Hydrazine possesses ammonia like odour and is a colourless liquid. Hydrazine is a toxic chemical and is highly unstable. The major uses of hydrazine are in water treatment, pharmaceuticals, in the production of polymers, as a blowing agent and in agrochemicals. Hydrazine is produced by a variety of processes such as Raschig process, Ketazine process, and Peroxide process. Out of all these processes, Raschig process is most commonly used, however this process gives lower yields. The primary use of hydrazine is as a fuel for rockets in space missions and is also used as a gas in air bags. Hydrazine is also used in space vehicles in the form of a propellant in order to reduce the concentration of dissolved oxygen. It is also used by the F-16 fighter jets to propel the aircraft’s emergency fuel supply.
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Hydrazine also finds application in refining and purification processes, especially in the Asia Pacific region. The processes that come under the ambit of refining include purification and as a reducing agent in the treatment of boiler water. Effluent treatment is another area of application where hydrazine is used. Another area where hydrazine is used is in the recovery of valuable metals such as gold, platinum and silver in their refining and purification process. Use of hydrazine in the recovery of such valuable metals leads to early recovery and a high purity. Waste water treatment is another area where hydrazine is utilised in order to remove contaminants and heavy metals and this often leads to higher productivity.
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Key regions of hydrazine production and consumption
In terms of production of hydrazine, Europe occupies the pole position, followed by Asia Pacific and North America. In Europe, Germany is the primary producer of hydrazine followed by France, Italy and UK. In Europe, hydrazine is primarily used in the pharmaceutical industry and in the process of water treatment. In the North America region, U.S is the primary producer of hydrazine, while in Asia Pacific, China is the primary producer. The consumption of hydrazine is the largest in the European market, followed by North America, which is a major market for hydrazine. China has the largest consumption of hydrazine in the Asia Pacific region, followed by India and Japan. In Latin America, the primary use of hydrazine is in the agriculture industry and in water treatment and the market for hydrazine is poised to grow in this region as well. Similarly, the same trend is likely to be witnessed in the Middle East, where hydrazine is mainly used in the polymer industry.
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Drivers and restraints impacting the global hydrazine market
A growing demand for hydrazine and its by-products due to the rapid development of industries such as pharmaceuticals as well as its increasing use in agriculture and industrial applications will lead to the increasing consumption of hydrazine. Rapid economic development in the Asia Pacific region, especially in China and India will lead to the blooming of the hydrazine market in these regions. In addition to this, the boom of the manufacturing sector in China is also slated to impact the global hydrazine market in a positive manner. However, there is a flipside to the use of hydrazine. Due to the exposure to hydrazine, adverse effects such as irritation of eyes, nose and throat may occur and may also lead to conditions of nausea and headaches. In extreme cases, acute exposure to hydrazine may lead to damage to the kidney, liver and the central nervous system. Such health concerns regarding the use of hydrazine have the potential to act as a dampener to the global hydrazine market.
Key players operating in the global hydrazine market
Bayer, Arkema, and Lansdowne are some of the key producers of hydrazine.