Boric acid is a white, odorless, weak monobasic acid usually available as a powder. It is also known as boracic acid, hydrogen borate or orthoboracic acid. Boric acid has a crystalline structure and is soluble in water. Boric acid is available naturally in the form of mineral called sassolite. It also occurs naturally in minerals such as borax, colemanite, boronatrocaicite and boracites as well as in seawater in its salt formation. Boric acid can be prepared industrially by reaction of borax with mineral acids such as hydrochloric acid. It is also obtained as a by-product of hydrolysis process of diborane and boron trihalides. In terms of safety, boric acid is toxic in nature, and can be poisonous if inhaled or ingested in large amounts and gets bio-accumulated.
Boric acid is a versatile chemical with wide range of applications. Some of the major applications for boric acid include antiseptic use in the medical industry, insecticides in household products, preservative for wood and wood products, as a pH buffer and sanitizer in swimming pools. It can also be used in lubrication formulations with oils for ceramic and metal surfaces and individually for board games such as carom. Boric acid is used as an absorber for low thermal energy neutrons in nuclear power reactors to slow down the fission rate. Boric acid is used in pyrotechnics as a controlling agent as well as a coloring agent. Other industrial uses of boric acid include manufacture of textile fiberglass, electroplating, flame retardant, shale gas fracturing and as a chemical intermediate.
The boric acid market is driven by its demand in household insecticide products and industrial applications. However, toxicity and bio-accumulation potential might hamper the market growth. Further, high demand as an antiseptic and wood preservative is expected to fuel demand growth. Neutron absorption in nuclear power plants is another major application consuming significant amounts of boric acid. It is used in a mix with reactor coolants to reduce the rate of fission in the reactor and keep it within controlled levels.
Boric acid is a widely used household insecticide formulations its high toxicity and effect on insect exoskeleton. It is extensively used as a sanitizer and pH buffer in swimming pools. Electroplating applications in the jewelry industry is a small but high value market. Additionally, stringent regulations for buildings and essential safety guidelines have added to demand for flame retardants including boric acid.
In terms of geography, Asia Pacific is the dominant consumer of boric acid riding on high sales of household insecticide products and flame retardant application due to high number of construction projects and infrastructure development activities. Major industrial economies including China, India, Japan and South Korea are the major consumers of boric acid for application in nuclear power plant, household products, textile industry and chemical industry. Two of the most populated countries, China and India are situated in Asia. Both these countries are growing rapidly and witnessing rising disposable income and purchase power parity of the general population. This is expected to fuel market growth of household products including insecticides and antiseptics, which in turn is expected to fuel demand for boric acid in the region. Europe is expected to witness comparatively slower growth than other regions due to its stringent regulations.
Some of the market players include Univar USA Inc., Incide technologies Inc., Borax and Avantor Performance Materials Ltd., among many others.
MRRSE offers custom market research services that help clients to get information on their business scenario required where syndicated solutions are not enough.Get A Free Custom Research Quote