Barium chloride is one of the most commonly found water soluble salts of barium. Barium is mined from barite (barium sulfate) ores or witherite (barium carbonate) ores. Barium chloride is primarily produced from barium sulphate in a two step process with carbon and hydrochloric acid. The barium chloride, obtained from this process, is hydrated and can be crystallized into a white powder. Barium chloride is majorly utilized for waste water treatment and production of other barium salts.
The regulatory push for waste water treatment is expected to drive the market for waste water treatment chemicals including barium chloride. Regulatory authorities across the world are pushing for better waste water treatment for industrial as well as municipal wastewater over environmental concerns such as ground water toxicity and dead zones in the water bodies.
Regulatory bodies such as the United States Environment Protection Agency (U.S.E.P.A) and European body REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals) have introduced a strict code of conduct for industrial and municipal waste water treatment before releasing the wastes into the water bodies. Failure to follow these regulations attracts strict penalties which in turn boosts the sales of waste water treatment chemicals. Barium chloride is toxic but not fatal to humans when exposed directly to the skin or eyes. When ingested, it breaks down into barium and chlorine which are excreted. When released into the environment barium chloride breaks down into barium and chloride ions. Chloride ions form a solution and barium forms barium sulfate which is insoluble. Barium sulfate precipitates to form non toxic sediments. Thus, due to its low toxicity barium chloride is a preferred inorganic chemical for wastewater treatment.
Global waste water treatment chemicals market is growing at a high CAGR due to the regulatory push and rising general awareness about the harmful effects of untreated wastewater over the long term as well as the short term. In terms of geography, North America is a mature market with less demand growth as compared to other regions. However here is a considerable demand growth for barium chloride application in waste water treatment.
Europe is another substantial market with major demand for waste water treatment chemicals such as barium chloride. These regions consume high purity barium chloride, especially in Germany and the United States. Asia Pacific emerged as the major market for barium chloride. It is the largest producer as well as the consumer of barium chloride. Major demand is expected to be generated by the waste water treatment applications. Production of other barium salts is another major application for barium chloride in this region.
China is estimated to be the largest producer of barium chloride with large proven reserves of barite in the country. Currently it is estimated to be the leading exporter of barium chloride most of which is produced from its large barite resources. China accounted for more than a quarter of world barite reserves in 2012.
Britain is another country with large proven reserves. However, barium resources are facing exhaustion and new mines explored offer lower quality ores. Market players are actively looking for new avenues to produce barium chloride one of which includes recycling. The market is dominated by few global players with China producing the largest volume. Some of the key players in the barium chloride market include Chaitanya Chemicals, Chongqing Barium Manganese Strontium Chemical Co. Ltd., Divjyot Chemicals, Huantai Maqiao Houjin, Hubei Shihua Tianyou, Oasis Fine Chem, Qingdao Red star and Solvay Int. among others.
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