Argon is an odorless, colorless, non-toxic and inflammable inert gas found abundantly in the earth’s atmosphere. Naturally, argon is formed due to the decay of potassium-40, which is present in the Earth’s crust. Due to its inertness, argon rarely undergoes any chemical reaction with other metals, elements or gases. Commercially, argon is produced by frictional distillation of liquid air. There are several isotopes available such as 40Ar, 38Ar and 36Ar presently. Argon is used for several applications such as industrial processes, wielding, research & development, preservatives, lighting and laboratory equipment among others.
Increasing urbanization in emerging economies of Asia Pacific, South America and Africa are expected to drive the demand for argon for lighting purposes. In addition, rapid industrialization in these regions is expected to augment the demand for argon over the next few years. Furthermore, argon is being increasingly used for lightning purposes as it does not cause any harm to the environment. However, inhalation of argon gas is harmful to human life as excessive inhalation causes asphyxiant, which in turn can lead to death.
Rapid industrialization in emerging economies such as China, Brazil, Russia and India is expected to drive the global market for argon over the next few years. The presence of several commercial complexes, malls and shopping centers is driving the market for innovative lightning. These lights make the use of argon as they have a high aesthetic appeal. In addition, owing to its non-toxic property, these gases are increasingly used.
Some of the key producers of argon gas include BASF, Praxair, Air Liquide, AMCS Corporation, KBR, Messer Group GmbH, Gulf Industrial Gas Co LLC, National Industrial Gas Plants and Linde Gas USA LLC among others.
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