Alterative Sulfur Recovery Technologies Could Breathe New Lease of Life into Sluggish Market

The top three players, The Mosaic Company, PotashCrop, and Vale Fertilizers held a collective share of 10.5% in the global sulfuric acid market in 2014. However, the competitive landscape of the mar-ket is defined by sluggish growth due to capital-intensive nature of the market and growing con-cerns about hazardous effects of sulfuric acid, says Transparency Market Research in a new report.
To change the pace of the market and to earn higher revenues, companies will focus on mergers and acquisitions. Development of high-performance products and establishing valued customer relation-ships are also some the key strategies being adopted by players operating in the overall market. For instance, The Mosaic Company, a global leader, is focused on achieving output by minimizing its carbon footprint.
Sulfuric Acid Demand Remains Steady in Developing Regions

Sulfuric acid is a critical component of various processes as it is used as both, an intermediate and as a raw material for chemical manufacturing processes. The rapid industrialization in China is identi-fied as the major factor accelerating the consumption of sulfuric acid. This growth will also be sup-plemented by the rise of the chemicals industry in China. “Furthermore, the positive trajectory of GDP, increasing foreign investments, flexible environmental regulations, and availability of cheap labor are expected to boost the manufacturing sector, which in turn will have a positive impact on the sulfuric acid market in developing countries,” says a TMR analyst.

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As several emerging economies such as India, China, and South Africa boost their cultivation of cot-ton, wheat, rice, and soya bean, they will require gigantic amounts of these fertilizers which use sul-furic acid as an integral component. Demand for phosphate fertilizers, especially in the agriculture-based economies, is expected to add the burgeoning demand of sulfuric acid.
The ever-changing pricing of raw materials such as crude oil, sulfur, and natural gas are the biggest hindrances in the overall market. As sulfur is also extracted during the processing of natural gas and refining of crude oil, any changes in the prices of these materials have a direct bearing on the pricing of sulfur. Furthermore, regulatory framework dissuading usage of sulfuric acid and sulfur dioxide due to its harmful effects of human life is also overshadowing the market’s potential to grow.
Alternative Recovery Processes to Offer New Opportunity for Overall Market

Development of alternative methods to recover sulfur is anticipated to provide an exceptional boost to the market. Materialization of these methodologies will also eliminate the dependency on the pricing of crude oil and natural gas. Leading players such as Bahrain Petroleum Company B.S.C., ExxonMobil Corporation, and Bechtel Corporation are making exceptional investments in develop-ing these methods to reduce fugitive emissions while recovering sulfur.
The report states that the opportunity in the global sulfuric acid market will be worth US$85.4 bn by the end of 2023 from US$67.9 bn in 2014. During the given forecast period of 2015 and 2023, this market is anticipated to rise at a CAGR of 2.6%. The fertilizers end-user segment is will hold the largest share in the overall market, accounting for nearly 65% by the end of 2023.

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The review of the global sulfuric acid mentioned above has been based on the information published by Transparency Market Research titled “Sulfuric Acid Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2015 – 2023.”

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