Industrial gases are chemicals that can be either elemental gases, chemical compounds, organic or inorganic. They are known by different names across different industries, such as; specialty gases, medical gases, fuel gases and refrigerant gases.
Nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, argon, hydrogen, helium and acetylene are some of the more common industrial gases. Balloon helium and medical oxygen are two well-known industrial gases used by general population at large.
Oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals, steelmaking, water, food, fertilizers, chemicals, power, mining, metals, environmental protection, medicine, biotechnology, nuclear power, electronics and aerospace are some of the major end-user industries for industrial gases. They are also used by the medical and food industries as medical gases and processing and packaging gases for food.
The chemical and refining-related industrial processing market leads the global industrial gases market followed by metal manufacturing and fabrication industry.
Asia-Pacific has the largest market share for industrial gases, followed by North America and Europe. Demand for industrial gases in the Asia-Pacific market is expected to dominate the global market in the future due to increasing domestic consumption in the developing markets of India and China.
Increasing international and domestic trade may create a boom in the industrial sector in developing countries such as India and Brazil. Industries such as transportation, food and beverages, metal fabrication and chemical are expected to grow. This might provide growth opportunities. In addition, the increasing industrialisation of the Asia-Pacific and Middle East is expected to provide growth opportunities.
Increasing urbanisation may be a major driver for the growth of the market in developing countries, increasing demand from the utilities and process industries such as oil and gas, energy, and petroleum. Strict environment regulations however might hamper the growth.
The industrial gases market is dominated by a few major players who held more than two third of the market share in 2012. L'Air Liquide S.A dominated the global industrial gases market with more than one fifth of the market share. Other major players are; Air Products and Chemicals Inc., Linde AG, Praxair Inc., Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corp., Airgas Inc., Matheson tri-Gas Inc. and Air Gas Inc.
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