The worldwide market for Nitrous Oxide is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 6.2% between 2018 and 2026. Increasing demand for nitrous oxide from a wide range of industries especially from the medical sector is expected to drive its market.It’s a colorless gas with a sweet odor, also named as laughing gas and is non-flammable. It is a highly gas material that is produced from the thermal decomposition of ammonium nitrate.Considerable pervasiveness of several types of chronic diseases and increasing number of geriatric population especially in Europe and North America are anticipated to be some potential implications for the product to experience higher demand in the next five to six years. Few of the non-medical applications of the product include semiconductors, food processing & packaging and premium automobiles among the major end-uses.
Nitrous oxide is mainly used as an inhalation anesthetic product in medicines. Administration of this product is primarily accompanied by simultaneous administration of a volatile agent such as ethrane, halothane, etc.This product is also used in high end super cars which also plays a major contributor to its demand. It is an excellent oxidizer that can support combustion to its maximum potential which no other gas can and hence has no substitute in this regard.Nitrous oxide itself is inflammable but is an excellent oxidizer that provides additional oxygen for the extra fuel to burn hence producing more power. It is used in combustion engines as the oxygen present in nitrous oxide causes combustion of fuels more rapidly. Nitrous oxide is also used in high tech thin film industries of LCD and semiconductor manufacturing.
Its primary application constitutes of reactions with silicon precursors or silane for the production of high quality oxide films that are applied in microelectronic transistors as electrical insulators. Moreover, the product has been used increasingly to manufacture thin fill oxides with several other elements including aluminum, titanium, indium, magnesium and zirconium. It is also used in selective etching of semiconductor thin films.
The global nitrous oxide industry is segmented based on its application types and regional segments.Application segment is further bifurcated into medical, semiconductors, automobiles and food & beverage. Medical was the largest application segment from 2015 to 2017. It is used as anesthetic agents for several therapeutic indications.In situation of severe pain,it is one of the first applied medication agent with fifty percent of oxygen. Also, in conditions of short term procedures such as burn dressings or wounds suturing and debridement, this is widely used. In dental procedures during tooth extraction or other brief procedures, nitrous oxide has been a non-substitutable agent. It is also occasionally used as insufflating agent in laparoscopy and in cryosurgery as a refrigerant.
Semiconductor industry is let another promising sector to look out for increasing demand of the product. It being less reactive and hence is more proffered than oxygen. Owing to these functional advantages it is used to control the oxygen amount in thin films, to reduce side oxidation reactions, and selectively etch one thin film while allowing others to remain. In the present industry scenario, nitrous oxide demand for electronics is approximately 10,000 metric tons per year on an average, which is anticipated to increase over the forecast period.
Asia Pacific was the largest regional market in 2017. Increasing demand from the medical industry which has been growing in proportional to the region’s rising economy is anticipated to be the primary source for it. Even the electronics manufacturing industry of China, Japan, South Korea and even India has been a major contributor to Asia Pacific’s demand for this gas.
Moreover, presence of or increasing availability of cheap but qualified and highly skilled labor in the region has attracted many of the premium car manufacturers to set up their manufacturing facilities for economies of scale. The rapidly developing and expanding automobile manufacturing industry in this region also has and will further augment demand for nitrous oxide over the forecast period.
Some of the leading industry participants include KVK Corporation, SS Gas Lab Asia, Promas Engineers Pvt. Ltd., Ellenbarrie Industrial Gases Ltd., Air Liquide S.A., Merck KGaA, SOL S.p.A., Matheson Tri-Gas Inc., Airgas, Inc., The Linde Group, Praxair, Inc., and Oxygen and Argon Works Ltd.