Ammonium Chloride Expanding its Demand in Multiple Industries
Ammonium chloride is a systemic, water soluble, and urinary acidifying salt that helps sustain pH and exerts a mild diuretic effect. This acid forming salt is also used as a mucoactive agent used to treat coughs. Ammonium chloride is popularly used in veterinary medicine to avoid urinary stones in sheep, goats, and cattle. The primary source to produce ammonium chloride is through the Solvay process for making sodium carbonate. However, with an external source of ammonia, the ammonium chloride may be obtained from the process, and utilized as a nitrogen fertilizer or for other purposes. The demand for ammonium chloride as a nitrogen source in fertilizers, primarily for the cultivation of wheat and rice in Asia and Russia is driving the global ammonium chloride market during the forecast period.
Popularly known as Sal Ammoniac, ammonium chloride has multiple uses such as an electrolyte in dry cells, and it is also extensively used as a component of galvanizing, tinning, and soldering fluxes to eliminate oxide layers from metals and thereby enhance the adhesion of the solders. Moreover, ammonium chloride is a component of several exclusive cold medicines and cough treatments due to its effectiveness as an expectorant, and also in veterinary medicine. Furthermore, there is a heavy demand for ammonium chloride in the food industry has been increasing. This is expected to expand the Asia Pacific and Russia ammonium chloride market in the near future.
COVID-19 Limiting Expansion, Supply of Ammonium Chloride
Asia and Russia have been using ammonium chloride in larger amounts during the COVID-19 outbreak. Such trends are affecting the expansion of the ammonium chloride market in different regions of the world. The pandemic has been responsible for holding the demand for nitrogen fertilizers, leading to a price drop for ammonium chloride and limiting the global supply chain. Excess supply and thin blending margins for solder adhesives are affecting the growth of the ammonium chloride market.
Suppliers were putting excess ammonium chloride in storage during the peak of the coronavirus outbreak in April with plans to remain stored until the end of 2021. Moreover, refineries have been functioning in a restricted practice following which there has been a slowdown in ammonium chloride flows. As such, mass production and supply for COVID-19 vaccines and sturdy financial planning of business activities are anticipated to revive market growth in the ending quarters of 2021.
China Dominates World’s Ammonium Chloride Exports
The Asia Pacific holds the largest share of the ammonium chloride market with the majority of the world’s production highly concentrated in China, which accounts for more than 80% of global exports. China is largely producing ammonium chloride using Hou's Solvay process that yields ammonium chloride, along with soda ash as a byproduct. It has a better price value than that of the conventional Solvay process. Thus, using these process manufacturers of ammonium chloride have earned a competitive edge over other players. However, APAC has witnessed several capacity expansions with domestic manufacturers entering the ammonium chloride market.
The ammonium chloride market in Asia Pacific and Russia is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of ~4% during the forecast period of 2021 to 2031. Owing to several factors, including the expanding rice and wheat crop production in Asian and Russian countries have increased ammonium chloride-based fertilizers in these regions. Moreover, the use of ammonium chloride in various applications is creating better opportunities for manufacturers in the global market. Moreover, ammonium chloride has also found its methods as a component in contact explosives, fireworks, and safety matches. Besides, the use of dry cell batteries is growing in demand and expected to contribute to the growth of the Asia Pacific and Russia ammonium chloride market.
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Medicinal Side Effects of Ammonium Chloride May Limit Growth Opportunities
Ammonium chloride is famously used in laboratory applications around the world and was previously more popular for producing low temperatures in cooling baths. For paleontological research, ammonium chloride vapor is deposited on fossils to form a brilliant white, easily extracted, harmless inactive layer of tiny crystals. This process helps to cover up the coloration of the fossil and helps to enhance contrast in photographic documentation of three-dimensional specimens. These techniques are also used in archaeological processes. Due to increasing research and development activities in Russia and APAC regions, the ammonium chloride market is anticipated to grow during the forecast period.
As with the other applications of ammonium chloride, the market is witnessing rising demand in the pharmaceutical industry, as it is used in the development of several drugs and medicines. Ammonium chloride is used as a systemic acidifier in patients with metabolic alkalosis, resulting from chloride loss following vomiting, gastric suction, gastric fistula drainage, and pyloric stenosis. The chemical is also proving effective for the treatment of diuretic-induced chloride depletion. However, the medicinal use of ammonium chloride is a bit complicated, due to the side effects found in patients such as metabolic acidosis, rash, EEG abnormalities, seizures, etc. This is leading researchers to find alternatives for the chemical, thus, can hinder the growth of the pharmaceutical industry.