The most common occurrence of oxygen in nature is in the form of a colorless gas. It is the life sustaining element found on earth with atomic number 8 and one of the basic chemicals with symbol O. Oxygen is a highly reactive oxidizing agent and nonmetal because it readily forms oxides with many compounds and other elements. It constitutes 21% of the earth’s atmosphere. The common commercial method of preparing almost 99% pure oxygen oxygen is air separation by vaccum swing adsorption process or cryogenic distillation process. Electrolysis of water is another method of producing pure oxygen but it is not economical for large volume of production. Oxygen is available in cylinders, spray cans and containers etc. The base containers for liquid oxygen are available in various quantities varying from 31 to 41 litres. The oxygen market contributes to the growth of various related markets as well such as air-oxygen blenders, medical oxygen generators, portable and stationary oxygen concentrators.
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Oxygen Market: Market Dynamics
The growth of industries such as agriculture, automobiles, beverages, chemicals, construction equipment, food, glass, medicine, ship building, space explorations, steel manufacture etc. require stable oxygen for processes; which is increasing the demand for oxygen production throughout the world. The versatile uses of oxygen in chemical industry as an oxidizing agent and catalyst are contributing to the growth of oxygen market. Use of oxygen in metal, mining and mineral processing is improving the efficiency of their processes, which reduces the overall cost of production. Oxygen consumption as breathing aids and apparatus is increasing around the globe because of the increasing pollution, which contaminates air and reduces quantity of natural oxygen in the breathing air. Liquid oxygen is extremely cold apart from its vast applications. It can cause severe frostbites and cryogenic burns to the skin. Lack of written safety instructions by oxygen vendors cause injuries while handling oxygen apparatus. The cost of producing oxygen for different purposes such as medical and industrial is high, which makes it an expensive chemical, thereby affecting the growth of its market. Oxygen is being used instead of air to improve performance and capital efficiency in various industries. Oxygen can also enable and activate carbon capture processes. Oxygen is used in gasification processes, process heaters, industrial fermentation and boilers to enhance productivity. In water treatment plants, oxygen is being added directly to the waste water in order to improve the effectiveness of removing pollutants from the water. Most of the celebrities undergo oxygen facials at spas, these facials provide instant nutrition and radiance to the skin. A pressurized steam of oxygen under hyperbaric therapies fortifies the skin with vital nutrients.
Oxygen Market: Market Segmentation
The global oxygen market can be segmented on the basis of form of oxygen:
It can also be segmented on the basis of applications:
- Mining and mineral processing
The global oxygen market can also be segmented on the basis of end use industries:
Oxygen Market: Segmentation Overview
Oxygen is used for medical hyperbaric therapies done in an hyperbaric oxygen chambers for treatment of soft tissue infections, thermal burns, crush injuries, diabetes related wounds, delayed radiation injuries, certain skin grafts and flaps etc. Oxygen gas is used to treat patients with carbon monoxide poisoning. Breathing apparatus made up of oxygen are used in hospitals to treat patients, also by mountaineers and scuba divers while diving and trekking. Oxygen is used in combination with acetylene for metal cutting, melting and welding purposes. It is also used by mining companies to blast off the rocks. Liquid oxygen is used in launching bipropellant vehicles and gaseous oxygen is used to support rocket fuel combustion in spaceships. Oxygen is also used as an assist gas for laser and plasma cutting. It is also added in small quantities to shielding gases. Oxygen is used to increase the production capacity of oxidation processes and in its purest form, oxygen is used to manufacture many useful chemicals such as titanium dioxide and ethylene oxide. In glass manufacture, oxygen is used to enhance combustion in glass furnance and reduce emissions of NOx. Oxygen is used to enhance or replace air in industries for ferrous as well as non-ferrous production of metals. In biotechnology, oxygen is critical for applications related to the cell growth. In pharmaceuticals, oxygen is used in fermenters and bioreactors. Oxygen is used in many refineries in order to enhance the capacity of Sulphur Recovery Units (SRU) and Fluid Catalytic Cracking plants (FCC), which improve waste water treatment operations.
Oxygen Market: Regional Outlook
The global oxygen market geographically is segmented as North America, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Latin America, Asia-Pacific excluding Japan, Japan, and Middle East & Africa. The APEJ region, holds a significant market share of oxygen owing to the growth of healthcare and manufacturing sector. Furthermore, the growth in mining and mineral processing, wherein oxygen is a key catalyst, aids in boosting growth of oxygen market in the region. The market in North America and Europe, is more inclined towards increasing consumption of oxygen because of the increasing scientific and waste recycle applications.
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Oxygen Market: Prominent Players
Some of the prominent players in the global oxygen market are:
- The Linde Group
- Air Liquide
- Praxair Technology, Inc.
- TAIYO NIPPON SANSO
- Airgas, Inc.
- AIR WATER INC
- Yingde Gases
- Baosteel Metal Co., Ltd.
- Guangdong Haute Gas Co., Ltd.