Global Sodium Silicate Market demand is expected to witness a steady growth on account of wide applications, especially in cement, textiles, automobiles, refractories and passive fire protection. Sodium silicate in an inorganic compound with a chemical formula Na2SiO3. The other popular names for this compound are water glass and liquid glass. They are available in solid form as well as in aqueous solution. In its purest form these compounds are white in color, however, commercial samples are greenish on account of iron impurities. They are easily soluble in water forming an alkaline solution but are insoluble in alcohol.
Sodium silicate is manufactured for commercial purposes using two processes known as liquid phase process or solid phase process. In the liquid phase, steam is passed through a reactor which consists a mixture of quartz sand, caustic soda, and water. The solid phase makes use of sodium sulfate and sodium carbonate as raw materials. A variety of commercial applications of sodium silicate has increased its importance and popularity. The largest application is in the manufacturing of cardboard. Sodium silicate solution finds usage as a cement for cardboard production. Therefore, the packaging industry is expected to drive the Na2SiO3 demand in near future.
The other major application of this compound is its use in the manufacturing of drilling fluids. Drilling fluids are widely used by construction companies and oil industries for stabilizing borehole wells. These fluids help in avoiding the collapse of bore walls. An increasing amount of construction for infrastructure development in urban areas is expected to drive the sodium silicate market in near future. Growing exploration activities for obtaining crude oil is anticipated to drive the global market over the forecast period. Further, sodium silicate solution finds usage in the treatment of concrete and plasters. The Na2SiO3 solution reacts with calcium hydroxide present in the concrete. This reaction results in permanent binding of silicates on the surface, therefore increasing the durability and water resistivity.
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The need for high quality and durable infrastructure in developing countries including India, China and Brazil has been driving the market in recent years. Rapid urbanization has significantly contributed towards the growth of real estate sector which in turn is expected to propel the sodium silicate market. Increasing disposable income and improved standard of living has resulted in propelling the use of detergents and other cleaning agents. The detergent granules achieve their ruggedness owing to the silicate coating. High demand from detergent manufacturing companies is expected to provide bright prospects for Na2SiO3 demand.
Increasing raw material cost is expected to offer challenges to the overall industrial growth. It has been difficult to maintain appropriate margins owing to ever increasing raw material cost. Some companies have been undertaking backward integration and producing these compounds and therefore hampering the buyer-seller relation. Moreover, development of substitutes has been threatening the Na2SiO3 market. Dyeing applications have witnessed usage of trisodium phosphate and sodium carbonate as an alternative to sodium silicate. New applications have been upcoming for this compound which is expected to provide significant growth opportunities in the near future. One such application is in the waste water treatment. Na2SiO3 compound sticks to the waste particles in water and makes them heavier. This forces the waste particles to sink to the bottom and can be easily cleaned out. The compound finds application in the food industry as an egg preservative by keeping the bacteria away.
The market is segmented on the basis of its application which includes detergents, pulp & paper, food & healthcare, catalysts, elastomers, and dyes. Major end use industries include construction, coating, and agrochemicals. The detergent industry consumes approximately one-third of the total sodium silicate produced globally. Asia Pacific is the dominating region in terms of consumption and production. The dominance is expected to continue owing to the presence of high presence of end use industries. Emerging economies in Asia including China, South Korea, India, Malaysia and Indonesia have shown tremendous growth with respect to real estate and infrastructure development. Concrete and masonry treatment application is expected to continue its dominance in the Asia Pacific.
Regional demand is followed by North America and Europe on account of its application in the manufacturing of detergents. Industrial cleaning agent manufacturing have been propelling the growth in developed economies including the U.S, Germany, and France. South America and Africa has also shown a steady growth owing to the increasing demand from cardboard and paper manufacturing. Usage of drilling fluids for oil exploration in the Middle East is expected to provide good opportunities in this region. Key players manufacturing sodium silicate include BASF, Evonik industries, PQ Corporation, W.R Grace, Tokuyama and Nippon chemical.
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Sodium Silicate Market Application Outlook (Volume, Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2013 – 2024)
• Pulp & paper
• Food & healthcare
Sodium Silicate Regional Outlook (Volume, Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2013 – 2024)
• North America
• Asia Pacific
• Central & South America
• Middle East & Africa
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