FGD Gypsum Market: Overview
FGD Gypsum is a synthetic product produced at electric power plants from flue gas desulfurization (FGD) systems. In this process, sulfur is removed from combustion gases using scrubbers. Scrubbers are the substances used in chemical reactions to produce other substances. Scrubbers used for the production of FGD gypsum uses limestone or lime reagents. The process of manufacturing FGD Gypsum is eco-friendly and provides ecologically sound and sustainable source of pure gypsum.
FGD gypsum finds its applications in various segments including glass making, water treatment, cement production, mining applications, highway construction, gypsum panel products, and agriculture. In agriculture, FGD gypsum can be used as soil amendment in various hydrogeological and soil conditions. It is used for water infiltration and storage and as a nutrition source for crops. Furthermore, it can be used as a conditioner that enhances physical properties of soil. Furthermore, it helps to reduce sediment and nutrient movement to surface water. It provides an effective method of industrial material recycling and soil conservation, and hence is supported by various governments around the world.
In the construction industry, FGD gypsum is used for the manufacturing of plaster of Paris, cement, and wallboard. The increasing demand for these applications are expected to boost the global market of FGD gypsum. Furthermore, FGD gypsum is recyclable and is used by the prominent manufacturers. Plaster of Paris is used for creating sculptures, structures, and decorative panels. Its demand is expected to grow, further fuelling the demand for FGD gypsum. FGD gypsum is also used in the mining industry for the applications such as subsidence control in underground mines, alkaline amendment to neutralize acid-producing rock, as a barrier to acid mine drainage formation, and as an encapsulation or neutralization of acid-producing materials
FGD gypsum, also known as synthetic gypsum, is manufactured through the process of flue gas desulfurization. Flue gas desulfurization is a technology used to eliminate sulfur dioxide (SO2) from exhaust flue gases of fossil-fuel power plants. The process keeps the air clean and provides sustainable and ecologically sound source of pure gypsum. The product is created while carrying out various industrial processes. Industrial production of phosphoric acid, titanium, hydrofluoric acid, and citric acid helps produce phosphogypsum, titanogypsum, fluorogypsum, and citrogypsum, respectively, as their by-product. The product manufactured is an environmentally friendly, highly sustainable and of high quality. The usage of the synthetic gypsum form FGD is expected to increase as more coal fired power plants convert their desulphurization processes to produce commercial gypsum. Increase in construction of wallboard plants near these power plants is also anticipated to boost the usage of FGD gypsum.
FGD gypsum is used in various industries such as agriculture and construction based upon its usage. In terms of application, the FGD gypsum market can be segmented into wallboard, cement, plaster of Paris, fertilizers, and others. FGD gypsum is primarily used in the form of wallboards and plasterboards in the construction industry. FGD gypsum is also added to cement as filler or retarder. Plaster of Paris is utilized to create decorative panels, structures, and sculptures for the building & construction industry. FGD gypsum is a versatile mineral and is employed as a fertilizer in agriculture. It is primarily added as sulfur or calcium fertilizer. Additionally, gypsum is utilized as soil conditioner; it helps retain water. FGD gypsum is also used in ornaments and other decorative items.
Growth in the construction industry in Asia Pacific, North America, and Europe is anticipated to boost the global FGD gypsum market in the near future. Demand for gypsum is high in the construction industry due to wide applications in wallboard, cement, and plaster of Paris. FGD gypsum is recyclable; this makes it the first choice of material in the construction industry. The construction industry in Europe is significantly strong. It accounts for 10% share of the GDP of European Union. The construction industry in Europe is estimated to expand at a steady rate of 3% till 2020. The construction industry is significantly strong in Western Europe as compared to its counterpart in Eastern Europe. Furthermore, the European Union is focusing on energy efficient and green buildings plans. The region has developed a strong regulatory framework to achieve sustainable construction. These initiatives are likely to fuel the demand for gypsum wallboards and plasterboards in the construction sector in Europe. FGD gypsum boards are more energy-efficient and provide greener solutions than cement and concrete structures. Increase in population along with improvement in the standard of living in Asia Pacific is boosting the market in the region. In developing nations such as China and India, the demand for FGD gypsum is higher due to the development of industries and growth in the construction industry.
The FGD gypsum market is highly consolidated; seven to eight manufacturers account for more than 80% the share globally. However, the rest (20%) of the market is relatively fragmented. Key manufacturers operating in the gypsum market include EDF Energy, E.ON UK Plc, Scottish & Southern Energy Plc, Rugeley Power Ltd., Drax Power Ltd., Eggborough Power Ltd., ?EZ Energetické produkty, s.r.o., STEAG Power Minerals GmbH, VGB PowerTech e.V., and BauMineral GmbH.
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