Sodium silicate is a colorless compound of oxides of sodium and silica. It is a white powder, which is readily soluble in water. It produces an alkaline solution. Sodium silicate is a generic name for a range of compounds derived from soluble silicate glasses that are water solutions of silicon dioxide and sodium oxide in various ratios. These compounds are commercially sold as 20% to 50% aqueous solutions. The aqueous solution of sodium silicate is called water glass. Sodium silicate is stable in neutral and alkaline solutions. In acidic solutions, the silicate ion reacts with hydrogen ions to form silica acid, which when heated and roasted forms silica gel, a hard, glassy substance.
Sodium silicate is used in a wide range of applications in numerous industries. Primary applications include detergents, water treatment, paper & pulp and building & construction materials. Sodium silicate is an excellent adhesive for sealing fireboard boxes. It is extensively used in drilling fluids to stabilize borehole wells. Additionally, the porosity of building materials such as concrete, stucco and plasters reduces largely when treated with sodium silicate solution. This results in making these materials durable and water repellent. Sodium silicate is utilized as a fixative in the dyeing and coatings markets. It is used as a binder in refractories and investment casting and as a polishing agent for silicon wafers. It is also used in other niche applications such as passive fire protection, food preservation, automotive & metal repair and aquaculture.
Growing specialty detergents & cleaning agents industry in Europe is the key driver for the sodium silicate market in this region as the market for detergents and cleaning products is well-defined. Additionally, highly developed infrastructure in Europe and its maintenance coupled with the demand for sodium silicate in water treatment applications in Europe is expected to act as driving factors for the market growth of sodium silicate over the forecast period. However, availability of substitute products for sodium silicate may curb the market growth in the near future. Increasing use of sodium silicate in enhanced oil recovery (EOR) is projected to open new avenues for the sodium silicate market over the next few years.
The sodium silicate market in Europe has reached the state of maturity. New applications of sodium silicate have been introduced in the past few years; however, demand for these applications has been low due to stagnant economic growth in the region. Manufacturers in Europe are divesting their business due to sluggish growth and increasingly competitive nature of the business. Low cost of production in countries in Southeast Asia has resulted in many plant closures in the recent years in Europe. Due to these parameters, demand for sodium silicate in Europe is expected to be modest in the near future.
Detergents was the largest application segment of the sodium silicate market, accounting for over 35% of the total market share in 2013 in Europe as specialty detergents and cleaning products is a well-defined market in the region. Elastomers are estimated to be the fastest growing segment during the forecast period due to development in the automotive industry in Europe. Furthermore, catalysts, food & healthcare and other applications are likely to witness above-average growth during the forecast period. However, stringent regulations regarding deforestation in Europe are anticipated to result in steady demand for sodium in paper & pulp applications.
Demand for sodium silicate stood at 1,005.0 kilo tons in Europe in 2013 and is expected to witness sluggish growth over the next six years. However, several factors such as high demand for detergents, growth in automotive tire industry and usage of sodium silicate in chemical and building & material industries is expected to drive the demand for sodium silicate in Europe. 
Key players in the sodium silicate market include PQ Corporation, PPG Industries, Evonik Industries, BASF SE, Tokuyama Europe GmbH, and W.R. Grace & Company. Certain companies in the sodium silicate market are integrated across the various stages of the value chain. These companies captively consume soda ash for the production of sodium silicate and provide services to industries such as specialty detergents & cleaning agents, agriculture, coatings, elastomers, paper & pulp, and food & healthcare. Thus, these companies have a strong presence across all the stages of the value chain.
Sodium silicate, also known as water glass or liquid glass, is a colorless compound made from oxides of sodium and silica with varying ratios of SiO2 to Na2O, solids contents, and viscosity. Sodium silicate possesses excellent binding, adhesive, bleaching and sizing properties. Thus, it is extensively used in the manufacture of detergents, silica gel, cardboard, paper, textiles, paints, adhesives, pottery, sanitary ware, refractories, foundry and wood processing industries. Sodium silicate is available in two primary grades: neutral and alkaline. Materials of both these grades are available either in liquid or solid form.
This report provides a detailed description of the sodium silicate market in terms of volume share (kilo tons) and revenue (USD million) for the period from 2014 to 2020. The report highlights the factors contributing to the growth of the market and restraints that the market faces. Detailed forecasts have been provided for the years 2014 to 2020 for the sodium silicate market for better understanding of the individual market scenario. The sodium silicate market is described with respect to various segments along with opportunities that are expected in the next six years.
We have included a detailed raw material analysis along with the value chain in order to provide a holistic view of the sodium silicate market. An analysis of Porters’ five force’s model for the sodium silicate market has also been included to help understand the competitive intensity in the market. The study comprises market attractiveness analysis, wherein applications are benchmarked based on their market size, growth rate and general attractiveness.
For geographic analysis, the market has been segmented into regions such as Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Poland, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Rest of Europe (RoE). The market has been segmented based on types of applications such as detergents, catalysts, pulp & paper, elastomers, food & healthcare and others. The study segments the market based on applications, and provides forecast and estimates for each application segment in terms of revenue and volume during the forecast period from 2014 to 2020.
Market estimates for this study have been based on volumes, with revenues being derived through regional pricing trends. The price for each of the materials mentioned in the report has been considered, and customized product pricing has not been included. Additionally, the market has been analyzed based on expected demand, and the market data for each segment is based on demand volumes and corresponding revenues. The prices considered for calculation of revenue are average regional prices obtained through primary quotes from numerous regional suppliers, distributors and direct selling regional producers. Furthermore, the market data is based on current information.
In order to compile the research report, we conducted in-depth interviews and discussions with a wide range of key industry participants and opinion leaders. Primary research represents the bulk of research efforts, supplemented by an extensive secondary research. We reviewed key players’ product literature, annual reports, press releases and relevant documents for competitive analysis and market understanding. Secondary research also includes a search of recent trade, technical writing, internet sources, and statistical data from government websites, trade associations and agencies. This has proven to be the most reliable, effective and successful approach for obtaining precise market data, capturing industry participants’ insights and recognizing business opportunities. 
The report also offers a competitive landscape of the overall market with company profiles of players such as Albemarle Corporation, BASF SE, PQ Corporation, Evonik Industries, PPG Industries, Tokuyama Europe GmbH, and W.R. Grace & Company. A detailed description of company overview, financial overview and business strategy in addition to recent developments provides a thorough idea about the competitive positioning of players in the market. 
The report segments the sodium silicate market in Europe as:
Europe Sodium Silicate Market - Application Analysis
  • Detergents
  • Catalysts 
  • Pulp & Paper
  • Elastomers 
  • Food & Healthcare
  • Others (coating, agriculture, etc.)
Europe Sodium Silicate Market - Country Analysis
  • Germany 
  • France
  • Italy 
  • Austria
  • Poland
  • Ukraine
  • The Czech Republic
  • Slovakia 
  • Rest of Europe (RoE)