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Industrial gas is a group of gases that are commercially manufactured and sold for uses in other applications.

Industrial gases are those gases, which are commercially produced and are sold for various different applications. Some of the most popular industrial gases are oxygen, xenon, nitrogen, argon, carbon monoxide, chlorine and Sulphur dioxide. In addition, there are many different mixtures of these and other gases to meet the needs of specific. Various mixtures of these gases are being use to cater several different utilities. This industrial and medicinal gas industry has a wide customer base. Almost all types of manufacturing processes require industrial gases. Steel and metal factories for instance, make heavy use of oxygen and nitrogen.  Plastics, packaging’s and scrapped out tires can be recycled with the help of liquid nitrogen. These gases act as a raw material for chemicals as well. Even cylinder gases have a substantial market of their own.

Within the next few years, the revenues of the industrial gas industry are set to increase by almost 7 percent. Asians are the largest consumers of industrial gas, as we have so many industries being set up practically everywhere. As of now, India has about 300 small plants and almost 25 large plants.  With the help of pipelines, the industrial gas is being sent everywhere, as cars and tanks cost a little too much .As industrialization is on a rise, so it the demand for industrial gas.

Most of the food products are also manufactured with the help of certain industrial gases. As the food industry is going places, so is the industrial gas division. Quality control is in place and the distribution networks have never been stronger. The flight taken by the industrial gas industry can be easily predicted on the basis of various estimations and projections of the steel and other metallurgical industry. Steel demand is seen rising by 10% in the fiscal year to march 2011. As demand for steel goes up, so does the demand for natural gas.

India’s primary energy consumption has a majority of natural gas in it. Even our primary energy consumption strategy is dominated by natural gas. During the next few years, gases are expected to be high in demand.  Of course, the production of metal and fabrication are the largest markets for industrial gases and are here to stay. Chemical and petroleum processing are also the usual buyers of natural gas. Coming back to the medicinal and health sector, although the customer base is small at the moment, it is rising with every single day and is expected to do so in the future as well.

Hydrogen, one of the industrial gases can be used by many people for many uses. Its true potential is yet to be seen.  The hike in sale of natural gas will also boost argon and carbon.

This field is going to be an untapped gold mine soon. Whoever wants to build a career in this field, can do so with lots of positivity and optimism.

GLOBAL INDUSTRIAL GASES MARKET SEGMENTATION

By Product Types

  1. Hydrogen
  2. Oxygen
  3. Carbon Dioxide
  4. Nitrogen
  5. Helium
  6. Argon
  7. Acetylene

By Production and Delivery

  1. Merchant Gases (Liquefied, Tank Delivery)
  2. Merchant Gases (Cylinder Delivery)
  3. High Volume Gases (On-Site Generation)

By Application

  1. Petroleum Refinery
  2. Chemical Production
  3. Food Processing
  4. Healthcare
  5. Electronics
  6. Metal Processing
  7. Others

Global Industrial Gases Market

Global industrial gases market is forecast to grow from $ 75.51 billion in 2016 to $ 106.26 billion by 2022, exhibiting a CAGR of around 6%, in value terms, during 2017-2022, on account of rising demand from chemical & petrochemical, metal fabrication & production, automobile, healthcare & pharmaceuticals and food & beverage industries. Expansion of refinery capacities, increasing consumption of chemicals & petrochemicals and rising adoption of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) techniques in oil & gas sector are few of the primary factors boosting growth in the global industrial gases market. Further, rising passenger car sales is also anticipated to propel industrial gases demand in automobile sector across the globe during the forecast period.

Global Industrial Gases Market By Application

Rising population in developing countries such as India, Brazil, Argentina, China and others is forecast to drive demand for packaged food. Industrial gases are utilized in packaged food industry for preservation of food for longer duration. Further, new automotive manufacturing facilities are being developed across the globe to address increasing automobile demand. An increasing number of global automobile manufacturers are entering into collaborative agreements with local players in relatively untapped geographies, which is also boosting demand for industrial gases, especially carbon dioxide and argon, as these gases are widely used in automotive industry for MIG welding purposes. Few major companies operating in global industrial gases market include Air Liquide SA, Linde Group, Praxair Inc., Air Products and Chemicals Inc.

