The global noble gas market size was valued at USD 2,596.22 million in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 4,062.42 million by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 5.1% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
Noble gases are a group of chemical elements with no smell, no color, and only one atom. They do not mix with other chemicals very easily. Helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon, and radioactive radon are the six noble gases found in nature. There are many important uses for noble gases in businesses, like lights, welding, and space travel. For instance, Helium keeps oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide from making deep-sea dives sick. Argon is used to keep the hot tungsten filament in incandescent lights from oxidizing. Due to their low freezing and boiling points, noble gases are also used as cold refrigerants. Noble gases like Helium and xenon are also used in healthcare for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and sedation.
Noble gases are helpful in many industrial applications, driving the market. Due to its abundance (78.3% N2, 1% Ar in air) and inexpensive cost, purified argon gas is the most often utilized inert gas. With its low boiling point, Helium is useful in cryogenics and nuclear reactor cooling. In addition, airport runway lights and camera flashes employ krypton and xenon. Finally, radiation therapy uses radon. Noble gases have unique physical and atomic features that make them helpful in industrial and therapeutic applications.
Growing Preference for Noble Gases in the Healthcare Industry
Improved medical tools and more government funds spent on healthcare make it easier to use noble gases in medical equipment like MRI and ophthalmology. Drugs that are breathed in are spread through the air with the help of noble gases. These gases are ideal for usage in healthcare because they do not combine with other things and are not harmful to people. The healthcare industry is growing because people live longer, cities get richer, and more people get sick. Numerous other uses include analysis and imaging equipment, tests, home and institutional respiratory therapy, cleaning of tools and equipment, anesthesia for dentistry and general surgery, and imaging contrast. Such factors are predicted to drive market growth.
Rising End-User Industry
Healthcare, manufacturing, chemical, and electronics will likely drive noble gas demand. These gases improve yield, performance, and cost in many end-use industries. The market will rise due to increased applicability in manufacturing (welding and cutting, lighting, laser, chemicals), healthcare (medical devices, pharmaceutical pharmaceuticals manufacture, anesthesia), and analytical and calibration instruments. Technology and manufacturing improvements will expand industrial applications like semiconductor manufacturing.
Additionally, manufacturing sectors use noble gases, including customer-specific blends, to fulfill market demands. The Belt and Road program in China, make in India in India, and Buy American, Hire American in the U.S. are expected to offer significant possibilities and assist manufacturing businesses. Similarly, subsidies, foreign direct investments, trade promotions, and supporting policies by the government to boost manufacturing are expected to propel product demand over the forecast period.
Declining Use of Noble Gas in Lighting
Lighting uses non-reactive, non-flammable noble gases like neon, krypton, and argon. Light is produced by heating tungsten with fluorine. Noble gases are non-reactive at high temperatures, making them safe fillers for lighting. Quartz tubes heated by tungsten filament lights can burn nearby things at temperatures between 2800 and 3300 K. In order to avoid this, argon is employed as a filler. On the other hand, CFLs generate light by heating argon and mercury. Different colors are also produced using neon lights.
As lighting technology advances, noble gases are being used less and less. LED lighting has gained popularity since it produces little to no heat and does not need a noble gas refill. CFL and filament bulbs pollute the air. Hence governments worldwide have banned their usage. In addition, countries are replacing CFLs with LEDs to ensure net neutrality. This could hinder the market over the forecast period.
Helium is required in medicine for numerous therapeutic applications due to its low molecular weight and minimal interaction with other elements. Helium is administered with oxygen to help asthmatics and bronchitis breathe. In addition, Helium is utilized instead of nitrogen and oxygen because it is less soluble in nitrogen. Noble gas uses in healthcare will rise over the projection period, creating a large market potential.
Additionally, Argon gas use is expected to rise 8.2% over the projected period in the industrial, aerospace, and healthcare sectors. Steelmaking requires argon gas. Argon oxygen decarburization injects argon and oxygen into liquid steel to make high-grade alloys like stainless steel. Due to industrialization in developing countries that require high-quality steel and government initiatives like the "Belt and Road" initiative that requires a lot of steel for infrastructure development, argon demand for steel production is expected to rise over the forecast period. Such factors create opportunities over the forecast period.
The global noble gas market is bifurcated into noble gas products, applications, and distribution.
Based on products, the global market is bifurcated into helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon, and others.
The helium gas segment dominates the global market and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 4.8% over the forecast period. This is due to the growing demand for Helium in healthcare, aerospace, automotive, marine research, and industry. Helium cannot be extracted from the air like other noble gases because of how little there is in the environment. It is a waste of the process of getting natural gas. In addition, the gas-rejecting units store the vent gas accumulated due to the extraction process after the natural gas has been removed from the earth. High-quality Helium is produced from this gas by processing.
