Caustic potash, also known as potassium hydroxide or potash lye, is an alkaline compound with the formula KOH. It is white in colour, highly reactive, corrosive, non-volatile and non-flammable at room temperature. In addition, caustic potash is soluble in glycerol, alcohol and ether, and insoluble in aqueous ammonia. Due to its versatile nature, caustic potash finds application in the production of a variety of products ranging from food additives to soaps and detergents, and agrochemicals to alkaline batteries. A new research report by IMARC Group, titled “Caustic Potash Market: Global Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast 2018-2023”, estimates that the global caustic potash market reached a volume of 2.16 Million Tons in 2017, registering a CAGR of 2.7% during the year 2010-2017. The report further anticipates the market to reach 2.67 Million Tons by 2023, at a projected CAGR of 3.6% over the forecast period.
Global Caustic Potash Market Drivers/Constraints:
- Caustic potash is used in the saponification of fats during the manufacturing of potassium soaps. It is also used as an alkaline builder and cleaning agent in the production of several products such as shampoos, liquid soaps, detergents, oven cleaners, etc.
- The need to increase crop productivity on account of expanding global population is the major demand driver for caustic potash-based fertilizers. Owing to this, the market is expected to witness a positive growth in the upcoming years.
- Expanding applications of caustic potash in diverse industries is another major factor stimulating the market growth. It finds application in the production of food additives, textiles, dyes, alkaline batteries, leather tanning, ceramics, explosives and biodiesel.
- Hazardous effects of caustic potash on health along with rising environmental concerns have led various governments to impose strict regulations regarding its consumption. This represents one of the major factors restraining the market growth.
On the basis of form, the caustic potash market has been segmented as solid and liquid. Amongst these, liquid caustic potash represents the largest segment, accounting for the majority of the total global share.
The market has been segregated on the basis of grade into industrial, reagent and pharma grade caustic potash, wherein the industrial grade dominates the market. This can be accredited to the wide ranging industrial applications of caustic potash.
On the basis of end-use, the report finds that potassium carbonate currently represents the largest end-use segment of caustic potash. Increasing demand for food products due to rising population is bolstering the consumption of potassium carbonate as it is used in the production of food additives. It is followed by potassium phosphates, potassium soaps and detergents, liquid fertilizers and agricultural chemicals.
On a geographical front, Asia Pacific enjoys the leading position in the global caustic potash market. Other major regions include Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and Middle East and Africa. Asia Pacific is the fastest growing market on account of expanding population in the region.
The global caustic potash market is concentrated in nature with the presence of a small number of manufacturers. Some of the leading players operating in the market are:
- UNID Company Ltd.
- Occidental Chemical Corporation
- Tessenderlo Group NV
- Olin Chlor Alkali Products and Vinyls
- Erco Worldwide (USA) Inc.
- Chengdu Huarong Chemical Co., Ltd.
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