Growth of demand of specialty chemicals owing to expanding industrialization globally has led to the increased demand for industrial gases. Industrial gases belong to a special class of chemicals that caters to a wide array of applications in several end use industries. Major gases classified under industrial gases include atmospheric gases (nitrogen, oxygen and argon), elemental gases (hydrogen, chlorine and fluorine), noble gases (helium, neon, xenon and krypton) and other gases (acetylene and ammonia). These gases may be distributed to the end-use industries in the form of processed gases and liquefied gases in gas caskets and gas tankers. These gases are usually produced from cryogenic distillation of air through air separation units (ASU). Some of the industries have collaborated with major industrial gas licensors and manufacturers for captive production of these gases within their plant premises. Industrial gases find applications in various end-use industries which include oil & gas, chemical, medical, cryogenics, laboratory, metallurgy, food processing and packaging, water treatment, metal cutting and welding and semiconductor industries among several others.

India Industrial Gases Market

Asia Pacific is the largest regional market for industrial gases owing to the growth of several associated end-user industries in this region. Asia Pacific, apart from being the largest market, is expected to be the fastest growing regional market for industrial gases. In terms of demand, Asia Pacific was followed by North America and Europe. However, these regional markets are anticipated to lose out some of their market share to the other emerging markets such as Asia Pacific and Latin America.

Nitrogen, Oxygen and Argon are the most commonly used industrial gases. They are used in a wide range of industries, which include oil & gas, petrochemicals, chemicals, power, mining, steel making, metals, environmental protection, medicine, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, food, water, fertilizers, nuclear power, electronics and aerospace.

With increasing government initiatives towards developing India’s manufacturing sector, coupled with rapid industrialization, demand for industrial gases is anticipated to grow at a robust pace over the next five years. Petrochemical sector, which is one of the major end users of industrial gases, is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 13% during 2015-2020, thereby boosting demand for industrial gases in India over the next five years.

Owing to increasing demand and rising competition, an increasing number of industrial gases companies in India are investing heavily on capacity additions at existing as well as new end user facilities.

India Industrial Gases Market Report discusses the following aspects of industrial gases market in India:

  1. Expansion by Steel Companies
  2. Growing Demand for Packaged Food
  3. Oil & Gas Sector to Drive Growth
  4. Growth in Healthcare Sector
  5. Rising Demand for Industrial Gases from Human Blood Preservation Applications

Rise in Metal Manufacturing & Fabrication to Boost Demand for Industrial Gases

There has been an exponential increase in metal manufacturing in recent years. This has resulted in the increasing demand for industrial gases such as oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, and argon. New technologies being adopted by manufacturers for steel production is also driving the demand for oxygen. In order to increase the productivity and quality of metal, manufacturers are adopting the gas metal arc welding process.

Increasing investment in the automobile and aerospace industry is driving demand for metal fabrication services, thereby contributing towards the growth of industrial gases. The demand for high quality of oxygen is also growing in use in gas cutting to ensure a clean cut and high cutting speed. Argon is also witnessing an increasing demand for fabrication and manufacturing to use as a shield gas in welding processes.

Oxygen to Emerge as the Highly Preferred Gas in the Global Industrial Gases Market

Oxygen is one of the largest used gases across various industries including steel, chemical, paper and pulp, and other industries. In the recent years, oxygen is finding increasing application in treating sewage and effluent from various industries. Oxygen gas is being directly dissolved in the water to clean polluted lakes and rivers. Manufacturers in the global industrial gases market are using cryogenic distillation to produce oxygen commercially in large quantities.

Oxygen is required in steel melting, fabrication, copper smelting, medical applications, etc. The use of oxygen improves the thermal efficiency of fuel. As a result, oxygen is used as a method of better energy production from available fuel. Oxygenation in different furnaces including those for steel, copper, cement production, etc will improve efficiency in energy generation. Similarly, oxygen can be used for hazardous waste clean-up, pollution treatment of water and in coal gasification systems. It can also be used as a replacement of chlorine in paper and pulp industry to reduce pollution.

Nitrogen

Nitrogen is an inert material and is used in heat-treatment to create a neutral atmosphere. It is also used for the removal of air from contaminated mines having methane to avoid occurrence of fire. Huge quantities of nitrogen are used in blast furnaces and other furnace applications to make use of its neutral properties. It is also used as a source of nitrogenous fertiliser from ammonia which is obtained from the synthesis of nitrogen with hydrogen. Ammonia is also the starting point of chemicals like nitric acid, hydrazine and amines. Liquid nitrogen is used for cryogenic applications to take advantage of its low temperature properties in many applications like solvent extraction, recycling tires, food and pharmaceutical industry, hospitals, artificial insemination, enhanced oil recovery etc.

