San Jose, California - Global Industry Analysts forecasts that the market for hydrogen peroxide (HP) will to reach 4.67 million tonnes by the year 2017, driven by sustained demand from pulp and paper end-use industry. Increasing use of HP to propylene oxide (HPPO) technology will fuel further demand for the material.
Also, growing environmental concerns and rising demand from developing Asian and Latin American markets will promote rapid expansion over the next few years.
Hydrogen peroxide has a large market, adding up to about 12 to 15 percent of the total global chemical industry revenue, GIA says. Its major uses, in pulp & paper, textiles, and semiconductors, will strongly influence demand in the near future, as will the internal dynamics of the industry.
HPPO technology, developed and commercialised jointly by BASF and Dow, utilises large quantities of hydrogen peroxide for production of propylene oxide without releasing any by-products. Environmental regulations are playing a vital role in popularising the use of hydrogen peroxide over other chemicals, by virtue of its emission-free and eco-friendly nature, GIA claims.
"Hydrogen peroxide's robust growth over the past few years could be traced back to the overwhelming support of the environmental protection authorities and tightening effluent regulations in almost every application," the market research group says.
Oxidising compounds such as chlorine have increasingly been replaced by hydrogen peroxide in pulp bleaching and other uses due to stricter stance adopted by environmental regulation authorities. Stringent pollution control norms have jump started the growth of hydrogen peroxide, and will continue to be the growth drivers in the forthcoming years.
Until the early 80s, demand for hydrogen peroxide was divided evenly among pulp bleaching, chemical synthesis, and textile bleaching. However, consumption patterns witnessed a major change in the 1990's. Pulp bleaching accounts for nearly 70 percent of demand in the US and Canada, but In Western Europe, demand for the product in pulp and paper application is estimated at about 50 percent of the overall market.
Rapid growth in pulp bleaching and the consequent rise in demand for hydrogen peroxide has produced a major change in the market. Hydrogen peroxide is currently being preferred widely in pollution0control and water-treatment, and as a bleaching and neutralising agent.
Increased environmental pressure, particularly in North America and Western Europe, continue to drive demand for hydrogen peroxide in applications such as pulp bleaching, treating process streams, and remediating contaminated soil and water.