Calcium hydroxide is an inorganic compound which is traditionally called slaked lime. It is usually obtained by mixing or slaking calcium oxide (also called as quicklime or lime) with water. Other names of calcium hydroxide are builders lime, hydrated lime, pickling lime, or slack lime. Calcium hydroxide is used extensively in various applications such as water treatment, food and construction. Calcium hydroxide is consumed in significant quantities as a flocculant in sewage and water treatment. Paper industry is the other major industry where calcium hydroxide is used as a conversion component in Kraft process for the production of sodium hydroxide. Other niche uses of calcium hydroxide include construction, petroleum refining, automobile brake pads, pesticides, ebonite manufacturing and food industry.
The use of calcium hydroxide is expected to grow across the globe in water treatment applications. Calcium hydroxide is used as a flocculant for treating both industrial and wastewater treatment plants. Calcium hydroxide 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 calcium hydroxide is expected to witness robust growth in the next few years. In Europe, calcium hydroxide is widely used as a coagulant for potable water treatment and sewage water treatment. The demand for calcium hydroxide 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 calcium hydroxide as a flocculant is anticipated to be high especially in those countries that are regulated by these legislations. Calcium hydroxide is consumed in many industries across China. The main application for calcium hydroxide in China is its use as a purifying agent for water treatment and as a flocculant in industrial and municipal sewage wastewater treatment. In terms of production China is the largest producer of calcium hydroxide followed by Europe and North America. The global trade for calcium hydroxide is relatively low mainly because lime is readily available across the globe. Also, the transportation costs involved in transporting lime would be significantly high.
In terms of demand Asia Pacific was the largest consumer of calcium hydroxide followed by Europe North America and Rest of the World. In North America U.S was the largest market for calcium hydroxide followed by Mexico and Canada. This high demand for calcium hydroxide stems from the growing demand for industrial and sewage wastewater treatment applications in this region. The demand for calcium hydroxide 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 calcium hydroxide 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 calcium hydroxide 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 calcium hydroxide is also projected to be high in these countries.
Some of the major companies operating in the global calcium hydroxide market are Jost Chemical Company, Airedale Chemical, GFS Chemicals Inc. CAO Industries, and Innovo Chemicals Ltd. among others.
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