Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, flammable, toxic gas. Chemically, it is stable, but can act as a strong reducing agent at elevated temperatures. Carbon monoxide is primarily manufactured by the steam reforming natural gas method. Other methods include incomplete combustion of carbonaceous materials, dehydration of formic acid with sulfuric acid, reduction of carbon dioxide over hot coke, and by reacting carbon and oxygen at elevated temperatures. Several different grades of carbon monoxide are available across various manufacturing plants to support applications that can be classified on the basis of purity.
The carbon monoxide market is primarily driven by the rise in demand for the gas in the manufacture of various chemicals and extraction of metal from its ores. Safety considerations play a crucial role in the carbon monoxide market, as it is a toxic gas. Carbon monoxide has a broad flammability range. When inhaled, it causes severe health problems related to blood circulatory system. Carbon monoxide combines preferentially with hemoglobin. At that time oxygen cannot be transported to tissues and organs, resulting in oxygen starvation. This acts as a major restraint of the carbon monoxide market as it is a health hazard. Proper storage, handling, and use; transportation, and disposal of carbon monoxide plays a major role in any carbon monoxide manufacturing plants. However, implementation of stringent safety and validation regulations in carbon monoxide manufacturing plants helps in overcoming these restraints Increase in research and development activities related to issues faced in carbon monoxide plants with respect to production system design and personal protective equipment is driving the market.
Based on type, the carbon monoxide market can be classified into commercial grade and electronic grade. This classification is based on the level of purity. Commercial grade carbon monoxide is typically > 98.0% purity, while the electronic grade carbon monoxide is typically > 99.9% purity. Commercial grade is anticipated to be the dominant and fastest growing segment during the forecast period due to the increase in demand for carbon monoxide in end-use industries such as chemical and metal.
In terms of end-use, the carbon monoxide market can be divided into metal industry, chemical industry, and electronics industry. Carbon monoxide is used for the reduction of ores and in the manufacture of metal carbonyls in the metal industry. It is employed widely in the production of inorganic chemicals (metal carbonyls, titanium dioxide), organic chemicals (benzaldehyde, citric acid), and chemical intermediates (toluene, diisocyanates, used to produce polyurethane) in the chemical industry. Carbon monoxide in combination with several other gases (hydrogen, nitrogen, methane, and carbon dioxide) provides a fuel gas called syngas, which is used as a substitute for natural gas. Carbon monoxide also produces and regenerates catalysts such as nickel carbonyl. High purity carbon monoxide is used for electronic and semiconductor applications in the electronics industry. Chemical industry is anticipated to be the dominant and fastest growing segment of the carbon monoxide market during the forecast period.
Based on geography, the carbon monoxide market can be segmented into North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and Middle East & Africa. North America and Europe are technologically matured regions; thus, they are expected to be the dominant regions of the carbon monoxide market during the forecast period, led by the rapidly developing metal and chemical industries in the region. The carbon monoxide market in Asia Pacific is projected to expand due to the presence of emerging economies such as China, India, and Japan. The carbon monoxide market in countries in Middle East & Africa is largely untapped. This provides an opportunity to market players to expand their share in the region.
Key players operating in the global carbon monoxide market include, Linde, Air Liquide, Air Products, Praxair Inc., Messer and Yingde Gases.