Elemental fluorine is a highly toxic, pale yellow, corrosive gas, which reacts with most of the organic & inorganic substances. Industrially, elemental fluorine is produced by electrolysis of potassium fluoride and hydrogen fluoride mixture. Generally, elemental fluorine is consumed immediately or it is stored in the form of gas in stainless steel cylinders.
- Fluorine is a key element for electricity generation via nuclear energy, as it allows isotopic enrichment of uranium. According to Coherent Market Insights’ analysis, in 2016, over 54% of total fluorine production was utilized in the production of fluoride compounds that are used in nuclear power plants. Therefore, increasing demand for electricity is fueling demand for elemental fluorine in the production of uranium fluorides.
- However, high toxicity of elemental fluorine is a major factor restraining global elemental fluorine market growth. Inhalation of fluorine causes irritation and can lead to throat pain. Skin and eye contact with fluorine vapors can cause severe skin burn and permanent eye injury up to blindness, respectively.
- Emerging application of fluorinated molecules in medicinal chemistry is projected to drive growth of the global elemental fluorine market in the near future. Fluorinated molecules such as delamanid, refametinib, and various others are clinically under trial for the treatment of tuberculosis, cancer, asthma, and various other diseases.
- Among application, nuclear energy segment accounted for largest market share in the global elemental fluorine market in 2017. Owing to increasing adoption of nuclear energy as a clean source of energy, the segment is projected to retain its dominance in the market over the forecast period. According to World Energy Council Report 2016, uranium and nuclear production has increased over 40% in the past 15 years due to rising demand for alternative resources. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), in 2016, over 20% total electricity generation was accounted through nuclear sources in the U.S.
- Electronics is projected to be the fastest growing segment in the market over the forecast period. Elemental fluorine is a highly reactive element and acts as an excellent oxidizer. When compared to greenhouse producing gases such as NF3, elemental fluorine acts fast, consumes lower energy, and uses less gas across all plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) tools. Therefore, it is widely adopted in electronics industries.
- Asia Pacific held highest market share in the global market in 2017. According to World Energy Council Report 2016, two-third of the global nuclear industry volume is concentrated in Asia Pacific region. Moreover, rapid growth of polymer & plastic industries among Asian countries is projected to create conductive environment for growth of the Asia Pacific elemental fluorine market in the near future. According to the India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) Report, export of plastic products from India increased by 17.1 per cent to US$ 8.85 billion in 2017-2018, as compared to US$ 7.56 billion in 2016-2017. Owing to such factors, the region is projected to retain its dominance over the forecast period.
Key players in the Global Elemental Fluorine Market
- Key players operating in the global elemental fluorine market include Solvay S.A., Linde AG, Air Products & Chemicals, Inc., Navin Fluorine International Limited, Kanto Denka Kogyo Co., Ltd., and Honeywell among others
- Several companies that manufacture elemental fluorine are adopting various organic and inorganic growth strategies, in order to maintain their market position. Mergers, acquisitions, geographical expansions, and new product launches are some of the key strategies followed by major players in the elemental fluorine market. For instance, in 2015, Linde Electronics & Specialty Gases, a part of Linde AG, established world’s largest on-site fluorine plant in South Korea. The plant is strategically installed to provide safety & benefits to SK Hynix M14 plant.
- Moreover, end-use industries of elemental fluorine are launching new fluorinated products, in order to meet rising demand from consumers. For instance, in March 2017, AGC Asahi Glass launched SURECO, a high performance fluorinated coating agent with high abrasion resistance. Such activities are projected to boost demand for elemental fluorine over the forecast period.
On the basis of application, the global elemental fluorine market is segmented into:
- Nuclear Energy
- Metal Processing
- Glass & Ceramics Manufacturing
- Plastic & Polymers
- Sulfur hexafluoride & Halogen fluoride
- Others (Pharmaceuticals, Abrasive materials, etc.)
On the basis of region, the global elemental fluorine market is segmented into:
- North America
- South America
- Rest of South America
- Rest of Europe
- Asia Pacific
- South Korea
- Rest of Asia Pacific
- Middle East