Ferric Chloride also called as Iron Chloride is a commodity chemical which is rarely observed in its natural form. Rapid hydrolysis of ferric chloride in water makes it an ideal precipitating and flocculating agent. Ferric chloride is extensively used as a flocculant in water treatment applications across the globe. Other applications of ferric chloride include its use in the production of printed circuit boards and as a catalyst in organic synthesis. Water treatment is the largest application segment for ferric chloride followed by printed circuit board production. Other applications of ferric chloride include catalyst, detecting agent for phenol compounds in organic synthesis, as an odor sequester etc.
The use of ferric chloride is expected to grow across the globe in water treatment applications. Ferric chloride is used as a flocculant for treating both industrial and wastewater treatment plants. Ferric chloride is also used for the treatment of potable water in certain instances. With increasingly stringent norms relating to the sewage water and industrial waste water and growing importance of treating this water in order to curtail pollution, the demand for ferric chloride is expected to witness robust growth in the next few years. In Europe, ferric chloride is widely used as a coagulant for potable water treatment and sewage water treatment. The demand for ferric chloride is anticipated to be high in Europe due to stricter European Union legislation pertaining to clean water standards in both the municipal and industrial sectors. Therefore, the demand for ferric chloride is anticipated to be high especially in those countries that are regulated by these legislations. Ferric chloride is consumed in many industries across China. The main application for ferric chloride in China is its use as a purifying agent for purifying water and as a coagulant in industrial and municipal sewage wastewater treatment. The demand for ferric chloride has grown significantly in the production of printed circuit boards in China. With growing numbers of PCB producers setting up their manufacturing plants in China from adjoining countries such as Japan, Korea, Taiwan etc. the consumption for ferric chloride for the production of printed circuit boards is expected to grow significantly in the country. In Japan, the two major applications of ferric chloride is wastewater treatment and printed circuit boards. Ferric chloride is extensively used by many printed circuit board manufacturers in Japan as an etching agent.
In terms of demand Asia Pacific was the largest consumer of ferric chloride followed by Europe North America and Rest of the World. In North America U.S was the largest market for ferric chloride followed by Mexico and Canada. This high demand for ferric chloride stems from the growing demand for industrial and sewage wastewater treatment applications in this region. The demand for ferric chloride is also projected to witness strong growth in European countries such as Germany, France, U.K, Italy etc. on account of strict regulations implied by the EU legislation on wastewater. The demand for ferric chloride is also anticipated to witness strong growth in the Asia Pacific countries such as China, India, Indonesia etc. With growing industrial activities in these regions the demand for ferric chloride is also expected to grow on similar lines. The economic conditions of Brazil, Russia and South Africa are on similar track and hence the demand for ferric chloride is also projected to be high in these countries.
Some of the major companies operating in the global ferric chloride market are Kemira, PVS Chemicals Inc., Tessenderlo Group, and BPS Products Pvt. Ltd. among others.
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