Nitric Acid has Several Industrial Usages Resulting in the Development of the Global Market
The Asia Pacific region is approximated to be the world's largest and fastest-growing market for concentrated nitric acid. The region is an industrial base with established manufacturing facilities for agrochemicals, fertilisers, explosives, polyurethane foams, and other products. In FY2019, the primary sales volume for fertilisers in India amounted to approximately 57.8 million tonnes. It increased to about 61.4 million tonnes, resulting in increased nitric acid consumption from the fertiliser segment.
Various industrial applications, such as automotive, building and construction, and agrochemicals, will likely drive the Asia Pacific market. Adipic acid is produced by oxidising cyclohexanone and cyclohexanol with nitric acid, also known as ketone-alcohol oil. Adipic acid is used in small amounts as a flavouring agent in food and can also be used to produce nylons and polymers. The expanded utilisation of nylon and polyurethane is likely to push adipic acid demand. As a result, the concentrated nitric acid market is expected to grow in the years ahead.
The trend of replacing metal parts with lightweight and robust materials such as synthetic rubbers, nylon, and elastomers in the automotive industry drives demand for nitrobenzene and adipic acid. The automotive industry's increasing demand for synthetic rubbers, elastomers, and polyurethane foams is expected to drive product demand.
The ammonium salt of nitric acid is called ammonium nitrate which is the dominant segment because of its widespread use in agricultural fertilisers, explosives, and aviation fuels. Ammonium nitrate is a fertiliser that can also be used as an intermediate in producing other nitrate-containing fertilisers such as calcium and urea ammonium nitrate. The rising demand for fertilisers to meet the world's ever-increasing food demand fuels the ammonium nitrate segment. As a result, the market for concentrated nitric acid is expanding.
Furthermore, coal production in the United States was valued at approximately USD 25.5 billion in 2019 and is expected to fall to around USD 18.8 billion in 2020, resulting in a decrease in the consumption of explosives used during mining and a negative impact on market demand for ammonium nitrate and concentrated nitric acid.
Ammonium nitrate is used to produce Ammonium Nitrate Fuel Oil (ANFO), which is widely used in the production of bulk industrial explosives. During the forecast period, the ammonium nitrate application segment is expected to be driven by rising demand for ANFO in the manufacture of civil explosives.
The Chemical Company, UBE INDUSTRIES LTD, CF Fertilisers UK, Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers & Chemicals Limited (GNFC), and LSB Industries are major key players in the market for the nitric acid. Meanwhile, KBR Inc. announced in April 2019 that its subsidiary Plinke GmbH had been awarded a contract by Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers & Chemicals Limited (GNFC) of India to construct a concentrated nitric acid plant in Bharuch, Gujarat, to increase plant capacity. Deepak Fertilisers and Petrochemicals Corporation Limited (DFPCL) announced in April 2019 the commercial start of the new nitric acid production complex in Dahej, Gujarat, with an annual production capacity of 92-kilotons of concentrated nitric acid, thereby expanding the nitric acid business.
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