Market Definition and Introduction
Sodium formate is a sodium-based salt of formic acid. It is generally available in its physical form as a white powder. Sodium formate is a key chemical due to its multiple applications across a diverse range of industries, such as oil & gas, textile, printing, aviation and others. It offers important end uses, such as a food additive in fabric dyeing processes and a de-icing agent in multiple applications. Also, sodium formate has been finding important end use as a buffering agent for mineral acids so as to increase their acidity levels. It is not toxic, exhibits biodegradability to a considerable extent and is eco-friendly. In the field of biology, sodium formate is used as a cryogenic protectant in X-ray diffraction experiments conducted on protein crystalline substances.
Sodium formate is manufactured by the neutralization of formic acid with sodium carbonate. Alternatively, it can be manufactured by the reaction of sodium hydroxide with chloroform. However, the popular commercial method for the manufacture of sodium formate is through the absorption of carbon monoxide in sodium hydroxide at high pressures. In the chemical industry, sodium formate is used in the manufacture of formic acid and sodium hydro sulphite. Sodium formate also finds applications in the leather tanning industry and as an enzyme stabilizing agent in detergents. Considering these important applications of sodium formate, the study of the sodium formate market becomes an important read.
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On the basis of end use, the sodium formate market is segmented as follows:
- Reducing agent
- Manufacture of sodium hydrosulfite
- Intermediate for the manufacture of formic acid and oxalic acid
- Manufacture of N,N-Dimethylformamide
- De-icing agent
- Oilfield services
- Work-over fluids
- Other end uses
On the basis of application, the sodium formate market is segmented as follows:
- Food & beverage
- Oil & gas
- Other applications
Key Trends, Drivers
In recent times, there has been a rise in the number of applications of sodium formate in various industries. Also, rapid growth of the food & beverage industry, dyeing & printing industry and the oil & gas industry has been contributing to the growth of the sodium formate market at a global level. For instance, there has been a rise in the demand for sodium formate from the upstream oil & gas industry to produce clear brine, which is an important chemical in work over & completion processes. Furthermore, the solid form of sodium formate has been witnessing a rise in demand as an anti-corrosion agent and an effective de-icing material at airports. The key use of sodium formate here has been the de-icing of runways as sodium formate quickly penetrates solid snow and ice layers when mixed with corrosion inhibitors & other additives, detaching the snow from the concrete and melting it at a rapid pace.
However, there have been a few restraints to the growth of sodium formate demand. For example, sodium formate is hygroscopic in nature, i.e. it absorbs moisture. This property translates into added requirements for its special & careful handling so as to avoid moisture absorption. Furthermore, commercially attractive alternatives for sodium formate are available in the market, such as urea. The latter has been found to display de-icing competitive characteristics vis-à-vis sodium formate, thereby encouraging potential buyers to shift toward purchasing urea. Besides, prices of raw materials in the manufacture of sodium formate are inherently volatile. This fluctuation in raw material prices drastically affects sodium formate price variations, thereby inhibiting the growth rate of the sodium formate market even further. These factors have been dampening the sodium formate market growth rate.
Examples of some of the market participants in the sodium formate market are as follows:
- BASF SE
- Perstorp Orgnr
- Honeywell International Inc.
- TCI Chemicals (India) Pvt. Ltd.
- Avantor Performance Materials, LLC
- Vertellus Holdings LLC
- Kanoria Chemicals & Industries Ltd.
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