Global nitrous oxide market is expected to witness significant growth from 2015 to 2022 owing to aging demography and increasing food industry applications. Major applications are spread across multiple industries such as pharmaceuticals, semiconductors, food, and automotives.
Growing geriatric population in major countries such as Japan, the U.S., Germany, and China is expected to increase nitrous oxide demand in the pharmaceutical industry over the forecast period. Surging healthcare services affordability in the emerging economies along with rising disposable income is anticipated to complement the regional market.
Semiconductors segment accounted for significant share of the overall revenue in 2014 and is expected to witness the fastest growth over the next seven years. Semiconductor processes using nitrous oxide include chemical vapor deposition, diffusion, rapid thermal processing, and chamber seasoning. Growing electronics manufacturing and semiconductor consumption especially in emerging economies such as China, India, Russia, and Brazil are expected to benefit the overall demand.
Favorable regulatory framework such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Safety & Innovation Act is projected to aid the regional as well as the global market. This act overlooks the medical gas applications and related product regulations. Nitrous oxide is extensively used for food applications as a food additive in the form of an aerosol propellant. This gas is favored by food companies as it is soluble in fatty compounds and inhibits bacteria growth.
Stringent regulations and frequently changing policies governing nitrous oxide usage are anticipated to hamper the global market growth over the forecast period. Hazardous health effects associated with prolonged exposure to nitrous oxide such as asphyxiation risk, decrease in mental performance, and audio visual disability are projected to negatively impact growth and development.
Growing environmental concern regarding nitrous oxide emissions is another key factor that is expected to negatively impact the market. Such concerns have resulted in nitrous oxide being exposed to several environmental regulations such as those issued by the USEPA.
R&D initiatives on innovative applications are presumed to provide ample opportunities for the industry participants. In August 2015, Queensland University of Technology, NT Farmers Association, and the Federal Department of Agriculture collaborated to develop a novel technology to measure the amount of nitrous oxide emitted from farm lands. This technology is aimed at assisting farmers in measuring the amount of nitrous fertilizer to be used for their farmlands.
Asia Pacific nitrous oxide market accounted for majority share in the overall revenue in 2014. Rapidly growing medical & healthcare industry and a substantial semiconductor manufacturing industry in the emerging economies such as China, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea are expected to provide vast opportunities for the industry participants. China, by far, was the largest regional market in the recent past and is presumed to continue this dominance in future.
Regional markets are characterized by differing end-uses such as Europe dominated the aerosol propellant end-use industry while Asia Pacific is projected to witness a brisk growth in the same application. Asia Pacific is a leading market for semiconductor applications as well and is expected to maintain this dominance over the forecast period. This application is projected to witness the fastest growth over the forecast period.
Geriatric applications market was dominated by North America. Such rapidly aging population in countries such as Japan, Germany, and the U.S. is expected to provide abundant growth opportunities for the industry participants. Growing population, increasing anesthesia demand, and increasing per capita income in the developing regions are important factors capable of critically influencing the regional as well as the global nitrous oxide market.
Industry participants are taking strong steps to increase their production capacity. In 2012, Linde Korea, a member of The Linde Group, built the largest nitrous oxide plant in South Korea with an aim to cater to the regional market. Major industry participants include The Linde Group, Air Liquide, Air Products and Chemicals Inc., Airgas Inc., National Industrial Gas Plants, Praxair Inc., and Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corp.
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