The global liquid nitrogen market size was estimated at 7.87 million tons in 2016 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.4% over the forecast period. Globally, increasing demand for LN2 in industrial gas and electronic products market is projected to be a key factor driving market growth.
Environmental health and safety authority has provided safety measures for safe handling of liquid nitrogen. Growing chemical and metal manufacturing industries in both mature and upcoming economies are providing an opportunity for liquid nitrogen market to rise over the coming years. Increasing use of LN2 for cooling the electronic products during the manufacturing process is projected to propel the industry from 2017 to 2025.
U.S. liquid nitrogen market revenue by end-use, 2014 - 2025 (USD Million)
Increasing demand for liquid nitrogen as a coolant and refrigerant among various end-use industries such as healthcare, metal fabrication, food & beverages, rubber & plastic, automotive, electronics, pharmaceuticals, and construction is projected to propel the market over the coming years.
Cryogenic distillation dominated the technology segment in 2016 and is expected to be the largest segment across the forecast period. It is the cost-effective technology used to produce industrial gases such as nitrogen, argon, and oxygen. Rising utilization in the fabrication of semiconductor devices is anticipated to augment the market growth.
This is the largely used technology to produce liquefied industrial gases due to its low investment cost and few utility consumptions. Polaris Company has developed a purification process for gases at low temperatures using cryogenic distillation technology. Applications involved in cryogenic distillation are the purification of argon, oxygen, carbon monoxide, and light hydrocarbons.
Pressure swing adsorption (PSA) technology is expected to grow at the highest CAGR over the forecast period. This technology provides air separation process from gases without liquefaction. Rising demand for pressure swing technology owing to its low operating cost is expected to boost the market over next eight years. Increasing investments by companies such as Air Products & Chemicals Inc. and Praxair for the development of liquid nitrogen technologies is projected to propel the market over the forecast period.
Linde is one of the major companies which designs and supplies pressure swing adsorption technology. Nitrogen production installation at CP Kelco incorporated by Linde’s ECOVAR ADSOSS-N gas generation plant separates nitrogen from air using adsorption-based PSA process.
Due to extreme low-temperature properties, LN2 is used in innovative technologies of cooling and freezing. Coolant is expected to gain the largest market share of around 60% of the overall functional segment. It is highly used in application areas where spray cooling, injection cooling, or immersion cooling is required.
The refrigerant segment is projected to grow at a faster rate over the coming years. Increasing use of liquid nitrogen as a refrigerant in areas such as medicine, industry, research, and cooking is expected to fuel the market growth. In its industrial applications, it is used for rubber removal, temporary ground freeze, metal hardening, and pipe freezing.
In medicine, LIN is used as a refrigerant to maintain low temperatures in biological materials and cryobanks, for instance, cryocans, portable devices store semen at extremely low temperatures. It is also used to store reproductive cells such as sperm & egg, preserve blood, and tissue samples.
Where as in research LN2 is used to freeze vacuum units and store cellular materials. In cooking, liquid nitrogen is used to make desserts and other related items along with storage and transportation of food products. Rising application areas of LN2 as refrigerant is expected to spur this industry over the next eight years.
Storage, Distribution, & Transportation Insights
Cylinder and packaged gas is projected to grow at the highest CAGR over the forecast period. The temperature difference between LN2 and environment is a major concern for the safe storage and transportation. Rising demand for the packaging of liquid nitrogen is anticipated to augment the cylinder and packaged gas segment.
Merchant liquid/bulk segment dominated the storage, distribution, & transportation segment in 2016. Increasing demand for liquid nitrogen is expected to boost the distribution and transportation of product over the forecast period. Merchant liquid is projected to be driven by the growing customers who operate the filling of packaged gas cylinder.
Liquid nitrogen is preferred to be stored under ventilated areas. Storing and handling of liquid nitrogen is a major challenge, and to avoid risks and hazard factors such as burns, container failure, spillage, personal injury, and damage to containers, proper care has to be taken. Cryogenic storage tanks are majorly used for the storage of liquid nitrogen.
