Home Speciality Chemicals Sulfur Dioxide Market Size And Share Report, 2031

Sulfur Dioxide Market

Sulfur Dioxide Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Type (Gas, Liquid), By Application (Chemicals, Textiles, Food and Beverages, Others) and By Region(North America, Europe, APAC, Middle East and Africa, LATAM) Forecasts, 2023-2031

Report Code: SRSC55948DR
Study Period 2019-2031 CAGR 2.9%
Historical Period 2019-2021 Forecast Period 2023-2031
Base Year 2022 Base Year Market Size USD 5.3 Million
Forecast Year 2031 Forecast Year Market Size USD 6.8 Million
Largest Market Asia-Pacific Fastest Growing Market North America
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Market Overview

The global sulfur dioxide market size was valued at USD 5.3 million in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 6.8 million by 2031, registering a CAGR of 2.9% during the forecast period (2023-2031). Sulfur Dioxide market growth is driven by rising demand for food and beverages. During the forecast period

Sulfur dioxide (SO2) is a chemical compound comprising one sulfur atom and two oxygen atoms. It has a strong odor and is a toxic gas. One of the most important industrial applications of sulfur dioxide is the production of sulfuric acid. Sulfuric acid is used in various industries, including fertilizers, chemicals, and metal processing. Global initiatives, such as the Paris Agreement, emphasize the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, including those that contribute to air pollution, thereby addressing sulfur dioxide emissions indirectly.

The global sulfur dioxide market share is expected to grow significantly during the forecast period due to increased demand for sulphuric acid. As sulfur dioxide is required to produce sulfuric acid, increased demand due to its use in electronics is expected to drive market growth. Electronic-grade sulfuric acid has semiconductors, PCB screens, and integrated circuits. Its widespread use in complex and specialized electronic applications makes it the most widely used specialty wet chemical in the semiconductor sector, assisting the segment's growth over the forecast period.


  • Liquid holds a significant share of the market by type.
  • Food and Beverages generate the most revenue by application.
  • Asia-Pacific dominates the global market.

Market Dynamics

Market Drivers:

Growing Sulfuric acid Production

The primary driver of sulfur dioxide demand is its critical role in producing sulfuric acid, a chemical widely used in various industries. Sulfuric acid is crucial for making fertilizers, chemicals, and metals. The expansion of these industries directly impacts the demand for sulfur dioxide as a raw material in the manufacture of sulfuric acid. The fertilizer industry is a significant consumer of sulfuric acid, which influences sulfur dioxide demand. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) predicts that global fertilizer consumption will continue to rise, particularly in developing countries, to meet rising food demand. Growing irrigation investments increased the gross irrigated area, increasing fertilizer demand and stimulating sulfuric acid production.

Furthermore, the International Fertilizer Association (IFA) forecasts a 4% increase in fertilizer consumption to 192.5 million metric tons (MMT) in 2023. This is slightly higher than the 2019 level of 191.8 Mt. Similarly, sulfuric acid is used in the metals processing industry to extract copper and zinc. The demand for these metals, driven by construction and infrastructure projects, helps sustain the demand for sulfuric acid and, as a result, sulfur dioxide. These trends emphasize the close relationship between sulfur dioxide demand and industrial activities, particularly in producing sulfuric acid for critical industries like agriculture and metals processing. As growth in these sectors continues, so does the sulfur dioxide market trend.

Market Restraints:

Stringent Environment Regulation

Environmental regulations governments impose worldwide to reduce air pollution and mitigate the environmental impact of industrial activities significantly restrain the sulfur dioxide market. These regulations frequently require lower sulfur dioxide emission limits, causing industries to invest in emission control technologies and cleaner processes. The National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) in India sets a limit of 50 g/m3 for 24-hour average SO2 concentrations, which should not be exceeded 98% of the time. The National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) in India sets a limit of 50 g/m3 for 24-hour average SO2 concentrations, which should not be exceeded 98% of the time. 

Similarly, the European Environment Agency (EEA) reports that sulfur dioxide emissions in the EU-27 decreased by approximately 85% between 1990 and 2019. This significant decrease is due to implementing policies and directives to reduce industrial emissions, including sulfur dioxide emissions. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions from shipping in EU ports have decreased significantly, according to a 2023 report from the European Environment Agency (EEA). Furthermore, the Clean Air Act is a critical regulatory framework governing air quality standard in the United States. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) establishes National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), which include sulfur dioxide emission limits. These standards must be met by power plants and industrial facilities, resulting in the adoption of cleaner technologies.

