- Rubidium is a soft, silvery-white metallic element of the alkali group. It is the second most electropositive and alkaline element. It ignites spontaneously in air and reacts violently in water, setting fire to the liberated hydrogen. It can be liquid at ambient temperature, but only on a hot day given that its melting point is about 40°C.
- Rubidium is used as a coating on the electrodes of thermionic converters, which convert heat energy into electrical energy. It is also used in the manufacture of photocells and special glasses. Applications of rubidium and its compounds include biomedical research, electronics, specialty glass, and pyrotechnics.
- Rubidium can be easily ionized; therefore, it has been considered for use in "ion engines" for space vehicles. However, cesium is somewhat more efficient for this purpose.
Key Drivers and Restraints of Rubidium Market
- Rubidium is primarily used in the manufacture of specialty glasses. It is also employed in the production of superoxide, study of potassium ion channels in biology, and as vapor in atomic magnetometers. It is used in fiber optic telecommunication systems and night-vision devices. It is also utilized in making rubidium carbonate, which has several properties including electrical conductivity. Increase in demand for specialty glasses in various industries and applications, such as electronics industry, sealing applications, and battery sealing applications, is expected to drive the global rubidium market during the forecast period.
- Rise in demand for rubidium in biomedical research and electronics applications is expected to create significant opportunities for the rubidium market in the near future. Rubidium’s photo emissive properties make it ideal for electrical-signal generators in motion-sensor devices, night vision devices, photoelectric cells (solar panels), and photomultiplier tubes. Rubidium-caesium-antimony coating is commonly applied to photocathodes of photomultiplier tubes, which are used in radiation detection devices and medical imaging equipment.
Rubidium: Grade Segment
- In terms of grade, the global rubidium market can be divided into technical grade metal and high-purity grade
- The technical grade metal segment is projected to hold major share of the market during the forecast period. This can be ascribed to the rise in demand for technical grade metal, which is used as a component of photocells, remove traces of oxygen from vacuum tubes, and make special types of glass. It is also used as a getter in vacuum tubes, a material that combines with and removes trace gases from tubes.
- The high-purity grade segment is projected to follow the technical grade metal segment during the forecast period. Rubidium has several applications in the field of medicine. Rubidium chloride (RbCl) and several other rubidium salts are used as density-gradient media in the ultra-centrifugal separation of viruses and nucleic acids DNA and RNA, while radioactive rubidium is used as a tracer of blood flow. Rubidium salts are used as soporifics and sedatives. They are also used for the treatment of epilepsy. High demand for medical applications is driving the global rubidium market.
Rubidium: Application Segment
- Based on application, the global rubidium market can be segmented into biomedical research, electronics, specialty glass, pyrotechnics, and others
- The specialty glass segment is projected to gain higher share of the global market during the forecast period. Rubidium is used in fiber optic telecommunications systems as well as night-vision devices. The carbonate (Rb2CO3) is used as an additive in these types of glass, where it reduces electrical conductivity and improves stability and durability.
- The biomedical research segment is also projected to hold key share of the global rubidium market in the near future. Rubidium salts are used in anti-shock agents and the treatment of epilepsy and thyroid disorder. Rubidium-82, a radioactive isotope, is used as a blood-flow tracer in positron emission tomographic imaging, while rubidium chloride is used as an antidepressant. Rubidium atoms are used in academic research, including the development of quantum-mechanics-based computing devices, a future application with potential for relatively high consumption of rubidium.
COVID-19 Impact on Rubidium Market
- On January 30, 2020, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. Originating in China, the virus has spread to at least 214 countries and territories around the world.
- Several governments and private sector businesses are operating at a limited capacity or have ceased operations completely due to recent events surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic
- Manufacture of various consumer goods and other products across the globe came to a halt due to the unavailability of raw materials, shortage of labor, and other reasons. This is expected to hamper the rubidium market.
North America to Hold Leading Share of Rubidium Market
- In terms of region, the rubidium market can be divided into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa
- North America is expected to hold major share of the global rubidium market, followed by North Europe and Asia Pacific, during the forecast period. This can be attributed due to its existing market position in the electronics and optics sectors. The U.S. was one of the first countries to produce and use rubidium. In terms of size, the U.S. electronics market is the largest in the world. Furthermore, the U.S. is expected to remain the leading market during the forecast period due to the use of advanced technology and increase in the number of R&D centers.
- The rubidium market in Europe and Asia Pacific is projected to expand at a rapid pace in the near future.
Key Manufacturers Operating in Rubidium Market
The rubidium market was consolidated in 2020. Major players have prominent presence in developed and developing countries. Prominent manufacturers operating in the rubidium market include:
- American Elements
- Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd.
- International Lithium Corp.
- Merck KGaA
- Otto Chemie Pvt. Ltd.
- Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.
- AccuBeat Ltd.
- Excelitas Technologies Corp.
Rubidium: Research Scope
Rubidium Market, by Grade
- Technical Grade Metal
- High-purity Grade
Rubidium Market, by Application
- Biomedical Research
- Specialty Glass
Global Rubidium Market, by Region
- North America
- Russia & CIS
- Rest of Europe
- Asia Pacific
- Rest of Asia Pacific
- Latin America
- Rest of Latin America
- Middle East & Africa
- South Africa
- Rest of Middle East & Africa
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