, calcium dihyrogen phosphate, and others. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), global demand for phosphate fertilizers in 2017 was 43.2 million tons. The FAO estimated that this demand will increase to 45.8 million tons by 2020. Thus, rising demand for phosphate fertilizers is expected to drive growth of the global sulfuric acid market.
However, stringent government regulations on usage of sulfuric acid, owing to hazardous effects of the strong acidic mixture are expected to restrain growth of the global sulfuric acid market. For instance, the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has categorized the acid as a carcinogen. These stringent regulations are expected to hinder growth of the market over the forecast period.
The global sulfuric acid market was pegged at 266.2 million tons in 2018 and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 2.3% in terms of volume over the forecast period (2019 – 2027), and is expected to reach 324.1 million tons by 2027.
Figure 1. Global Sulfuric Acid Market Share (%), By Region, 2017
Source: Coherent Market Insights, 2017-18
North America held a significant market share in the global sulfuric acid market in 2018. This is attributed to growing demand for sulfuric acid in the production of fertilizers, which is expected to drive growth of the sulfuric acid market in North America. For instance, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization, phosphate fertilizer consumption in the U.S. in 2012 was 40 million tons, which increased to 42.5 million tons in 2016. Increasing consumption of phosphate fertilizers is leading to high demand for sulfuric acid in this region. Moreover, Central & South America is expected to witness a steady growth in the market share owing to rapid industrialization in the region.
Asia Pacific is expected to witness the fastest growth owing to growth of various end-use industries such as chemical, agriculture and textile industry in emerging economies such as China and India. Sulfuric acid is used in hydrometallurgical processes to leach ores and extract metals. Countries such as South Korea and Japan have a large number of metal smelters, which is expected to contribute towards the market growth in the near future.
Figure 2. Global Sulfuric Acid Market Share (%), By Raw Material Type, 2017
Source: Coherent Market Insights, 2017-18
Among raw material type, elemental sulfur segment held highest market share of 59% in 2017 in the global sulfuric acid market, and this segment is expected to retain its dominant position over the forecast period. Sulfuric acid is produced by combustion of elemental sulfur. Thus, increasing demand for elemental sulfur for fertilizers is expected to drive growth of this segment in the global sulfuric acid market.
Among application, fertilizers segment held the highest market share in 2017 in the global sulfuric acid market. Sulfuric acid is used in the production of fertilizers such as ammonium phosphate and ammonium sulfate. Sulfuric acid is used as an important compound in the production of phosphoric acid, which is further converted to phosphate fertilizers. Phosphate fertilizers are commonly used for increasing agricultural productivity.
Key players are adopting new strategies such as business expansions, in order to strengthen their position in the sulfuric acid market. For instance, in 2018, BASF SE started its operation at an electronic grade sulfuric acid plant in China to meet the growing demand from the semiconductors industry. In 2017, the Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. acquired Bayer's ‘Bayqik quasi-isothermal sulfuric acid converter technology’ to strengthen its position in the global sulfuric acid market.
Major players in the global sulfuric acid market include PVS Chemicals, BASF SE, Akzo Nobel N.V., DowDuPont Inc., Unigel Group, Boliden Group, Ineos Enterprises Limited, Trident Chemicals, Aurubis AG, Climax Molybdenum B.V., and Amal Ltd.
Sulfuric acid is a viscous liquid that is soluble in water, and its color varies from yellow to colorless, depending upon the concentration. Its strong acidic nature allows it to corrode living tissues and metal surfaces. It is mostly used for the application such as fertilizers, automotive batteries, water treatment, paper bleaching.
Sulfuric acid finds various applications across a broad spectrum of industries, and its single largest application is in the production of fertilizers. Key players in the market are adopting various business strategies such as mergers and acquisitions to expand their global footprint. For instance, in 2016, Fanchem Ltd., a subsidiary of PVS Chemicals, Inc., acquired Benson Chemicals Limited based in Canada. This will help Fanchem to expand its presence in Canada.
However, stringent government regulations on usage of sulfuric acid, owing to hazardous effects of the strong acidic mixture are expected to restrain growth of the global market.
Among application, fertilizers segment is expected to be the fastest growing segment in the market over the forecast period, owing to increasing crop production to cater to increasing demand for food. For instance, according to the International Fertilizer Industry Association, global fertilizer demand was pegged at 186 million metric tons in 2016 and is expected to reach at 199 million metric tons by 2021.
Among regions, Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest growing region in the market over the forecast period, owing to increasing demand for the sulfuric acid for various application such as chemical manufacturing, paper and pulp, fertilizers in emerging economies such as India and China. Key players are adopting various strategies such as business expansion to cater to increasing demand for sulfuric acid. For instance, in May 2018, BASF started its new electronic grade sulfuric acid plant in China. Electronic grade sulfuric acid finds application for manufacturing semiconductors. The new plant is expected to meet growing demand of sulfuric acid from the semiconductor industry in China.
Key features of the study:
“*” marked represents similar segmentation in other categories in the respective section.
Table of Contents
* Browse 212 market data tables* and 98 figures* on “Sulfuric Acid Market” - Global forecast to 2027.
Finding it difficult to find the research that would cater to your business demands? Give us a chance to help you. One of our Research Consultants will connect to provide a customized solution.
Talk to our research consultant to design an exclusive report as per your research needs.
We aim to fulfil client's research demands with tailored research solutions.
We aim to provide research studies in quickest turnaround time and in a much cost effective manner.
We cover each industry from supply and demand side with an aim to provide a most holistic research study.
We strive to provide most accurate and reliable research findings in our research reports.