Arsenate is any compound containing the arsenate ion. Arsenates are usually the group of salts and esters of arsenic acid. Arsenates are used in applications such as metallurgy, semiconductors and pesticides. In metallurgy applications arsenate compounds are used as n additives in metallurgical processes owing to its semi-metallic properties. In electronics and electrical industry, arsenic compounds are used as semiconductors, especially gallium arsenide which is used in transistors, diodes, and lasers while Indium arsenide is employed in Hall Effect applications and infrared detectors. Arsenate and arsenic compounds are widely used as wood preservatives as well as herbicides and pesticides. Elemental arsenate is used in the manufacturing of alloys specifically copper and lead (example Lead acid batteries) Arsenate compounds are also used in the manufacturing of leather preservatives, sheep-dips, poisonous baits and pigments. Arsenate compounds also find applications in anti-fouling agents, pyrotechnics, pharmaceuticals, soaps and dyes and electrophotography.
In nature arsenate occurs in a variety of minerals which may contain anhydrous or hydrated arsenates. Some examples of arsenate containing minerals are alarsite, adamite, erythrite, annabergite and legrandite. Arsenic is one of the most available elements in earth’s crust and is naturally emitted by volcanic eruptions. Arsenic is usually founds in its sulfide forms in complex mineral ores of lead, silver, nickel, cobalt, antimony, and iron. Earlier, major consumption of arsenate was in the wood preservative applications where arsenic compounds were used as wood preservatives in the U.S. However, health concerns regarding the use of arsenic have led to a decreased use of arsenates in the pressure-wood preservative applications. Arsenic is supposedly harmful to the human health, where certain noncancerous effects of arsenic ingestion through air or water include, diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain, etc. Arsenic is also considered to cause cancer in some cases of ingestion. The arsenate compounds are expected to witness strong growth from the electrical and electronic applications. The demand for lead acid batteries is anticipated to grow substantially in the next few years, with growing preference of electric cars across the globe. Since Arsenate compounds are used in the production of lead acid batteries the demand for arsenate is also projected to grow in the next few years.
In terms of production Asia-Pacific was the largest production house for Arsenate and its compounds. In Asia Pacific China was the largest producer of arsenic. Other major producers of arsenate include Chile, Morocco, Peru and Mexico amongst others. In terms of demand North America was the largest consumer of arsenate followed by Asia Pacific, Europe and Rest of the World. In North America U.S was the largest market for arsenate followed by Mexico and Canada. This high demand for arsenate stems from the demand for electrical and electronic devices and growing use of electrical and hybrid vehicles in this region. The demand for arsenate 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 arsenate 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 arsenate is also projected to be high in these countries.
Some of the major companies operating in the global arsenate market are Southern Peru Corporation, San Luis Potosi, and Yunnan Wenshan Jinchi Arsenic Co., Ltd. among others.
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