In chemistry, a base is a substance that, in aqueous solution, is slippery to the touch, tastes bitter, changes the color of indicators (e.g., turns red litmus paper blue), reacts with acids to form salts, and promotes certain chemical reactions (base catalysis).
Inorganic bases are described as bases derived from inorganic compounds or mineral compounds. The most common inorganic bases are ammonium hydroxide, calcium hydroxide, magnesium hydroxide, magnesium hydroxide, sodium-bicarbonate, sodium hydroxide
Ammonium hydroxide is a solution of ammonia in water; calcium hydroxide is a weak base with many industrial uses. In addition, magnesium hydroxide is referred to as brucite when found in its solid mineral form and sodium bicarbonate is a mild alkali. Sodium hydroxide is a strong inorganic base which is widely used in industrial and laboratory environments.
Calcium hydroxide has many niche applications. It is used as an ingredient in whitewash, mortar and plaster. It is used in road construction to improve the quality of excessively plastic subgrade soils. In addition, it is used to fill root canal in endodontic surgery. It is added as an additive to sea water to reduce atmospheric carbon-dioxide and mitigate the greenhouse effect.
Moreover, ammonium hydroxide is a chemical depilatory agent found in most of the hair removal creams. Furthermore, it is used in the petrochemical industry for manufacturing solid oil of various marks. It is highly used in the manufacture of pesticides. Additionally, ammonium hydroxide is used for various household, industrial and laboratory applications. In furniture-making, ammonium hydroxide was traditionally used to darken or stain wood containing tannic acid.
After being sealed inside a container with the wood, fumes from the ammonium hydroxide react with the tannic acid and iron salts naturally found in wood, creating a rich, dark stained look to the wood. This was commonly used during the arts and crafts movement in furniture- a furniture style which was primarily constructed of oak and stained using these methods.
In food production, ammonium hydroxide is used as a leavening agent or acidity regulator and is classified by the Food and Drug Administration as generally recognized as safe (GRAS). Its pH control abilities make it an effective antimicrobial agent. Ammonium hydroxide is used in the tobacco industry as well. Aqueous ammonia is used in traditional qualitative inorganic analysis as a complexant and base.
Like many amines, it gives a deep blue coloration with copper solutions. Ammonia solution can dissolve silver oxide residues, such as that formed from Tollens\’ reagent. Thus, inorganic bases have a range of applications various industries which are expected to drive their demand within the forecast period. Ongoing research and development on these bases are expected to open new avenues for the inorganic bases market.
Asia Pacific is the largest consumer of inorganic bases globally due to the presence of a large number of chemical manufacturing industries as well as pesticides manufacturers. China is the largest consumer as well as producer of inorganic bases in Asia Pacific. Europe is the second largest producer of inorganic bases followed by North America.
Inorganic bases market has a huge scope of growth primarily owing to the high growth in the construction and agrochemical industry. Apart from the construction and agrochemical industries, inorganic bases are used in a lot for laboratory processes which have exhibited high growth. The growth in the end use markets is likely to transform into growth for the inorganic bases market over the next few years.
Some of the major players in the inorganic bases market are General Chemical USA, PVS Chemicals, Inc., Basic Chemical Solutions LLC and Azko Nobel N.V. among many others.