The Global Potassium Carbonate Market size is projected to grow at a CAGR of 5.3% during the forecast period.
Potassium carbonate is a well-known chemical compound used in the production of soap, glass, and bakery and confectionery products, among other applications. It is a white salt, soluble in water, and can be manufactured by reacting potassium hydroxide with carbon dioxide. Nowadays, it is also manufactured through the electrolysis of potassium chloride. The subsequent potassium hydroxide is then carbonated using carbon dioxide to form potassium carbonate, which is mostly used to produce other potassium compounds such as fertilizers.
Potassium Carbonate Market: Product Lifecycle
Potassium carbonate has been used in the manufacturing of glass, ceramics, agrochemicals, and potassium salts fora long time; however, the inclusion of potassium carbonate in pharmaceuticals and foods is still in the growth phase. Several studies are being conducted on the compound to explore new applications. The demand for potassium carbonate is bound to increase with increasing research efforts in years to come. The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Association has found that several manufacturers and research institutes in Europe and America have intensified investments in innovating and developing new pharmaceutical products, which will bolster potassium carbonate’s upcoming applications.
Increasing demand for potassium carbonate from the glass industry to manufacture specialty glasses, including television tunes and other glass products, is expected to drive market growth during the forecast period. Glass Alliance Europe estimates that glass production in Europe reached a volume of nearly 36 million tons in 2017 and is expected to continue increasing in the coming years. Potassium carbonate is extensively used as a raw material in the manufacturing of electron tube, computer display, TV kinescope, and optical glass for improving clarity, strength, and refractive index.
Potassium carbonate is also significantly used in the manufacturing of television glass, owing to its unique characteristics. Similarly, it is also used in several fire cracking applications and the manufacturing of cosmetics, food, and pharmaceuticals, among other products.
Potassium carbonate is used as a rubber chemical in the rubber industry; thus, the growth of the rubber industry drives the overall consumption of potassium carbonate. Over 28,590 kilotons of rubber were produced across the globe in 2017. The automobile industry has been witnessing significant growth in the demand for automobiles in the past few years. Europe, North America, and Asia-Pacific produced 19.6, 17.46, and 23.7 million units of motor vehicles, respectively, in 2017. However, in the previous year, the production of vehicles was low compared to 2017. Therefore, this rapidly growing demand for vehicles across the globe is projected to boost the overall market for rubber chemicals as they are used in tire and tube manufacturing to provide high elasticity, durability, strength, hardness, and resistance to wear.
Increasing Applications in Oil & Gas Industry to Create Growth Opportunities
Potassium carbonate can be used as a chloride-free, non-corrosive completion fluid and has gained acceptance by many operators in the Middle East. The market has been witnessing steady growth within the oil & gas industry as potassium carbonate is widely used in several end-use applications such as automobiles and powering generator sets. Additionally, the compound can also be used to remove CO2 and H2S from the sour natural gas feed. Significant trading activities in natural gas are expected to offer a growth opportunity in the coming years. According to the OECD, thetotal export of liquefied natural gas and natural gas in a gaseous state was valued at USD 95,000 million and USD 107,000 million respectively in 2017.
Potassium carbonate causes an irritating and caustic effect similar to that in the case of potassium hydroxide. It is also a carcinogenic or mutagenic compound, which can prove toxic on contact with skin and eyes and if swallowed or inhaled. The excessive use of potassium carbonate in food products can cause severe stomach pain, weakness, and leg pain, among others. The health hazards associated with potassium carbonate deter adoption in some applications, restricting market growth to an extent.
Glass and ceramics manufacturing, agrochemical, rubber, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries are among the key end-use application areas for potassium carbonate. The compound is primarily used in glass, TV, and ceramic manufacturing and holds approximately half the market share in said applications. It is also used in the manufacturing of dyes and inks, and some of its other ends uses include foods, explosives, soaps, and inorganic salts.
Potassium carbonate is used in the preparation of grass jelly, which is one of the most common ingredients in Asian cuisines. Additionally, it is also used in thick bread such as gingerbread and as additives in food items such as chocolate. Apart from this, potassium carbonate is used in wine and bakery products. Wine and chocolate are expected to emerge as key demand drivers in the coming years, as the overall consumption of these products has grown significantly in the last few years. For instance, each U.S. resident consumed 2.83 gallons of wine in 2015. As per the traveling Vineyard, 242 million hectoliters of wine were consumed worldwide in 2016.
Asia-Pacific, followed by Europe and the Americas, holds the largest value share in the global potassium carbonate market. In Asia-Pacific, China, India, Japan, and Australia drive the most prominent growth, with demand for bakery and food products and wine.
North America is expected to register healthy growth, with the U.S. accounting for the bulk of the growth. The country records a strong demand for potassium carbonate from glass, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, and rubber industries. The prominent presence of key players further adds to the region’s growth momentum.
Favorable government policies and a thriving pharma sector drive market growth in Europe. The presence of giants such as Novartis, Sanofi, AstraZeneca, and GlaxoSmithKline and massive R&D investments drive Europe’s pharma sector. In 2015 alone, R&D investments in Europe’s pharma sector amounted to a staggering USD 37,670.67 million.
Various regional, as well as national and international chemical manufacturers, are offering potassium carbonate. Some of the prominent manufacturers globally are listed below.
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