Molten Sulfur Market: Overview
Molten sulfur is a crystalline solid that is insoluble in water. It is usually transported at higher temperature (above 143°C) to prevent solidification during transportation. Fire and explosion risks can take place when the temperature of molten sulfur reaches above 232°C. Molten sulfur is mined by the Frasch method. The Frasch process is a method to extract sulphur from underground deposits. In this process, three concentric tubes are loaded into the sulfur deposit. Superheated water in the form of steam, is injected through the outermost tubing. Due to excess heat supplied by steam to the sulphur deposits, sulfur melts at 115 °C. The molten sulphur then flows into the middle tube. Hot air is introduced into the innermost tube, so as to make froth of the sulfur. The froth makes sulphur lighter in weight, and pushes it onto the surface. Molten sulfur is then moved into wells, lifted to the surface, and shipped for further usage.
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Molten Sulfur Market: Trends & Demands
Molten sulfur in the form of sulfuric acid is employed extensively in the manufacture of batteries due to the rise in automotive sales in developing economies. This is anticipated to drive the molten sulfur market in the near future. Furthermore, increase in demand for chemicals such as superphosphates, ammonium phosphate, and ammonium sulfates is estimated to boost the demand for molten sulfur during the forecast period. Being flammable, molten sulfur can cause potential health effects. For instance, it can burn the eyes and skin if hydrogen sulfide is released in atmosphere. Additionally, inhalation of sulfur vapors can result in headache, nausea, and vomiting. This is acting as a restraint for the global molten sulfur market.
Molten Sulfur Market: Key Segments
Based on application, the global molten sulfur market can be divided into sulfuric acid, sulfur dioxide, fertilizer, carbon disulfide, plastics, enamels, vulcanizing rubber, synthesizing dyes, bleaching wood pulp, and others. The sulfuric acid segment is expected to expand at a significant pace during the forecast period due to the consistent usage of sulfuric acid in the manufacture of phosphoric acid, which is employed in the manufacture of fertilizers such as diammonium phosphates. Sulfuric acid is primarily used in the synthesis of chemicals such as nitric acid, hydrofluoric acid, and titanium dioxide. Thus, the global molten sulfur market is projected to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period. Sulfuric acid is also used in the manufacture of rayon and as electrolyte in lead-acid batteries. Batteries are used in vehicles, gadgets, etc. Sulfuric acid, which is the product of molten sulfur, is used to generate chlorine in the pulp & paper industry.
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Molten Sulfur Market: Regional Outlook
In terms of region, the global molten sulfur market can be segregated into North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific is anticipated to constitute major share of the global market during the forecast period. The molten sulfur market in Asia Pacific is estimated to expand at a rapid pace due to the rise in per capita income in developing economies such as China and India. Increase in per capita income is boosting the spending power of consumers in the region. This, in turn, is projected to propel the demand for high quality gadgets, automobiles, and other products in Asia Pacific.
Molten Sulfur Market: Key Players
Prominent players operating in the global molten sulfur market include INEOS AG and Obsidian Energy Ltd, General Kinematics Corporation, Oxbow Corporation and Montana Sulphur & Chemical Co. These players engage in research & development activities, strategic alliances, and mergers & acquisitions to gain market share.
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