The North America is characterized by the presence of leading global as well as local players. Boliden Group, INEOS Group AG, Praxair Technology, Inc., The Linde Group, Kemira Oyj, Chemtrade Logistics Inc., Calabrian Corporation, Grillo-Werke AG, PVS Chemicals Inc., and Esseco Group Srl are some of the prominent companies presently operational in this market. Transparency Market Research has found that most key market players have been establishing strong distribution and sales channels to enhance their reach and market their products to customers across North America.
The sulfur dioxide market in North America was valued at US$8.2 bn in 2015 and is projected to reach US$16.0 bn by 2024 at a CAGR of 7.8% therein. In terms of volume, the market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 5.2% from 2016 to 2024.
Sulfuric Acid a Key Application Segment in North America Sulfur Dioxide Market
Based on application, sulfuric acid accounted for the major share in the North America sulfur dioxide market, amounting to a projected value of US$11.3 bn by the end of the forecast period. Food preservatives, on the other hand, are likely to expand at a rapid pace of 8.5% between 2016 and 2024 by revenue.
On the basis of end use, chemicals formed the leading segment by revenue as well as volume, while the food and beverages segment is anticipated to register a high CAGR by 2024. By country, the U.S. formed the leading market for sulfur dioxide in North America and the market is projected to amount to an estimated US$9.5 bn by the end of the forecast period.
Predominant Use of Sulfur Dioxide as Bleaching Agent in Pulp and Paper Industries
Sulfur dioxide has been largely used in the production of sodium hydrosulfite, which is predominantly used as a bleaching agent in the textile and pulp and paper industries. “The pulp and paper industry has a strong potential for future growth owing to the growth in the paper recycling industry,” the author of the report points out. “The paper recycling process requires bleaching, which in turn, paves the way for enhanced production of sulfur dioxide in North America.”
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The soaring demand for sulfuric acid is also a prominent factor driving the market in North America. Sulfur dioxide forms an important component in the production of sulfuric acid, which has been witnessing significant demand, especially in developing countries majorly dependent on agriculture. Fertilizers used in agriculture accounted for about 50% of the global sulfuric acid consumption in 2014, TMR finds.
Environmental and Health Issues Related to Sulfur Dioxide a Major Deterrent
Increasing environmental and health concerns regarding the use of sulfur dioxide has limited the growth of the market in North America. “Prolonged exposure to sulfur dioxide adversely affects the lungs and may also result in burning sensation of the nose and throat, breathing difficulties, and obstruction of the airway in severe cases,” the lead analyst points out. Moreover, acid rain – a key component of which is sulfuric acid – causes deforestation, acidifies waterways, causes harm to aquatic life, and corrodes building materials and paints. This is also a prominent threat to the sulfur dioxide market.