The U.S. nitric acid market size was estimated to be worth USD 4.06 billion in 2016 and is expected to grow substantially owing to its extensive use of manufacturing fertilizers and chemicals. Increasing demand for fertilizers in agriculture is likely to be a key driver for the growth of the market.
U.S. nitric acid market volume, by application, 2014 - 2025 (Kilo Tons)
The increasing gap in the supply & demand for food is expected to result in increasing the pressure on arable lands for higher yield of crops. This growing need for improving yield to meet increasing food demand in tandem with population growth has resulted in a growing use of synthetic fertilizers which is likely to have a positive impact on the market.
Development of the chemical processing industry, particularly in emerging economies such as China and India, is expected to augment nitric acid demand over the next nine years. Rising demand for intermediate chemicals including TDI, adipic acid, nitrobenzene and nitrochlorobenzene is projected to fuel the growth of the industry over the projected period.
Growing demand for adipic acid for manufacturing lightweight automotive materials and increasing application of polyurethane foams are some of the key growth factors to drive the market demand during the forecast period. Additionally, the U.S. share of automobiles has been increasing over the past few years which will subsequently fuel the growth of the industry in the country.
Segmentation By Application
• Adipic acid
• Toluene di-isocyanate
Rising demand for intermediate chemicals including TDI, adipic acid, nitrobenzene and nitrochlorobenzene is expected to fuel the growth of the nitric acid industry over the projected period. Growing demand for polyurethane, nylon, aniline, and other aromatic substances is expected to augment market growth.
The U.S. polyurethane market was valued at USD 7.78 billion in 2016 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 6% over the forecast period. The chemical has used an intermediate for manufacturing TDI, which is further processed to produce polyurethane foams & elastomers.
Toluene di-isocyanate is expected to witness high revenue growth at a CAGR of 10.1% over the forecast period on account of the growing demand for foams, coatings and adhesives & sealants. Increasing use of polymers and chemicals that help in reducing the weight of an automobile to reduce carbon emissions as well as achieve optimum fuel efficiency is expected to drive the demand for foams, which in turn will result in an increased consumption of nitric acid.
Nitrobenzene is used as a precursor to aniline and its derivatives. Primary applications for aniline comprise its use for manufacturing polyurethane foams, aramid fiber, and pharmaceuticals. Rising demand for these products is expected to bolster the growth of the market with the segment expected to reach 311.1 kilo tons by 2025.
The robust manufacturing base of automotive, chemical and electronics industry in the U.S. is expected to have a positive impact on the market over the next nine years. Increasing deployment of hydraulic fracturing in the U.S. has played a crucial role in enhancing production output of shale gas and tight oil. As a result, increasing production output of aforementioned unconventional sources is expected to increase raw material availability for the production of numerous chemicals such as nitrobenzene, TDI and adipic acid in the U.S. This, in turn, is expected to have a positive impact on the market over the next few years.
Polyurethane is the most popular flexible foam used in home furnishings such as coatings, floor & wood finishes and bedding. The growth of the PU market owing to the emergence of automobile, furniture and bedding sectors in the country is expected to augment the nitric acid production over the next few years.
The industry is consolidated in nature with the presence of a limited number of manufacturers. Key vendors with the market include INVISTA, DuPont, Terra Industries, and LyondellBasell. Companies are focusing on R&D and product innovation to increase their presence in the market.
Technological innovations aimed at the development of cost-effective manufacturing process by corporations such as ThyssenKrupp Uhde are expected to remain critical success factors for market growth over the forecast period. The company developed an ammonia burner with an effective gauze diameter of 5,710 mm and an inner shell diameter of 6,000 mm to manufacture a capacity of more than 1,500 tons per day of nitric acid. This burner is one of the largest in the world and may be extended to 6,200 mm effective gauze diameter for bigger plant capacities up to 1,800 tons per day of nitric acid.
Research Support Specialist, USA