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Hydrofluoric Acid Market is projected to Record a CAGR of 2.9% During the Forecast Period 2021 to 2031

Increasing demand for high-octane gasoline, fluorine compounds, and electronics is expected to aid the growing demand for hydrofluoric acid. According to a new study by Future Market Insights (FMI), the market for hydrofluoric acid is set to rise sluggishly with a CAGR of less than 3% through the end of the projection period in 2031.

The global requirement for hydrofluoric acids has grown steadily owing to wide scope of applications for refrigerant compounds in multiple sectors. Strict government regulations associated with the environmental impacts of fluorocarbons will influence long-term demand. In metal sector operations, hydrofluoric acid also finds roles in the processing and production of aluminum products for automotive and packaging sectors.

Hydrofluoric acid is also used in the chemical processing sector in multiple roles including as etching agents, cleaning agents, and for the production of fluorides such as sodium fluoride, cryolite, and aluminum trifluoride, in addition to fluorocarbons, fluoropolymers, freons, and more. Hydrofluoric acid is also gaining attention as a precursor to niche drugs, a key factor which indicates regular demand from the global pharmaceutical industry.

The growing demand for hydrofluoric acids, particularly from emerging economies will influence the direction of the market. On the other hand, the high concentration of fluorspar in China unbalances production capabilities. In addition, health and environmental concerns are also issues holding back growth. With further restraints on end user industries, during the covid-19 pandemic, demand is likely to recover gradually through 2021.

How Does Historical Data Compare with the Future Outlook of the Hydrofluoric Acid Market?Hydrofluoric acid market has expanded at a fairly sluggish rate during the historical period of analysis between 2016-2020. Anhydrous hydrofluoric acid accounted for the major market share of market and is anticipated to continue holding the lead over forecast period. However, the demand for aqueous hydrofluoric acid is projected to increase relatively faster over the forecast period.

Hydrofluoric acid is also one of the prominent ingredients added to electrolytic cells during aluminum production, which is gaining attention owing to the implementation of stringent regulations on the production of light-weight vehicles creating significant opportunities for growth.

According to FMI’s analysis, hydrofluoric acid sales are projected to grow at a 2.9% CAGR between 2021 and 2031. The material is increasingly used in the production of fluorochemicals. However, stringent regulations imposed to restrict global warming might pose a serious challenge to the Hydrofluoric Acid Market over the forecast period. Regardless, the increasing use in steel pickling and metal treatment for the removal of unwanted layers, will continue to drive consumption.

There has also been rise in demand for high-grade, ultra-pure, electronic grade hydrofluoric acid in the semiconductor industry. Other applications of hydrofluoric acid include uranium fuel production, herbicides, pharmaceuticals, ceramics and glass etching industries, which will contribute to Hydrofluoric Acid Market developments.

hydrofluoric acid market price benchmark key regions by grade, 2021

How are Metal and Glass Treatment Applications Impacting Sales?As the coronavirus pandemic continues to subside through 2021, the global metals industry has been witnessing a steady recovery, with significant impetus from China. Hydrofluoric acid is commonly used in the pickling process within the steel industry. Therefore, recovery in the steel industry will create opportunities for sales in the hydrofluoric acid market.

In the steel industry, hydrofluoric acid is used to remove unwanted layers of metals including stains and impurities, while providing the needed finish to end products. Hydrofluoric acid also finds roles in separating metals from their ores.

Additionally, increasing use of hydrofluoric acid is witnessed in other niche applications, including flux agents for refining and metal extraction processes and for creating protective material before coatings.

In the glass industry, the hydrofluoric acid solution is used along with sulfuric acid to dissolve silica raw materials while finishing and shine end product. With growth in metal treatment and glass industry, demand for liquefied hydrogen fluoride will remain strong for the foreseeable future.

For instance, SCHOTT has unveiled applications of hydrofluoric acid for extending the life of temperature resistant, electrochemically stable lithium-ion batteries while preserving their capacity with HF absorbent glass powder to prevent corrosion damage on cells.

Key Takeaways of Hydrofluoric Acid Market Study

  • Hydrofluoric acid sales to increase at 2.9% CAGR through the assessment period.
  • The dominant fluorochemical applications of hydrofluoric acid, are likely to decline in the near future owing to stringent regulations associated with climate change.
  • Continuing demand for fluorochemicals the metal industry allows Germany to register a relatively higher growth rate.
  • United States market is projected to face major challenges owing to strict environment protection regulations.
  • China will remain a dominant market, owing to easy availability and restrictions on imports associated with key raw materials.

Fluorspar Constraints Influence Market Developments

According to FMI, the unbalanced state of global fluorspar supplies, has pushed hydrofluoric acid manufacturers to focus on the development of alternative production avenues to reduced the gap in raw material supples.

The use of fluorosilicic acid has been gaining traction in the industry. The material is produced through reactions between sulfuric acid and phosphate rock with silicates. It is being viewed as a commercially feasible alternative to fluorspar supplies.

Currently, the use of fluorosilicic acid for the production of hydrofluoric acid is still in a nascent stage. However, an increasing number of manufacturers are expected to adopt the technology over the coming decade.  The major advantage of this method is the significant reduction in production costs, resulting in a substantial rise in profit margins for the foreseeable future.

Who is Winning?

The global hydrofluoric acid market can be considered as moderately consolidated, with a few leading players accounting for a major share of the overall hydrofluoric acid production. Manufacturers are increasingly focused on investments into research and development aimed towards product development with a focus on environment protection.

Key market participants including Gulf Fluor, Laxness AG, Solvay SA, Honeywell International, Buss ChemTech AG, Sinochem International Corp., Tanfac Industries Ltd., Fubao Group, Navin Fluorine International Limited, Merck KGaA, SRF Limited, Gujarat Fluorochemicals Ltd., Stella Chemifa Corporation, Morita Chemical Industries Co. Ltd., and Soulbrain Co., Ltd. amongst others are also focusing on consolidating their presence in the global market by diversifying supplies and distribution channels, dealing with the fallout of the covid-19 pandemic.

Hydrofluoric Acid Market by category

Grade

  • Anhydrous
  • Aqueous

Application

  • Fluorochemicals
  • Steel Pickling and Metal Treatment
  • Petroleum Catalyst
  • Glass Etching
  • Electronics & Semiconductor
  • Others

Region

  • North America
  • Latin America
  • Europe
  • East Asia
  • South Asia & Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa

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