Additionally, Helium has many uses in the healthcare business. For example, liquid Helium cools superconductive magnets in MRI machines. It is used in eye surgeries that use gas and light. Helium is also used as a gas to help people breathe. Helium can also be used as a component in the production of rocket fuel.
Based on application, the global market is bifurcated into healthcare, electronics, aerospace, construction, energy and power, and others.
The healthcare segment owns the highest market share and is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 8.3% over the forecast period. The healthcare application segment of the market is growing because more medical uses are being found for noble gases. Many nuclear magnetic resources imaging and magnetic resonance imaging equipment use noble gas. High-purity noble gases like xenon and Helium are used to put people to sleep, bring them back to life, and help them breathe independently. They are the best choice for biotechnology and medical uses.
Additionally, the healthcare application part of the global market is growing because of a larger population, more money in cities, and a longer life span. North America will spend more on healthcare than other areas. According to CMS, the US GDP was 19.7% in 2021. In addition, government spending and medical technology breakthroughs drive Asia-Pacific healthcare growth. Due to increasing healthcare costs, technological advances, and the therapeutic use of large volumes of specialty gas, the noble gas demand is expanding. This boosts the noble gas healthcare application market development.
Based on distribution, the global market is bifurcated into bulk, cylinder, and others.
The bulk segment dominates the global market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.8% over the forecast period. Transporting gas over long distances by road (using specialized trailers) or pipeline must either be converted into a liquid or kept in its natural state. This method is the best way to obtain gases when demand is higher than packaged gas delivery but lower than on-site delivery. It is the best way to get gases to people because it works better than other ways and ensures availability. Large gas carriers storing and feeding gases over long distances can also move large amounts of goods over the seas.
Based on region, the global noble gas market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Central and South America, and the Middle East and Africa.
North America is the most significant global noble gas market shareholder and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 4.21% during the forecast period. Due to the substantial production in the region, North America is one of the world's leading noble gas markets. The demand for noble gas in the region will likely rise in the coming years due to significant investments in North America to improve air separation methods and production technologies. Due to the exploding demand for these gases for medical applications, the market for noble gases in North America is growing.
Additionally, mergers and acquisitions by market players of North American-based noble gas producers also propel market growth. They can gain ground on facility expansions because the region is home to several production facilities owned by well-known market participants. In addition, the largest market in North America is for noble gas because it is generated in vast amounts here. The high-purity noble gas is generated in great quantities in the United States due to its rising demand in medical applications. The market for noble gases in North America is also expanding due to the increased use of high-purity gas in analytical medical applications like MRI and CT scan equipment.
In Europe, welding, cutting, metal manufacturing, and semiconductor lithography require noble gas. Europe has significant noble gas penetration due to leading market participants' strong manufacturing and distribution systems. For instance, Messer Group manufactures in Belgium, France, Austria, Switzerland, Serbia, Hungary, etc. Due to increased facility establishment, technical breakthroughs, high discretionary income, and higher living standards, Europe's noble gas industry is growing. European noble gas production will benefit from government support. Noble gas demand in Europe is predicted to rise due to healthcare uses. Due to manufacturing improvements, industrial offerings in this region are expected to improve.
Asia-Pacific is expected to grow steadily over the forecast period. Noble gas users like healthcare, electronics, manufacturing, and pharmaceuticals thrive in the region. Asia-Pacific is expected to increase noble gas demand due to massive expenditures in creating new methods and adopting new manufacturing technologies, equipment, etc. Asia-Pacific governments' subsidies, trade promotion, supportive policies, and increased foreign investments to strengthen their manufacturing and electronics industries are expected to increase product demand over the forecast period. In addition, China's Belt and Road plan and India's Make in India program is expected to offer huge potential and a supportive environment for manufacturing in these nations. Technologies and manufacturing capabilities will improve Asia-Pacific's industrial sector's offers. The region's manufacturing industry employs noble gas-purifying equipment to suit market demands.
In Central and South America, high-purity noble gas output is above average due to a greater focus on the healthcare and electronics industries. The high requirement for noble and analytical gases is attributed to the increasing need for maximizing production efficiency, monitoring pollutants, and measuring radiations in devices such as bubble chambers, Geiger counters, and incandescent lamps.
The Middle East and Africa's noble gas market is growing slowly. This is because surgical tools, defense equipment, leather goods, cotton, and a growing number of new uses for noble gases are steadily increasing their production capacities. The majority of demand for specialty gases comes from the service and industrial industries because welding, cutting, and metal fabrication are becoming more important in the automotive business. This region's economy, population growth, and facilities improvements will likely drive market growth. In addition, government efforts to strengthen end-user businesses like manufacturing, services, oil and gas, healthcare, food, beverages, etc., are expected to push market growth over the next few years.
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