An inorganic oxide is a chemical compound that contains one oxygen atom and other elements. Some of the most commonly encountered inorganic oxides are nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide, zinc oxide, sulfur dioxide, manganese dioxide, chromium trioxide, ferric oxide, ferrous oxide, cupric oxide, cuprous oxide, sulfuric oxide, sulfurous oxide and calcium oxide among others. Some oxides can react directly with water to form an acidic, basic, or amphoteric solution. Different oxides of the same element are distinguished by Roman numerals denoting their oxidation number, e.g. iron (II) oxide versus iron (III) oxide.
Drivers and Restraints
Inorganic oxides have a wide variety of applications. One such key inorganic oxide is nitrous oxide that has applications majorly in the medical industry. It is commonly used to produce laughing gas and as an anesthetic (used in a combination with diatomic oxygen to make nitrous oxide and oxygen anesthesia). Other nitrogen oxides such as nitrogen dioxide exist in areas with notable air pollution. Silicon dioxide is used in the construction industry for the production of portland cement, as a precursor to glass and silicon metal and for food and pharmaceutical applications. Another key product type is iron oxide that has extensive use as a black pigment. Iron oxide is synthesized rather than being extracted from the naturally occurring mineral as the particle size and shape can be varied by the method of production. Nano particles of iron oxide are used as contrast agents in MRI scanning. Iron oxide can be used along with aluminum and sulfur as an ingredient in a specific type of thermite useful for cutting steel. Another inorganic oxide, zinc oxide is used as an additive in numerous materials and products including rubber, plastics, ceramics, glass, ointments, adhesives, pigments, foods, batteries, fire retardants and first-aid tapes among others. Carbon dioxide is one of the most important inorganic oxides and is used by food, oil and chemical industries. In the food Industry, carbon dioxide is generally used as a food additive and is approved for use by the FDA.
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The growth and expansion of end user industries such as chemical, food, ceramics and medical will be a major driving factor for the consumption of inorganic oxides. In addition, rapid urbanization of emerging economies has led to boom in construction industry and oil and gas industry, which is in turn is expected to drive the inorganic oxides market. The consumption of inorganic oxides will only increase in the emerging economies. Brazil, Russia, China and India are expected to be the largest consumers of inorganic oxides. However, environmental concerns and government regulations could hamper the growth of inorganic oxides market.
On the basis of type, the global inorganic oxides market is segmented into nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide, zinc oxide, sulfur dioxide, manganese dioxide, chromium trioxide, ferric oxide, ferrous oxide, cupric oxide, cuprous oxide, sulfuric oxide, sulfurous oxide and calcium oxide.
On the basis of end-use industries, the global inorganic oxides market is segmented into:
- Medical Industry
- Chemical Industry
- Food Industry
- Construction Industry
- Oil & Gas Industry
- Others (includes ceramics)
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Geographically, Asia Pacific Excluding Japan (APEJ) is one the largest consumer of inorganic oxides, primarily driven by the growth of key end user industries such as oil and gas, food and chemical. China and India are the primary consumers of inorganic oxides in APEJ due to rapid industrialization, rising income levels and changing consumer lifestyle. In addition, the proliferation of oil and gas related activities in APEJ have increased the consumption of key inorganic oxides such as carbon dioxide for oil recovery purposes. Carbon dioxide, when dissolved into the underground crude oil, significantly reduces its viscosity, and changes surface chemistry enabling the oil to flow more rapidly through the reservoir to the removal well.
Some of the key players in inorganic oxides market are BASF SE, Sinopec Corp., The Dow Chemical Company, Incos srl P.I., Exxon Mobil Corporation, DuPont, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, SABIC, Cathay Industries and Total among others.