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Barium Carbonate Market – Snapshot

Barium carbonate, which is manufactured by using barite as a raw material, is a chemical compound that is white in color. Barium carbonate is generally available in powder form. Barium carbonate is insoluble in water and soluble in a majority of acids with the exception of sulfuric acid. Barium carbonate is thermally very stable in nature. Barium carbonate increases the refractive index and luster of glass, which makes it suitable for use in the glass industry. The commercial production of barium carbonate involves synthetic methods that yield high-purity barium carbonate in granular or powder form. Generally, barium carbonate is produced by the reaction between barium sulfate or barite and pet coke. It is also produced by the reaction between barium sulfide and sodium carbonate.

It is primarily used in the manufacture of other barium compounds; removal of efflorescence in bricks and tiles; and production of specialty glass. Demand for bricks and tiles has been increasing over the last few years. The construction industry in Asia Pacific is witnessing significant growth, owing to presence of countries with large population such as China and India. Rising demand for highly finished surfaces among consumers is likely to drive the barium carbonate market during the forecast period. Barium carbonate is used as an ingredient in glazes, frits, and enamels. It acts as a flux, matting agent, and crystallizing agent. It is employed in the production of specialty glass, as it gives a bright final finish.

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Based on form, the barium carbonate market has been classified into granular, powder, and ultra-fine. Granular form of barium carbonate is primarily used in the production of display glass, crystal glass, and other specialty glasses. Powder form of barium carbonate is used in the ceramic industry as a fluxing material to produce matt glazes, specialty glass, clay bricks, and tiles. Powder form is also employed in the manufacture of barium peroxide, barium hydroxide, and barium chloride. Ultra-fine form of barium carbonate is applied in brine purification.

In terms of application, the barium carbonate market has been segmented into specialty glass, bricks & tiles, chemical compounds, glazes, frits, and enamels, electro-ceramic materials, and others. The bricks & tiles segment holds a significant share of the barium carbonate market. Replacement of marble floors, metal slabs, and other home decorative products with ceramic tiles is expected to fuel the market in the next few years. This, in turn, is likely to augment the market for barium carbonate during the forecast period. Increasing use of barium carbonate in bricks and tiles to prevent scrumming is anticipated to fuel the demand for barium carbonate in the near future. Increasing activities of oil and gas exploration and drilling are likely to propel the barium carbonate market between 2018 and 2026. Barite, the raw material required in the production of barium carbonate, is highly consumed in the oil & gas industry.

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Addition of barium carbonate prevents salt formation on bricks and tiles. Barium carbonate reacts with soluble sulfates to form insoluble carbonates and sulfates that do not produce scum. Demand for barium carbonate is high in the building & construction industry. With growth of semiconductors and electronics industries, the demand for barium carbonate in the electro-ceramic materials segment is rising. Barium carbonate is a key ingredient material of multilayered ceramic capacitors, PTC thermistors, piezoelectric transducers, sensors, dynamic RAM, MEMS, optical modulators, and electromechanical devices. However, decline in the production of CRT glass is likely to restrain the barium carbonate market to the specialty glass segment in the near future. Approximately 85% of the CRT devices are projected to reach end-of-life by 2025. With the decreasing demand for CRT, the demand for barium carbonate is also anticipated to decline in the next few years.

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Manufacturers are focusing on the production of barium carbonate for removal of efflorescence in bricks and tiles in order to prevent scumming. Rise in construction activities in developing economies offer growth opportunities to the barium carbonate market. Use of barium carbonate as a precursor in the production of magnetic ferrites and ferro-electric materials is also likely to offer growth opportunities to the market in the near future.