Hydrogen peroxide is a pale blue chemical compound in its pure form. It is unstable in nature as it decomposes to oxygen and water in an exothermic reaction. It is stored in a weak acidic solution along with a stabilizer as it can cause combustion when in contact with organic materials. It is commonly used as an antiseptic agent to heal infections caused by burns or minor cuts and has strong oxidizing properties and hence is used as a bleaching agent in the paper and pulp industry.
Hydrogen peroxide is used in various end-user industries, such as textiles, electronics, healthcare, wastewater treatment, and mining. Therefore, the growth in these industries is expected to boost the hydrogen peroxide market growth during the forecast period. However, the severe risk to human health when exposed to eye or skin can hamper the market growth.
Based on end-user industry, the pulp and paper segment is expected to boost the market growth during the forecast period. It is used as a versatile bleaching agent in the chemical pulp, mechanical pulp bleaching sequences, as well as in paper recycling with printed ink removal.
According to the International Energy Agency, the global paper and paperboard production increased by over 25% between 2000 and 2018, and paperboard production expanded by 1.2% and is further expected to grow during the forecast period. Hydrogen peroxide increases the paper brightness by emanating low residue of halogenated compounds and is applied as an exclusive bleaching agent in sulfite pulp brightening. Therefore, the growing pulp and paper industry is projected to boost the market growth.
Hydrogen peroxide is responsible for causing severe risk to human health and is carcinogenic. When exposed to eyes, can result in permanent vision loss, while skin exposure causes painful blisters, burns, and skin whitening. Therefore, certain stringent regulations have been imposed by agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are anticipated to hinder the market growth during the forecast period.
Policies implemented by various regulatory agencies such as the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concerning its use are also anticipated to restrict the market growth. For instance, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned consumers to not use highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide such as 35% food-grade hydrogen peroxide for medicinal purposes.
The Asia-Pacific is expected to hold the largest market share during the forecast period. The dominance can be attributed to prolific growth of various end-user industries such as paper, textile, mining, electronics, and chemicals. The region has an advantage of fast-growing eucalyptus as pulp raw material, and accordingly, invests in new pulp mills which are expected to boost the market growth. The rising paper consumption in the developing parts of the region and the growing demand for hygiene paper, tissues, and packaging can also propel the demand for hydrogen peroxide.
The presence of various hydrogen peroxide manufacturers in Asia-Pacific are also boosting its demand. The local players of this market are investing to tap the potential local market. For instance, Meghmani Finechem Ltd (MFL) invested 56 USD Million for expansion of existing projects and a new project at its facility in Dahej, Gujarat, India in the year 2019.
Asia-Pacific is also recording high demand for electronic grade hydrogen peroxide due to presence of high potential markets like China and Taiwan. As per China’s National Integrated Circuit Development Promotion Outline, the Chinese government is planning to increase its investments to support the IC manufacturing and design industry which is anticipated to boost the regional market growth.
Additionally, the growing food sector owing to rising population, increase in the consumer preference to consume packaged edibles, coupled with the rise in disposable income is also expected to augment the market growth.
Europe is expected to be the second-largest region in the global hydrogen peroxide market during the forecast period owing to the increasing requirements for various personal care and cosmetic products. Hydrogen peroxide is used in cosmetics and personal care products due to its oxidizing abilities and antimicrobial properties. The increased emergence of cosmetic manufacturers in the region has led to an increase in the consumption of products, such as hair care formulations, skincare creams, lotions, makeup products, etc.
As per the annual report of L'Oreal Paris, the cosmetic market has gained 5.5% growth in 2019, out of which 40% was grabbed by the skincare segment and 18% by the makeup segment with the European cosmetic market accounting for 18% which shows that the cosmetic industry in the region is growing rapidly. Recently, Europe has evolved as a hub for multinational personal care item manufacturers like Unilever, Proctor & Gamble, L'Oreal, etc. Which is expected to boost the regional market growth.
The growing textile industry which uses this compound as a mild bleaching agent is also anticipated to propel the market during the forecast period. According to the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency (INVEST INDIA) statistics, the world's textile and apparel trade stood at 823 USD billion in 2018 and has grown at a CAGR of 4%. Apart from this, the current market size of the global apparel market is estimated at 1.9 USD trillion which is likely to grow to 2.6 USD trillion at a CAGR of 5%. Europe dominated with the largest market share of 23% in 2018 with 427 USD trillion market value which is expected to grow to 458 USD trillion by 2025.
The global hydrogen peroxide market comprises of several prominent players, leading to intense competition in the market. This rising competition has led to various strategies adopted by the players such as new product launches, research and development, joint ventures, agreements, investments, acquisitions, followed by process reforms adopted by these multinationals, patented technologies, and project expansions to strengthen their global foothold. For instance, in May 2018, Arkema launched a new grade of hydrogen peroxide, Valsterane S-HP (Spray High-Performance), for spraying aseptic packaging systems which help in decreasing the maintenance down-times.