In the following post, the production and price analysis, along with several applications of the commodity will be uncovered.
Sulphuric Acid Explained
Sulphuric Acid (H2SO4) appears to be a colourless and dense liquid that is corrosive in nature. It is among the most widely used commercial chemical and is used in a wide range of applications. It is an odorless syrupy liquid that is soluble in water and lets out heat when dissolved in water.
It has a specific gravity of 1.830 at 25 °C (77 °F) and a freezing point of 10.37 °C (50.7 °F). It has boiling and melting point of 337 °C and 10 °C respectively. Its molecular weight or molar mass is around 98.079 g/mol and has a density of 1.84 g/cm³. It is also corrosive to tissue and metals.
Applications of Sulphuric Acid
As it is produced through natural processes, it can be used for cleaning metals, removing the impurities from oil, chemical manufacturing (for hydrochloric acid), drugs, explosives, and nitric acid, and synthesis of dye and detergents, among others.
For household applications, it can be used to drain cleaners. In industrial applications, it is employed in end-uses like manufacturing cleaning agents, mineral processing, wastewater processing, and the production of detergents and aluminium sulphates.
Sulphuric acid is also used in the production of drugs as it can cause damage to the cancerous cell DNA by producing chemotherapy drugs. It is also used to make ointments for the treatment of several skin infections like canker sores.
Other applications of the commodity include its use for manufacturing batteries, printing ink, detergents such as trisodium phosphate, as a dehydrating agent, potato farming, paper making, perfume, disinfectants etc.
Management Studies of Sulphuric Acid
Sulphuric Acid Production from Sulphur via Single Contact Process:
In this method, sulfur dioxide is formed by burning sulphur which is then turned into sulphur trioxide. Sulphur trioxide is then transformed into sulphuric acid via absorption using the recirculating sulphuric acid solution in water in just one column. The sulphur dioxide comprising the absorption column does not get recovered in this process.
Sulphuric Acid Production from Sulphur via Double Contact Process:
During the process, sulphur dioxide is made by burning sulphur, which further gets turned into sulphur trioxide. Further, sulphur trioxide is transformed into sulphuric acid via the double-contact double absorption (DC/DA) process using a high-concentration sulphuric acid solution in water.
Sulphuric Acid Production from Tail Gas Using H2O2 Abatement:
In this process, Sulphur dioxide is oxidized to sulphuric acid via a process involving a reaction between the SO2 with a sulphuric acid aqueous scrubbing solution comprising hydrogen peroxide in a gas-liquid contacting device which continues the liquid scrubbing phase during the actual contacting.
During the method, the scrubbing solution’s acid concentration could be as much as 99 percent by weight H2SO4. The process helps in the sulphur dioxide abatement from waste gases formed during the production of sulphuric acid as well as for abating SO2 from different stack gases, thereby relieving pollution issues. Next, the hydrogen peroxide oxidizes the sulphur dioxide to H2SO4.
Sulphuric Acid Production via Wet Sulphuric Acid Process:
The process uses hydrogen sulfide gases that are used to create Sulphuric acid via the Wet Sulphuric acid process. In this method, the feed gas hydrogen sulfide is burned, which forms sulphur dioxide and water.
The Sulphur dioxide is then turned into sulphur trioxide and chilled upto a temperature where it can react with water during the gas phase forming sulphuric acid, which is later condensed and concentrated to roughly 98 wt %.
The Key Players in the Sulphuric Acid Market
- BASF SE
- INEOS Sulphur Chemicals (INEOS Capital Limited)
- The Mosaic Company
- Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden)
- Agrium U.S. Inc. (Nutrien Ltd.)
Sulphuric Acid Price Trend Analysis By Regional Segmentation
Recently, the Sulphuric Acid market value progressed in a downward direction, with the price staying at its lowest till the end. This is because there was a drop in the downstream fertilizer industry, leading to a significant pullback from the bulk Chemicals industry, which was among the only causes for the decline in prices of Sulphuric Acid.
However, this cost plunge was a modest one, as noted by the market participants. In addition, the product’s demand de-escalation from the end-user industries, including fertilizers and dyestuff, impacted the product’s price in the domestic market in the US.
As a result, the leading industry experts’ sense that the American Sulphuric Acid sector is anticipating long-term of lower growth rates in comparison to ever before.
The Sulphuric Acid price plunged swiftly as there was restricted order support in the market in Asia. Sulphur-producing firms gradually lowered their prices in order to maintain the feedstock supply and reach the available demand.
The cost support was adversely affected due to the continual decline in crude oil prices. The low-price trend of the product in the domestic market was supported by frail demand, surplus supply, and lowering spot prices abroad.
The downstream fertilizer industry saw a uniform level of consumption, whereas the construction and automobile sectors kept the intakes of volume on the lower side.
During the last few months, Sulphuric Acid’s market value dropped in the European market in November. The Sulphuric Acid inventories were increasing the regular stock of traders and suppliers owing to the reduced consumption in the domestic market.
The main driver pushing down the prices of Sulphuric Acid business was the investors’ negative outlook for the automotive manufacturing industry.
In addition, a major halt in production was propelled by a decline in the feedstock Sulphur price amidst the plunging crude oil prices. The production rate of Sulphuric Acid was further slowed down amidst bearish product demand.
Hence, in the following blog, Sulphuric Acid is defined along with its applications, production processes, and price analysis which provides a key insight to leading industry players with their business needs.