Sodium nitrate is a type of alkali metal nitrate salt, also popularly known as Chile saltpeter (as large deposits of this salt are found in Chile) to differentiate it from ordinary saltpeter and potassium nitrate. It is a white, crystalline solid and though it is non-combustible, it increases the burning rate of combustible materials. Large quantities of sodium nitrate result in fires, or explosions in cases where the combustible material is finely divided. Sodium nitrate finds important applications in solid propellants, explosives and chemical fertilizers, apart from many other uses. It also finds important applications in several reactions carried out on industrial scales for the manufacture of chemical fertilizers, pyrotechnics and smoke bombs, glass and pottery enamels, preservatives for food applications and in the manufacture of solid rocket propellants.
Sodium nitrate is also used as a color fixative in cured meats and poultry. It finds application as an oxidizer in fireworks, thereby substituting potassium nitrate commonly found in black powder, and as a component in instant cold packs.
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Sodium nitrate is combined with potassium nitrate and calcium nitrate for the purpose of heat storage and, lately, for heat transfer applications in solar power plants. A mixture of sodium nitrate, calcium nitrate and potassium nitrate finds application as an energy-storage material in prototype plants, such as the Andasol Solar Power Station and the Archimedes projects. Apart from this, sodium nitrate also finds application in wastewater treatment processes for facultative microorganism respiration. Nitrosomonas, a genus of microorganisms, consumes sodium nitrate preferentially vis-à-vis oxygen, enabling it to grow more rapidly in the wastewater to be treated.
Considering these important aspects of applications of sodium nitrate, the study of sodium nitrate becomes an important read.
Rising demand from the food and beverages industry
In recent times, there has been a rise in the demand for food preservatives from the rapidly growing food & beverage industry. Preservation of processed food has been gaining importance over the past few years. Sodium nitrate is being increasingly used as a preservative in specific processed meats, such as bacon, jerky and luncheon meats. Moreover, the volume of processed food & beverage consumed has been rising exponentially, which can be primarily attributed to the rising population with high income groups, especially in developing economies. These factors have been largely contributing to market growth.
Sodium nitrate market Assessment by region
Regional Market Outlook
In terms of geography, the sodium nitrate market can be been divided into seven regions – North America, Latin America, Europe, South East Asia (SEA) and Rest of APAC, China, Japan and Middle-East & Africa. China and SEA & the rest of APAC are dominating regions in the sodium nitrate market, due to growing population and increasing demand for sodium nitrate applications across a diverse range of industries. North America and Europe are the next most important regional markets for sodium nitrate and Germany, France and the U.K. are key countries in the European region. The sodium nitrate market in Asia is expected to be the most promising market for players during the forecast period, owing to various factors such as developing healthcare facilities, growing chemicals, plastic & rubber and paint & coating industries and the increasing use of sodium nitrate in pharmaceutical & healthcare industries.
Some of the key manufacturers operating in the global sodium nitrate market include BASF SE, Merck KGaA, Grupa Azoty, Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd., and Avantor Performance Materials, Inc. Some of the other producers of sodium nitrate include Deepak Nitrite, Ricca Chemical Company and LabChem, among others.
|Sodium Nitrate Vendors||Sodium Nitrate Vendors|
|BASF SEHoneywell International Inc.Merck KGaAGrupa AzotySumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd.Avantor Performance Materials, Inc.American ElementsGraham Chemical CorporationSQMPure Chemicals||Deepak Nitrite Ltd.Ricca Chemical CompanyLabChemJost Chemical Co.Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers LimitedBrenntag Nederland BVAllan Chemical CorporationUniversal Preserve-a-Chem Inc.Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Inc.Fisher Scientific|
In August 2017, Deepak Nitrite Ltd. – an Indian manufacturer – filed a legal petition seeking review investigations on sodium nitrite imports from China into India. This was further supported by some other manufacturers operating in the country to protect their business interests pertaining to sodium nitrate in the country. The result has been that the country’s Ministry of Finance has imposed a five year anti-dumping duty on sodium nitrite imports from China, thereby providing a favorable judgment to the petitioners.
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Manufacturers of sodium nitrate have been expanding their manufacturing capacities to meet the rising demand from their customers. For instance, in June 2016, SQM declared that it would be increasing its total potassium nitrate production capacity by 500,000 metric tons per year.