The global inorganic base market is expected to grow due to its increasing demand in chemical, industrial, and laboratory applications. These bases are derived from inorganic or mineral compounds and play an essential role in chemical reactions for laboratory experiments. Also known as salts post neutralization reaction; these are widely used by chemists, most commonly in the form of calcium carbonate, sodium carbonate, and calcium hydroxide. These products generally have characteristics contrasting inorganic acids, such as high pH levels (above 7), slimy & soapy texture, bitter taste, and others.
Inorganic base generally reacts with acids to create salt and water, elevating the hydroxide concentration in aqueous solutions, and can be found in several common consumer products such as bleaches, toothpaste, and laundry detergents. Increasing applications in the chemical industry which include pigments, additives, salts, oxidizing agents, halogens, catalysts as well as other industrial applications such as surfactants, coatings, fuel, and others are expected to drive global demand. Inorganic bases are also increasingly being applied in the fields of medicine and agriculture (fertilizers). Outstanding product properties such as heat & light stability, migration, and weather resistance are expected to further strengthen its demand in construction materials. Along with the above-mentioned factors, increasing scope in electroplating, alcohol distillation, dye & precision casting, and papermaking applications is expected to provide growth opportunities to the global industry.
Inorganic base can be classified on the basis of product characteristics into soluble or insoluble (strong or weak). Strong bases such as ammonium hydroxide, a solution of ammonia in water, are used in various household, industrial and laboratory applications. This product was traditionally used to darken and stain wooden furniture, by reacting to tannic acid and iron salts in wood. Ammonium hydroxide is gaining acceptance as an acidity regulator or leavening agent in foods. It is recognized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a generally recognized as safe (GRAS) product. Enhanced pH control also allows this product to be utilized as an antimicrobial agent, leading to higher application in the tobacco industry.
Aqueous ammonia solution can also serve as a complexant and base since it gives a deep blue color on reaction with a copper solution. The solution has the ability to dissolve silver oxide residues. Other compounds such as calcium hydroxide are gaining importance in niche applications. These include roles as a major ingredient in whitewash, plaster, and mortar, filler for root canals in endodontic surgeries, and for road construction to improve the quality of plastic substrate soils. The product is also used as an additive to seawater to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide and mitigate greenhouse effects.
Regionally, the highest inorganic base demand arises from Asia Pacific, mostly owing to increasing industrial applications in countries such as India, Japan, and Southeast Asia. China is the largest producer and consumer for inorganic base in this region. Asia Pacific is followed by Europe in terms of inorganic base market demand volume and revenue. North America stands third in overall global inorganic base demand, with majority of consumption driven by the U.S. Middle East & Africa offers an untapped market potential, which is urging companies to expand into this region. Central & South America presents opportunities for growth, with increasing consumption in Brazil. Rapid industrialization and increasing population in the region is expected to drive inorganic base demand in various consumable products such as toothpaste, bleaches, and detergents along with industrial applications.
The global inorganic base industry is moderately consolidated with top five companies accounting for over 60% of the inorganic base market share. Major inorganic base manufacturers and suppliers operating in the global industry include Basic Chemical Solutions LLC., Azko Nobel N.V., PVS Chemicals Inc., Sigma Aldrich, CDH Fine Chemicals, Loba Chemie, and General Chemicals.
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The current pandemic situation has created disruption in the manufacturing of agrochemicals by virtue of raw material availability. Furthermore, this continual trend shall have a cascading effect on food productivity and crop yields on economies that are predominantly agrarian, during a time when demand for Agri produce shall register a spike over the medium term. Governments across the developing world are vying to incrementally ease restrictions on the manufacturing of fertilizers and maintain seasonal agricultural activities in order to reduce concerns regarding food security, which is a critical indicator for determining the course of a supply gap in the industry. The report will account for Covid19 as a key market contributor.