Formic acid, also known as methanoic acid is a vital intermediate in chemical synthesis, occurring naturally, mostly in ant venom. It belongs to the group of carboxylic acids having a colorless appearance and a highly pungent odor, and is soluble in various alcohols, acetones and ethers. The applications majorly require formic acid in concentrations of 99%, 94%, 90%, and 85%., with 85% being the industry standard acid. A large amount of formic acid is produced as a byproduct in the manufacturing of other chemicals such as acetic acid and hydrogenation of carbon dioxide. Formic acid is widely used as a silage and animal feed preservative, antibacterial agent in livestock feed, production of leather, pharmaceutical, rubber chemical, and as a substitute to mineral acids in various cleaning products. It is also used to regulate the pH of various chemical processes.
The global market for formic acid has been witnessing a noticeable growth on account of growing demand for preservatives and feed additives. Improving living standards internationally has resulted in the growing consumption of meat thereby boosting the demand for formic acid in animal feeds and silage preservatives. Europe accounts for the largest market for formic acid since the banning of antibiotic growth promoters by the European Union in 2006. The market for formic acid in other regions such as Middle East, South America and Central America has also been well-established in tanning and leather applications. In addition, presence of significant textiles and natural rubber industries in Southeast Asia has made the formic acid industry lucrative in the region.
Formic acid is one of the basic organic chemical raw materials widely used in rubbers, pharmaceuticals, dyes, leather and pesticides. The high quality nature of formic acid coupled with the global environmental acceptability is one of the major influencing factors creating an upsurge in the demand in the industry. Moreover, the upcoming safety regulations for the production of formic acid is also anticipated to be one of the key influencing factors for the growth of formic acid with an increased emphasis on different types of products and their respective applications.
Increasing demand for formic acid in animal feed additives and silage preservatives is expected to be one of major growth factors driving the formic acid market. Moreover, growing textile, leather and rubber industries in emerging economies such as China and India is also anticipated to contribute towards the growing demand for formic acid. Moreover, the ban of antibiotics as a growth promoter in Europe in 2006 has led to an increased demand for formic acid as a substitute. However, fluctuating weather conditions are expected to negatively affect the production of certain application industries such as silage preservative and animal feed additives, which in turn is expected to result in declining demand for formic acid. Focus on research and development activities for the development of innovative products is expected to provide new opportunities for the growth of the market.
Chongqing Chuandong Chemical (Group) Co. Ltd., BASF SE, Alfa Aesar, Perstorp AB, Helm Italia S.R.L, Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers Co. Ltd., Feicheng Acid Chemicals Co. Ltd., Shanxiyuanping Chemicals Co. Ltd., Samsung Fine Chemicals Co. Ltd., and Taminco Corporation are some of the key formic acid manufactures dominating the market.
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