Phosphorous is a combustible non metal which is found in two allotropic forms namely, white phosphorous and red phosphorous. The derivatives of phosphorous include phosphoric acid, phosphorous acid, phosphorus oxychloride, phosphorus pentachloride, phosphorus tribromide, sodium hypophosphite, tributyl phosphate, and triethyl phosphate among others.
Elementary phosphorous is used in a number of pyrotechnic applications which include luminous projectiles and fireworks. It is also deployed in the metallurgical industry for forming metallic alloys like phosphorous brass and for producing insecticides or as an additive in industrial oils. Phosphoric acid is used in the cleaning of metals as a phosphatizing agent and is also used as an additive for certain drinks. However phosphorous has its dominant application in fertilizers. It is an essential plant nutrient and is often used as a limiting nutrient for many crops.
Phosphorous is used widely for the production of organophosphotous compounds and these compounds have various applications such as flame retardants, water treatment, plasticizers and pesticides among others. Phosphorous is a vital component for steel production. In addition, phosphoric acid which is made from phosphorous is used for certain food applications, such as in aerated drinks. A derivative of phosphoric acid name sodium tripolyphosphate is used in detergents, but this is banned in a few countries.
The factors which are primarily driving the phosphorus & derivatives market are increasing demand for water treatment, development and introduction of halogen free flame retardants (HFFR) and increase in the usage of bio-fuels. A paradigm shift to halogen free from halogenated flame retardants such as organophoshorus flame retardants is positively impacting the market growth. Growing needs of crops to meet the food requirements of the increasing population is largely boosting the growth of the market. Furthermore, decreasing arable land and increase in demand for vital nutrients for body functioning is also fuelling the growth of the global market. However, deteriorating quality of phosphate rock, stringent regulations on usage of phosphates in detergents and conservation of resources are the major factors that are restraining this market. The usage of phosphorous in batteries for electric vehicle such as rechargeable lithium iron phosphate batteries is presenting potential growth opportunities to the global market.
The global phosphorus & derivatives market can be bifurcated on the basis of product type into ammonium phosphates, phosphorus pentoxide, purified phosphoric acid, phosphorus pentasulfide, industrial phosphates and phosphorus pentasulfide. The global market can be classified on the basis of application into fertilizers, detergents, metal finishing, water treatment chemicals, food industry and flame retardant material. In addition, the market can be geographically divided into five broad regions, namely: North America, Europe, Asia Pacific (APAC), Middle East and Africa (MEA) and Latin America. The market is witnessing steady growth in Asia Pacific and this region is expected to hold the largest share of the global market during the forecast period owing to the high production and consumption of ammonia phosphate in Asia.
Some of the major players of the phosphorus & derivatives market are Agrium Inc, Yara International ASA, Mosaic Co, Eurochem, Innophos Holdings, Inc., Akron OAO, United Phosphorus Limited, CF Industries Holdings, Inc, Lanxess AG and Israel Chemical Ltd. among others.