According to British Compressed Gases Association (BCGA) LN2 is not supposed to be commuted in cars. Dewars are expected to be transported in vehicles with a bulkhead. Dry insulated gloves are used while handling the equipment, which got into contact with liquid nitrogen to avoid direct skin contact.
Chemicals & pharmaceutical segment is expected to be the fastest growing end-use segment. Increasing use of liquid nitrogen in the pharmaceutical industry to retain the cold reaction temperature for medicines is expected to boost the market over the next eight years. Rising demand for healthcare sector is a driving factor for the industry.
Metal manufacturing & construction segment emerged as a largest end-use segment accounting for over 41% of the total market revenue in 2016. Increasing use of the product as an industrial gas in metal refining and fabrication process is projected to fuel the market growth over the forecast period.
Global liquid nitrogen market revenue by end-use, 2016 (%)
Liquid nitrogen is used to chill, cool, preserve, and freeze the items in food & beverage industry. Its properties help in increasing the shelf life of the products. Due to non-adverse effects on the environment and low initial investment cost on equipment over conventional mechanical freezers, it is widely expected to be used in the food & beverage industry over the forecast period.
Major areas where liquid nitrogen is used by the food industry is freezing of bakery products, meat, poultry, fish in addition to prepared meals, vegetables, and fruits. Other end-users include cryotheraphy, automotive, and electronic sectors. In electronics, it is used as a cooling agent in manufacturing products.
North America was the leading liquid nitrogen market and accounted for around 35% of the total market revenue in 2015. Rising developmental activities is projected to propel the market over the forecast period. Increasing manufacturers and suppliers in this region is expected to boost the market.
Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest growing regional segment. Emerging economies in a region including India and China have been experiencing strong economic growth. Increasing population and living standards have spurred the market demand in food & beverages, construction, electronics, and pharmaceutical sectors.
China is the largest producer and supplier of LN2 in this region. China’s rapid urbanization is supported by strong economic growth. People in the country are migrating to urban cities with higher earnings. Asia Pacific was the second largest segment following North America, which accounted for around 23% of the total market revenue in 2016.
Rising developmental activities in Asia Pacific is projected to propel the market over the forecast period. Growing income levels is expected to boost the demand for high-end electronic products. Increasing growth in chemicals and metal manufacturing industries to supply the raw materials for manufacturing and construction sector is anticipated to augment the market.
The global liquid nitrogen industry is highly competitive and fairly concentrated, with top four companies Air Liquide S.A., The Linde Group, Praxair Inc., and Air Products & Chemicals Inc. accounting for a maximum share of the global production in 2015. Major market participants include Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation, Messer Group, Emirates Industrial Gases Co. Ltd., Gulf Cryo, Southern Industrial Gas Berhad, and Nexair LLC.
Increasing company product offerings for the end-use industries such as infrastructure, construction, metals & steels, food & beverages, power & energy, and pharmaceuticals are expected to be a key parameter for being competitive in this market. Growing acquisitions being undertaken as an attempt to strengthen the presence and gain industry share.
Base year for estimation
Actual estimates/Historical data
2014 - 2016
2017 - 2025
Volume in million tons, revenue in USD million and CAGR from 2017 to 2025
North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Central & South America, Middle East & Africa
U.S., Canada, Mexico, UK, Germany, France, Belgium, China, India, Japan, South Korea
Revenue forecast, company share, competitive landscape, growth factors and trends
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Segments covered in the report
This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional & country levels and provides an analysis on the industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2014 to 2025. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global liquid nitrogen market on the basis of technology, function, storage, end-use, and region:
Technology Outlook (Volume, Million Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Pressure swing adsorption
Function Outlook (Volume, Million Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Storage Outlook (Volume, Million Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Cylinders & packaged gas
Merchant liquid/ Bulk
End-use Outlook (Volume, Million Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Chemicals & pharmaceuticals
Food & beverages
Metal manufacturing & construction
Rubber & plastic
Regional Outlook (Volume, Million Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Central & South America
Middle East & Africa
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