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The Global High Purity Alumina Market was valued at US$ 1764.9 Million in 2016. Burgeoning growth in use of high purity alumina across various end-use industries such as electronic display, synthetic sapphire, semiconductors, and phosphorus are attributable to the projected rampant growth of the market over the forecast period. The growing demand for LED lights and advanced electronic display further lends traction to the high purity alumina market.

Inclination of various governments towards replacing conventional lighting fixtures using incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs—due to their low carbon emissions and low power consumption, both of which are pegged at a quarter of that of the former—is further expected to augment growth of the global high purity alumina market. Aluminum oxide or alumina, commonly known as AL2O3, is the primary raw materials used for the manufacturing of metallic aluminum.

Moreover, 90% of alumina used in aluminum metal production is known as Smelter Grade Alumina (SGA) and remaining 10% is used in non-metallurgical industry for chemical or specialty use. High Purity Alumina (HPA) is one of the purest form of aluminum oxide. HPA is widely used in various end-use industry such as LED and semiconductor manufacturing industries. Furthermore, the artificial sapphire substrates found in LED, scratch-proof artificial sapphire glass, and semiconductors are primarily made from HPA. 99.99% purity HPA, (4N) Al2O3, is the high-end and high value product of non-metallurgical industry.

The various methods used for producing high purity alumina include thermal decomposition of ammonium alum, hydrolysis of aluminum alkoxide, vapor phase oxidation, underwater spark discharge with aluminum, and thermal decomposition of ammonium aluminum carbonate hydroxide. In 2015, International Energy Conservation Code revised version of 2012 document, on control over daylight and lightning.

Daylight controls and occupancy sensors becomes essential for most buildings, which switch on and off lights automatically on the basis of people presence. These regulations of International Energy Conservation Code are being implemented by various countries, which in turn is expected to fuel demand for LED and semiconductor and subsequently fuel growth of the high purity alumina market. For instance, in January 2015, the Indian government launched UJALA scheme to replace Domestic Efficient Lightning Programme scheme (DELP). The program aims to replace over 200 million incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs, which would translate into saving of over 1.8 GW of electricity annually.

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Hydrolysis of alkoxide is one of the commonly used processes for production of high purity alumina. The process involves hydrolysis of alkoxide to produce hydrate alumina, followed by calcination to form high purity alumina. Acid recovery is the primary advantage of this process, which reduces the operating costs. Increasing demand for consumer electronic products such as high resolution televisions and smartphones is fueling growth of associated industries such as high purity alumina market. Asia Pacific holds dominant position in high purity alumina market, owing to rapidly growing electronics and semiconductor equipment industries in this region, which in turn is driving growth of the market. North America and Europe are projected to witness steady growth, owing to presence of highly developed economies and end-use industries.

Key takeaways of the market:

  • Asia-Pacific is projected to be the largest region in global high purity alumina market. It accounted for around 72.6% of overall high purity alumina market revenue in 2016. The market in this region is expected to be primarily driven by rampant growth of end-use industries in China, India, South Korea and Taiwan. The growing smartphones and LED display industries, are some of the key drivers for the growth of high purity alumina in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • The market in North America is expected to register a significant growth rate over the forecast period. Increasing R&D investment and technological advancement in consumer electronics and semiconductor are expected to create lucrative growth opportunities.
  • Rising demand for high purity alumina in scratch proof sapphire glass is expected to boost the global market. Moreover, ceramic crucibles, integrated circuit (IC) and high strength cutting tools are various tools used in ceramics industry is expected to drive the market growth. Furthermore, strict government regulation on using energy efficient products like LED bulbs and high performance display in smartphones and television is estimated to double the market.
  • Altech Chemicals Limited, Baikowski Pure Solutions, Nippon Light Metal, Polar Sapphire Ltd., Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd., Orbite Technologies Inc., and Alcoa Inc. are few of the key players in global high purity alumina market.
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