Activated alumina is prominently used as a reaction catalyst, in the oil and gas sector, and for the treatment of water. Growing investments in water treatment infrastructure and the ever-rising demand for oil and gas have been fueling the demand for activated alumina over the past few years. These trends are expected to continue during the forecast period, driving the market to expand at a CAGR of 4.2% between 2016 and 2024. The sales of activated alumina amounted to US$770.6 mn in 2015 and are projected to be worth US$1,108.9 mn by 2024.
However, Transparency Market Research states that the threat from substitutes and the high regeneration cost in some of the end-use segments are likely to affect market growth. On the other hand, product improvement and the exploration of new end users are projected to provide lucrative growth opportunities for players in the activated alumina market.
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Oil and Gas Sector Leading End User of Activated Alumina
Activated alumina is widely used as a catalyst carrier, desiccant, and adsorbent in various end-use industries such as oil and gas, water treatment, biomaterial, pharmaceutical, and reaction catalyst. In terms of volume, the oil and gas sector held a significant share in the global activated alumina market in 2015. In the oil and gas sector, activated alumina is primarily used in gas and liquid dehydration. It is used to dry out gases such as cracked gas, LNG, and natural gas.
The demand for activated alumina was also considerably high in the water treatment industry. Activated alumina is used for selective adsorption of heavy metals such as arsenic, selenium, uranium, and lead from water streams. It is also used for the defluorination of water.
Asia Pacific Activated Alumina Market Demonstrates Impressive Growth
Asia Pacific accounted for more than 30% of the global activated alumina market in 2015, emerging as the leading regional segment that year. The increasing demand for activated alumina in the oil and gas and water treatment industries and a rise in the adoption of activated alumina in sulfur recovery units have been the prominent factors driving the market in Asia Pacific.
The activated alumina markets in North America and Europe are anticipated to exhibit stable growth during the forecast period. In terms of country, the U.S. constituted a significant share of the global activated alumina market in 2015. Excess fluorine in water has been a major concern in the U.S and more than 60% of the total population in the country consumes fluoridated water. Activated alumina is employed in point-of-use or point-of-entry water treatment devices to remove excess fluorine in water. An increase in the production of oil and gas in the country is also estimated to drive the demand for activated alumina in the U.S.
The consumption of activated alumina has been considerably high in China and the country plays an important role in the growth of the global activated alumina market. Rising investments in water treatment infrastructure, coupled with the growing demand for gas and liquid drying in the oil and gas industry, is projected boost the activated alumina market in China during the forecast period. India and several ASEAN countries are anticipated to provide substantial growth opportunities for the market in the next few years. The Middle East and Africa region is also projected to be a beneficial market for activated alumina by 2024.
Key players operating in the activated alumina market include Albemarle Corporation, Axens, BASF SE, Porocel Industries, Honeywell International Inc., and Sumitomo Che
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