Sodium carbonate, commonly known as soda ash or washing soda, is an inorganic compound with chemical formula (N2CO3). Sodium carbonate is a solid substance, which is odorless, white in color, amorphous, hygroscopic, and soluble in most solvents including water. It is alkaline in nature and forms a strong alkaline solution when dissolved in water. It is extracted from ashes of plants that are sodium-rich. It is also produced from sodium chloride and limestone with a process called as ‘Solvay Process’. Although sodium carbonate has low toxicity, prolonged exposure to eyes or skin could cause irritation. In fact, the ingestion of sodium carbonate could cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach ache. It is chemically active and when it is heat treated or treated with acids, it releases carbon dioxide. Major use of sodium carbonate is manufacturing of glass, sodium chemicals, detergents, and other carbonate chemicals.

Market Outlook

Global sodium carbonate market size was valued at US$ 17.32 billion in 2017, exhibiting a CAGR of 2.54%, during the forecast period (2019-2027). Increasing demand for sodium carbonate from various industries is expected to boost the market growth. For instance, sodium carbonate is used in water treatment applications, pulp and paper applications, and chemical industries. Increasing demand from these industries is expected to propel growth for the market. Furthermore, sodium carbonate is majorly used in the soap and detergent industry and accounted for 15% of its global consumption in 2016. Increasing demand from these industries is expected to boot the market growth during the forecast period. Sodium carbonate or soda finds applications in glass manufacturing industry as well. Growing glass manufacturing industry and increasing demand for sodium carbonate is expected to impel the market growth.

However, challenging disposal of effluents formed during the production process and strict regulation on effective waste management by government authorities is expected to hinder global sodium carbonate market growth.

Market Taxonomy:

On basis of Product Type, the global sodium carbonate market is segmented into:

  • Natural
  • Synthetic

On basis of End-Use Industry, the global sodium carbonate market is segmented into:

  • Glass
  • Detergents
  • Water Treatment
  • Sodium Chemicals
  • Pulp & Paper
  • Carbonate Chemicals
  • Others

Market Regional Analysis

Asia Pacific region accounts for the largest market share in the global sodium carbonate market during the forecast period. Increasing demand for sodium carbonate from emerging economies such as India, Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Thailand is expected to boost the market growth in the near future. Moreover, India and China are the two of the most populated countries in the region and increasing disposable income and purchase power parity is expected to boost the demand for sodium carbonate and subsequently support the market growth. Furthermore, North America and Europe have a very low rate of growth, due to high labor and land cost, stringent regulations.

Market Players

Major players operating in the global sodium carbonate market include Solvay, J M Loveridge Plc., Tata Chemicals (Soda Ash) Partners, CIECH, Ciner Resources Corporation, Genesis Energy and Merck Millipore.

Key Developments:

  • In Sep 2019, Solvay said that it would increase its soda ash production capacity by 600 kilotonnes at its trona-based Green River site in Wyoming, the United States, to meet long-term global demand growth in various applications. In addition to this, Solvay would also expand its sodium bicarbonate capacity by 200 kilotonnes in its Devnya plant in Bulgaria, addressing worldwide demand growth for flue gas treatments which improve air quality.
  • In July 2019, Tata Chemicals received a green nod for expansion of its soda ash plant in Gujarat at an estimated cost of Rs 1,042.07 crore. The proposal is for expansion of its soda ash plant located in Devbhumi Dwarka district from 10.91 lakh tonne per annum to 113.16 lakh tonne per annum.
  • In June 2019, The CIECH Group is launching a new production line for specialised sodium bicarbonate in Germany, used, among others, in dialysis. The new production line of sodium bicarbonate will increase the production capacity of the factory located in Stassfurt by more than 80 percent (50,000 tonnes per year) and will also contribute to the expansion of the Group’s product portfolio by a variation of soda, used in the pharmaceutical industry.
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