Inorganic acids are described as acids derived from inorganic compounds or mineral compounds. The most common types of inorganic acids are hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid and nitric acid. Apart from these, boric acid, hydrofluoric acid, perchloric acid and phosphoric acid are some of the most used inorganic acids. Inorganic acids have different strengths ranging from very high strength sulfuric acid to weak boric acid. However the inorganic acids tend to be easily soluble in water, and insoluble in organic compounds or solvents. Inorganic acids are mostly used as a raw material in the production process of different organic as well as inorganic compounds.
Hydrochloric acid which is one of the main types of inorganic acid finds the maximum use in the chlorine industry. Most of hydrochloric acid produced worldwide is generated as a byproduct in the manufacturing process of various organic compounds. More than two third of the global hydrochloric acid consumption is in the manufacturing process of EDC (Ethylene di-chloride). Production of silicones also consumes a significant amount of hydrochloric acid. Aqueous hydrochloric acid or muriatic acid finds application in various industries such as food, brine treatment, steel pickling, calcium chloride and oil well acidizing among some others. Sulfuric acid is another kind of inorganic acid which finds application in a host of industries. The main application of sulfuric acid is derived from the fertilizer market. More than half of the global production is used to manufacture agricultural fertilizers.
Super phosphate of lime as well as ammonium sulfate is manufactured using sulfuric acid. Other notable applications which consume sulfuric acid are the manufacturing process of different chemicals such as sulfate salts, nitric acid, pigments and dyes, explosives, drugs and synthetic detergents. Nitric acid also has similar uses. A large majority of global nitric acid production is consumed in the manufacturing of fertilizers.
Ammonium nitrate is an excellent plant fertilizer and more than 80% of nitric acid produce is used to manufacture the compound. Small quantity of ammonium nitrate is also used to manufacture explosives. Nitric acid is also used to manufacture nitroaromatics, which is used to produce polyurethanes, as well as hexanedioic acid, which is used in the production of polyamides. Phosphoric acid is mostly used in the manufacturing of fertilizers akin to nitric acid apart from some other applications. Most of the other inorganic acids exhibit similar application trends as raw materials for different chemical compounds.
Inorganic acids market has a huge scope of growth primarily owing to the high growth in the fertilizers industry. Apart from the fertilizer industry, inorganic acids are used in a lot of metal extraction process which have exhibited high growth. The growth in the end use markets is likely to transform into growth for the inorganic acid market as well in the foreseeable future.
Asia Pacific is the largest consumer of inorganic acids globally due to the presence of a large number of chemical manufacturing industries as well as fertilizer manufacturers. China is the largest consumer as well as producer of inorganic acid in the world and leads the Asian consumption. Europe is the second largest producer of inorganic acids followed by North America.
Some of the major players in the inorganic acid market are General Chemical USA, PVS Chemicals, Inc., Basic Chemical Solutions LLC and Azko Nobel N.V. among many others.
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- North America
- Asia Pacific
- Rest of the World
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