Argon

Argon is known as ‘Noble gas’. It does not mix with oxygen and is used in stainless and alloy steel production, MIG and TIG method of welding. Argon is also used in light bulbs for creating an inert atmosphere to increase the life of tungsten filaments.

Acetylene

This is a gas made from calcium carbide, whose production needs a lot of electricity. Acetylene is mainly used for cutting mild steel and welding. Of course, carbide sludge from acetylene production being a pollutant, acetylene may be slowly replaced by LPG.

Hydrogen

Hydrogen is presently made by the electrolysis of water and its production consumes a lot of energy. In spite of this handicap, it is used for the manufacture of edible oil fats like margarine from vegetable oils. Hydrogen is used to create a reducing atmosphere in heat-treatment furnaces. It is also needed for the manufacture of silicon chips. Liquid hydrogen is used as fuel in space shuttles. With the availability of hydrogen as a by-product from some chemical processes, its use has been growing. Many consider hydrogen as a future source of energy. Hydrogen is also used to remove sulphur from sour crude oil which is gaining ground because of emphasis on environmental protection.

Carbon Dioxide

Carbon Dioxide is mainly used in food industry for carbonating beer, soft drinks, etc. Liquid carbon dioxide is used as a refrigerant in food industry. Carbon dioxide gas is used as a de-oxidant/insecticide for food preservation, foundry applications and firefighting. Solid and liquid carbon-dioxide is used in many cryogenic applications, as in blood storage.

Helium

This is a very light gas and is nobler than Argon. It is used in deep sea diving, balloons and many other applications including high quality electric welding and leak detection. Liquid Helium is used in MRIs at hospitals for its supra-conductive characteristics.

Electronic Gases

Some of these are elemental gases of extremely high purity with impurities in Parts Per Million (PPM)/ Per Billion (PPB) range. Some of the gases like Silane, Diborane, SF6, etc. are toxic and are not available in the country. This can be a good area for new product development.

Nitrous Oxide

Obtained from the fractionation of Ammonium Nitrate, it is used as an anesthetic agent.

Speciality Gases and Gas Mixtures

Dopant gases like Arsine and Diborane are toxic gases and are used in semiconductor industry. Another gas, Silane, is used in solar photo-voltaic cells and semiconductor industry. These are hazardous gases. High purity gases with impurities in PPM and PPB range are also used in space research. Gas mixtures are used for calibration and research purpose. Some gases and mixtures find application in high-tech areas like submarine and battle tank manufacturing.

Industrial Gases to Witness Rising Demand from Developing Countries

Emerging countries like India, China, and Indonesia are focusing towards increasing production capacity in industries such as metals, chemicals, food and beverages, construction and healthcare. Hence, the demand for industrial gases in these countries is likely to rise in the coming years. Governments in various countries in the Asia Pacific region are also taking initiatives to develop alternative sources of energy. This is fueling the growth of gasification plants that consume a substantial amount of industrial gases. Technological advances and use of Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF) technology by major metal companies in China is also driving the consumption of industrial gases.

Three other areas where the industrial gas industry can play a meaningful part are:

  1. Collaboration with the Defence sector to improve Manufacturing Excellence to make ‘Make In India’ programme of the Prime Minister a success.
  2. Collaborative research through the Industrial Gases Association (AIIGMA) for developing technology relevant to Indian conditions in the areas of Production, Application and Distribution to reduce cost and increase the market size.
  3. Collaboration of AIIGMA with NSDC for skill development so as to make skilled manpower available to improve quality, reduce cost and increase the employment potential.

Industrial gas is an important sector to contribute to a country’s progress. It appears to grow at double the rate of GDP. With the sophistication of economy, the usage of nitrogen and argon grow faster than that of oxygen. India is still in Oxygen era. With industrial sophistication, future growth may come from nitrogen and argon. With depletion of fossil fuel, application of hydrogen as an energy source might gain importance. Of course, application of oxygen for energy conservation and environmental protection and application of nitrogen for food preservation remains as immediate opportunities.

The use of hydrogen for desulphurisation of sour crude oil might take the industry to greater heights. Simultaneously, LNG, CNG, LCNG and Shale Gas could be future product areas to grow. We believe that the industry will grow tremendously through traditional and non-traditional applications.