Elemental fluorine is a highly toxic, pale yellow, corrosive gas, which reacts with most of the organic & inorganic substances. Industrially, elemental fluorine is produced by electrolysis of potassium fluoride and hydrogen fluoride mixture. Generally, elemental fluorine is consumed immediately or it is stored in the form of gas in stainless steel cylinders.
Fluorine is a key element for electricity generation via nuclear energy, as it allows isotopic enrichment of uranium. According to Coherent Market Insights’ analysis, in 2016, over 54% of total fluorine production was utilized in the production of fluoride compounds that are used in nuclear power plants. Therefore, increasing demand for electricity is fueling demand for elemental fluorine in the production of uranium fluorides.
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However, high toxicity of elemental fluorine is a major factor restraining global elemental fluorine market growth. Inhalation of fluorine causes irritation and can lead to throat pain. Skin and eye contact with fluorine vapors can cause severe skin burn and permanent eye injury up to blindness, respectively.
Emerging application of fluorinated molecules in medicinal chemistry is projected to drive growth of the global elemental fluorine market in the near future. Fluorinated molecules such as delamanid, refametinib, and various others are clinically under trial for the treatment of tuberculosis, cancer, asthma, and various other diseases.
Among application, nuclear energy segment accounted for largest market share in the global elemental fluorine market in 2017. Owing to increasing adoption of nuclear energy as a clean source of energy, the segment is projected to retain its dominance in the market over the forecast period. According to World Energy Council Report 2016, uranium and nuclear production has increased over 40% in the past 15 years due to rising demand for alternative resources. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), in 2016, over 20% total electricity generation was accounted through nuclear sources in the U.S.
Key players in the Global Elemental Fluorine Market
Key players operating in the global elemental fluorine market include Solvay S.A., Linde AG, Air Products & Chemicals, Inc., Navin Fluorine International Limited, Kanto Denka Kogyo Co., Ltd., and Honeywell among others
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