Market Opportunity:

Technological Advancement in Emission Control

The sulfur dioxide market will significantly benefit from continued advancements in emission control technology. Innovations that improve the efficiency of sulfur dioxide capture and reduction can help industries meet stringent environmental regulations and drive market growth by providing cost-effective and long-term solutions. Wet scrubbing is the most commonly used technology for capturing SO2 emissions. Aqueous solutions are used in this protocol to engulf the gases and remove the harmful pollutants before they enter the air. According to the EPA, wet scrubbers control approximately 170,000 MW of electric generating capacity in the United States. 

The opportunity lies in providing industries with cutting-edge emission control technologies that meet regulatory requirements and provide economic benefits. Companies that invest in research and development to improve sulfur dioxide capture technologies' efficiency, reliability, and cost-effectiveness position themselves to capture a share of the expanding emission control market. As industries face increasingly stringent regulations, there is a growing demand for innovative solutions to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions while minimizing operational impacts.

Regional Analysis

The global sulfur dioxide market analysis is conducted in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, and Latin America.

Asia-Pacific Dominates the Global Market

Asia-Pacific is the most significant global sulfur dioxide market shareholder and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 3.0% over the forecast period. The Asia-Pacific region is expected to lead due to the high demand for sulfur dioxide in the food and beverage, chemical, and oil and gas industries. In addition, rising urbanization, changing lifestyles, and the hectic schedules of the working population have increased the demand for ready-to-eat food and beverages, one of the primary drivers fueling the region's Sulfur Dioxide Market rise. Aside from that, increased beer consumption in the area is expected to boost the sulfur dioxide industry even further in the coming year.

Additionally, the increased development of alcoholic beverages in China has eventually increased the use of sulfur dioxide in food and beverage products, which drives the growth of the sulfur dioxide market. Beer consumption in the region is expected to drive market growth in the coming years. For example, China has been the world's largest beer market since 2002, and its beer industry is the world's fastest-growing. China's beer industry is expected to generate USD 131.5 billion in revenue by the end of 2023. The growing investments in the oil and gas industry are driving the sulfur dioxide market in Indonesia. According to the Chairman of the Upstream Oil and Gas Regulatory Task Force (SKK Migas), investment in Indonesia's upstream oil and gas industry increased by 21% in the first half of 2023 to USD 5.7 billion. This compares to USD 4.7 billion during the same period in 2022.

North America is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 2.8% over the forecast period. According to Sulfur Dioxide Market insights, Sulfur dioxide has been in high demand in North America, primarily due to its use in bleaching in various industries. As their respective chemical and food and beverage industries advance, Canada and the United States are poised to emerge as prominent regional segments in North America. For example, in February 2021, Clemens Food Group, a meat processing company, announced plans to expand its plant in the United States with a USD 228 million investment. Mom's Meals, a specialty food processing company, announced an investment of USD 18 million in January 2021 to construct a processing facility in the United States. Naeve Family Beef, a meat processing company, announced plans to invest USD 10 million in building a processing facility in February 2021.

Furthermore, the expansion or contraction of industries like power generation, petrochemicals, and metal processing directly impacts sulfur dioxide emissions. Economic trends and industrial output have an impact on market dynamics.

The European markets are expected to grow at a slower rate. Europe has stringent regulations governing sulfur dioxide emissions to reduce air pollution and its associated environmental and health impacts. The European Union (EU) sets emission standards and directives that member countries must follow. The Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) of the European Union establishes emission limits for various pollutants, including sulfur dioxide. This directive imposes stringent standards on industrial facilities, requiring them to implement sulfur dioxide emission-reduction measures.

In addition, many European countries are actively transitioning to cleaner energy sources, which results in lower sulfur dioxide emissions. The transition from coal to natural gas and renewables has helped reduce power generation emissions.

Sulfur dioxide emissions in the Middle East and Africa region are frequently associated with industrial processes, including energy production from fossil fuels. Sulfur dioxide emissions from refining and combustion processes may occur in countries with a significant presence in the oil and gas industries.

