Sulphuric acid also known as ‘oil of vitriol’ having molecular formula H2SO4 is a highly strong corrosive mineral acid. Sulphuric acid is pungent-ethereal, colorless to slightly yellow viscous liquid soluble in water at all concentrations. During production, sulphuric acid takes dyed dark brown color to intimate people of its strong hazard effects. Sulphuric acid shows different properties with different material depending on the concentration. Having strong acidic nature, sulphuric acid can harm materials such as metals, living tissues even stones at strong concentration. Sulphuric acid at high concentration can cause serious damage to eye as it burns the cornea of the eye causing permanent blindness if splashed into the eye.
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Some of the majorly used methods of producing sulphuric acid include contact process (production of sulphuric acid at high concentration) and wet sulfuric acid process (gas desulfurization processes). Major application of sulphuric acid includes domestic acidic drain cleaner, electrolyte in lead-acid batteries also used as cleaning agent. Other major use of sulphuric acid is in the chemical industry. Major uses of sulphuric acid in the chemical industry include mineral processing, manufacturing of fertilizer, wastewater processing, chemical synthesis and oil refining. Sulphuric acid is used to manufacture phosphoric acid with the help of wet method, which is further used to manufacture phosphate fertilizer. Sulfuric acid is used as catalyst in the chemical industry for the conversion of cyclohexanone oxime to caprolactam used for nylon production.
Asia Pacific has the largest market share for global sulphuric acid, followed by North America and Europe. Asia Pacific region is expected to maintain its dominance in the global market owing to increasing domestic demand for sulphuric acid by the chemical industry. Emerging markets of China and India are expected to boost the Asia Pacific sulphuric acid market. Other emerging markets are the Middle East countries.
Wide variety of application of the sulphuric acid in the chemical industry is driving the global sulphuric acid market. Additionally, with increasing population demand for better infrastructure, food crops and base metals is expected to increase. This is expected to increase the global demand for sulphuric acid. Also, various fertilizers are produce with the use of sulphuric acid; so increasing demand for fertilizers is further expected to increase the demand of sulphuric acid in the global market.
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Global sulphuric acid market is dominated by big chemical and pharmaceutical companies. Some of the major companies operating in the global sulphuric acid market are Agrium, Honeywell, Cytec Industries, Bayer, Akzo Nobel, Evonik Industries, Dupont, Chevron and Solvay