The global nitrous oxide market size is expected to witness potential gains in the future and register a significant CAGR of 6.6% over the forecast period (2019 - 2027).

Market Overview

Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is a colorless gas with slightly sweet smell and taste. It is manufactured by the thermal decomposition of ammonium nitrate. It is a safe and effective sedative agent and finds application in surgery and dentistry. It is also used as a pharmacologic agent to produce anesthesia, as a propellant and additive to fuels, and as a food additive. The substance is termed as laughing gas due to its euphoric and hysterical effects. It is included in the ‘List of Essential Medicines,’ published by the World Health Organization.

Market Dynamics

Increasing number of surgeries and dental implants is expected to lead to high adoption of nitrous oxide in the healthcare sector. This in turn is expected to boost growth of the global nitrous oxide market over the forecast period. Nitrous oxide can be inhaled to relieve pain linked to acute coronary syndrome, childbirth, oral surgery, and trauma. It is also used as a rapid and highly effective analgesic gas by ambulance crews in the U.K. and Canada. Its recreational use includes, causing euphoria and/or slight hallucinations.

However, excessive use of nitrous oxide may lead to excessive sweating, shivering, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and fatigue. Moreover, according to U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, exposure to nitrous oxide may lead to short-term reductions in manual dexterity, mental performance, and audiovisual ability. Long-term exposure to nitrous oxide may cause vitamin B12 deficiency. These factors are expected to hinder the market growth to some extent.  

Other uses of nitrous oxide include, detection of leaks in natural gas pipelines and as a propellant in the munitions-explosives industry.

Market Outlook

On the basis of region, the global nitrous oxide market is segmented into North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa. The market in North America is driven by growing healthcare sector in the U.S. and Canada. Asia Pacific market is expected to witness significant market share, owing to high number of child birth and increasing adoption of nitrous oxide during delivery. The market in Middle East is driven by significant presence of natural gas manufacturers and export of natural gas to other regions.

Key Players

Major players operating in the global nitrous oxide market include, Airgas, Inc., IGL Blue Jamaica, and Praxair.

Key Developments

Key companies operating in the nitrous oxide market are engaged in adopting various strategies including new product launch and mergers & acquisitions in order to maintain their market share in the global market.

For instance, June 2012, Praxair Canada announced the acquisition of five branches of Airgas, Inc. located in Western Canada, including Red Deer, Edmonton, Regina, Calgary, and Alberta. The acquisition supports the growth of the company in western Canada and enables company to better serve the customers of the company.

In August 2016, Cantel Medical Corporation, subsidiary of Crosstex, continues its market expansion and diversification with the acquisition of Accutron Inc., the leading manufacturer of conscious sedation, nitrous oxide delivery systems and nasal masks.

In October 2018, Praxair Inc. and The Linde Group completed the acquisition for US$ 90 Billion, creating the single biggest player in the global industrial gases business. The acquisition aimed towards the expansion of Praxair Inc.’s product portfolio and geographical presence.

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