Report Scope

Report Metric Details
By Type
  1. Gas
  2. Liquid
By Application
  1. Chemicals
  2. Textiles
  3. Food and Beverages
  4. Others
Company Profiles Boliden Group INEOS Group AG Praxair Technology Inc. The Linde Group Kemira Oyj Chemtrade Logistics Inc. Calabrian Corporation Grillo-Werke AG PVS Chemicals Inc. Esseco Group Srl.
Geographies Covered
North America U.S. Canada
Europe U.K. Germany France Spain Italy Russia Nordic Benelux Rest of Europe
APAC China Korea Japan India Australia Singapore Taiwan South East Asia Rest of Asia-Pacific
Middle East and Africa UAE Turkey Saudi Arabia South Africa Egypt Nigeria Rest of MEA
LATAM Brazil Mexico Argentina Chile Colombia Rest of LATAM
Report Coverage Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends
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Segmental Analysis

The global sulfur dioxide market is segmented based on type, application, and region.

The market is further segmented by type into Gas and Liquid.

Liquid holds a significant share of the market. In 2022, the liquid segment held the largest share of the sulfur dioxide market. Sulfur dioxide in liquid form typically refers to solutions or mixtures in which sulfur dioxide is dissolved in a liquid medium. This form is valid in processes that involve the absorption or reaction of gaseous sulfur dioxide with a liquid, resulting in the formation of sulfuric acid or other derivatives. Liquid sulfur dioxide is used in wet scrubbing flue gas desulfurization processes. In this method, a liquid scrubbing solution absorbs gaseous sulfur dioxide, resulting in a liquid mixture containing dissolved sulfur dioxide. This liquid may be processed further to extract sulfuric acid or sulfur-containing compounds.

The gas form refers to SO2 in its gaseous state. This is the most common form emitted by various industrial processes, particularly the combustion of sulfur-containing fuels. Sulfur dioxide is a significant air pollutant in gaseous form, contributing to environmental concerns and regulatory scrutiny. Sulfur dioxide gaseous emissions are typical in industrial emissions, mainly from power plants, refineries, and industrial facilities. It is an essential target for emission control technologies. Sulfur dioxide in gas form is frequently treated with technologies such as flue gas desulfurization (FGD) systems, where it is absorbed by scrubbing solutions, forming liquid by-products.

The market can be bifurcated by application into Chemicals, Textiles, Food, and Beverages.

Food and Beverages generates the most revenue in the market. The Food and beverage sector dominated the global market throughout the forecast period, as sulfur dioxide is used as a fumigant, preservative, bleach, and grain steeping agent in the food and beverage industry. Corn is soaked before producing high-fructose corn syrup, and the husks are removed with sulfur dioxide. A trace amount of sulfur dioxide is added to the must throughout the winemaking process to kill bacterial molds and wild yeasts while not harming the yeasts that produce the desired fermentation.

In the chemical industry, sulfur dioxide is used in various chemical processes, including the production of sulfuric acid. Sulfuric acid is a fundamental chemical that is used in the production of fertilizers, detergents, and a variety of industrial chemicals. With sulfuric acid's versatile and critical role, the chemicals industry is a significant consumer of sulfur dioxide.

Market Size By Type

Market Size By Type
  • Gas
  • Liquid
  • Recent Developments

    Key Players

    Sulfur Dioxide Market Share of Key Players

    Sulfur Dioxide Market Share of Key Players
    Boliden Group INEOS Group AG Praxair Technology Inc. The Linde Group Kemira Oyj Chemtrade Logistics Inc. Calabrian Corporation Grillo-Werke AG PVS Chemicals Inc. Esseco Group Srl. Others

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    What is the estimated growth rate (CAGR) of the global Sulfur Dioxide Market?
    The global Sulfur Dioxide Market size is growing at a CAGR of 2.9% from 2023 to 2031.
    Asia-Pacific has the largest share of the market.
    Growing sulfuric acid production is the key driver for the growth of the market.
    The key players in the global Market include Boliden Group, INEOS Group AG, Praxair Technology, Inc., The Linde Group, Kemira Oyj, Chemtrade Logistics Inc., Calabrian Corporation, Grillo-Werke AG, PVS Chemicals Inc., and Esseco Group Srl.

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