Gold chloride, also called as auric chloride, is a chemical compound consisting of gold and chlorine. It has the molecular formula of Au2Cl6, with gold compound having an oxidation state of (+3). While this is a common oxidation state for gold compounds, there also exists another related chloride of gold, with an oxidation state of (+1).
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Important properties of gold chloride include its solubility in water and ethanol, its hygroscopic nature, and its decomposition process in the presence of light or a temperature of more than 160 degree celcius. It is monoclinic in nature with a density of 3.9 g/mL at 25 degree celcius. These properties make gold chloride useful in several applications, ranging from medical and industrial to cosmetics.
The gold chloride market is primarily driven by its increasing variety of applications, especially as an industry catalyst. A helpful factor in this trend has been the development of gold chloride nanoparticles. These particles can be developed in a highly specialized manner suited for the required application. They also reduce the reliance of the market on the natural availability and supply of the gold metal to gold chloride manufacturers. This current lack of consistent supply of gold has been a major factor holding back the global gold chloride market.
The global gold chloride market can be segmented along the lines of form, application, end-user industry, and region.
In terms of form, the global gold chloride market can be classified into crystals, lumps, and liquid. The form in which gold chloride is used depends on the purpose. However, usage of gold chloride in crystal form is the common among all.
Based on application, the gold chloride market can be divided into industry catalyst, manufacturing of other gold compounds, and purification of gold. As an industry catalyst, conversion of furans and alkylation of aromatics is the common purpose for using gold chloride. This has also rendered gold chloride highly popular among organic chemists. However, market share of using gold chloride for other applications is comparatively low.
In terms of end-user industry, the global gold chloride market can be segregated along the lines of manufacturing industry, medical industry, cosmetics industry, electronics industry, and others. Among these, the medical and cosmetics industries are expected to witness the dominant surge in usage of gold chloride in the near future.
Based on region, the global gold chloride market can be segmented into North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East & Africa. The developed markets of North America and Europe currently capture the leading share in consumption of gold chloride. However, in terms of production, Asia Pacific is the leader, with China as the principal producer of gold chloride.
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The global gold chloride market consists of a large number of players spread across the world. Barriers to entry in the market are relatively lower and hence, several new companies are expected to join the market in the next few years. This is especially the case as the gold chloride market is growing and expected to do well in the near future. Major companies operating in the gold chloride market include China Gold International Resources Corp. Ltd., AngloGold Ashanti, Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., and Goldcorp Inc.