Ferric chloride is a brownish liquid which has a pungent odor which is similar to that of hydrochloric acid. It also exists in solid lump form or in anhydrous powder form. Ferric Chloride or Iron (III) Chloride is used as a flocking agent in drinking water and waste water treatment in various industries. When small amount of ferric chloride is added in water, ferric hydroxide precipitates and absorbs the suspended impurities. Ferric chloride is generally used as a concentrated solution with minimum concentration of 40% w/w. Moreover in few industrial applications, ferric chloride is also used in crystalline solid form. Aqueous ferric chloride solution is acidic in nature and corrosive to most metals.
Ferric chloride is most commonly produced from chlorine gas and pickling liquors. Moreover, ferric chloride produced as a byproduct of manufacturing titanium dioxide is also used in many industries. Another popular method of producing ferric chloride in industries is with the help of Iron scraps. In this method ferric chloride is mixed with iron in a dissolution vessel to form ferrous chloride, this ferrous chloride is then oxidized into ferric chloride by reacting it with chlorine gas. Furthermore, several other feed stocks such as soft iron, mixed oxides and ferric oxides are also utilized for producing ferric chloride.
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The cost of raw material required to produce ferric chloride for industrial purposes is relatively lower. Due to this, many chlor-alkali producers invest in the production of ferric chloride. With increasing awareness about need for clean drinking water, especially in developing regions, the demand of ferric chloride is expected to increase during the forecast period. This is expected to further drive the growth of ferric chloride market during the forecast period. Moreover, ferric chloride undergoes rapid hydrolysis when mixed with water.
Due to this property, the consumption of ferric chloride is expected to increase in municipal waste water treatment which is further expected to drive the growth of ferric chloride market during the forecast period. Furthermore, ferric chloride has a relatively higher cost efficiency and better performance characteristics than some of the other water treatment chemicals like polyaluminium chloride, ferrous sulphate and alum. These properties are expected to help drive consumption of ferric chloride market during the forecast period.
Ferric chloride is acidic and corrosive in nature, this tends to limit the use of ferric chloride in certain industrial waste water treatment applications where non corrosive alternatives like alum and ferrous sulphate are used. This is expected to act as an impediment to growth of ferric chloride market during the forecast period. With expected increase in cost of hydrochloric acid, recycling of pickling liquors is expected to increase, this will constrain the use of pickling liquors in production of ferric chloride, thus hampering the expected growth of ferric chloride market.
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Owing to the implementation of various new amendments regarding safe drinking water act, the utilization of ferric chloride has increased in the municipal potable water treatment over the recent past. Moreover, use of ferric chloride for etching of Printed Circuit Boards has increased, this will have a significant impact on the growth of ferric chloride market. Ferric chloride solutions are also being used in surface treatment of metals like copper and zinc for removing scales.
Ferric Chloride Market: Market Segmentation
On the basis of end use sector
- Pharmaceuticals Industry
- Chemicals Industry
- Electronics Industry
- Metals & Metallurgy
- Municipal Waste-Water Treatment
- Municipal Potable Water Treatment
On the basis of applications
- Wastewater Treatment
- Metal Surface treatment
- Potable Water treatment
- Electronic Etchants
On the basis of grade
- Ferric Chloride Hexahydrate Lumps
- Ferric Chloride Liquid
Owing to various wastewater rules and regulations implied by the countries of European region, the utilization of ferric chloride is expected to increase in municipality wastewater treatment, thus benefiting the expected growth of ferric chloride market in European region. Moreover, with the expected growth of electronics market in Asia Pacific region, the demand of ferric chloride by printed circuit board manufacturers is expected to increase during the forecasted period. Furthermore, the ferric chloride market is expected to have robust growth in EMEA region due to increasing demand of coagulants in this region. Ferric chloride market is expected to be stable in North American region due to increased consumption of ferric chloride in industrial wastewater treatment.
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Ferric Chloride Market: Key Participants
- Kemira Oyj
- BorsodChem (Wanhua Industrial Group)
- PVS Chemicals
- Tessenderlo Group
- Chemifloc Limited
- Kem One
- Chemical Company Of Malaysia
- Sidra Wassercheime GmbH
- Sukha Chemical Industries
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