Growth of demand of specialty chemicals owing to expanding industrialization globally has led to the increased demand for industrial gases. Industrial gases belong to a special class of chemicals that caters to a wide array of applications in several end use industries. Major gases classified under industrial gases include atmospheric gases (nitrogen, oxygen and argon), elemental gases (hydrogen, chlorine and fluorine), noble gases (helium, neon, xenon and krypton) and other gases (acetylene and ammonia). These gases may be distributed to the end-use industries in the form of processed gases and liquefied gases in gas caskets and gas tankers. These gases are usually produced from cryogenic distillation of air through air separation units (ASU). Some of the industries have collaborated with major industrial gas licensors and manufacturers for captive production of these gases within their plant premises. Industrial gases find applications in various end-use industries which include oil & gas, chemical, medical, cryogenics, laboratory, metallurgy, food processing and packaging, water treatment, metal cutting and welding and semiconductor industries among several others.
Increasing application of gas blanketing and cryogenics in chemical industries and refineries have been the key drivers for the industrial gas market during the last few decades. Escalating demand of medical grade gases for health care and medical industry owing to the expansion of medical facilities globally especially, in Asia Pacific and Latin America has boosted the market growth in last few years. Additionally, with the increasing applications of liquefied gases such as LNG, liquid nitrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide in several end-use industries has largely led to the expansion of scope of industrial gases. Capacity expansions coupled with emerging innovative technologies such as molecular sieve separation has created immense opportunities for the market and is expected to drive the market expansion for the next six years. However, the market growth may be restrained by the increasing environmental regulations related to the manufacture and use of industrial gases couple with high cost of transportation and storage associated with these gases.
Asia Pacific is the largest regional market for industrial gases owing to the growth of several associated end-user industries in this region. Asia Pacific, apart from being the largest market, is expected to be the fastest growing regional market for industrial gases. In terms of demand, Asia Pacific was followed by North America and Europe. However, these regional markets are anticipated to lose out some of their market share to the other emerging markets such as Asia Pacific and Latin America.