Perfluorosulfonic acid is primarily used in the form of membranes and dispersions in electrochemical applications. This acid is used in proton exchange membrane fuel cells, chlor-alkali industry, lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, photocatalysis, and chemical catalysis. Perfluorosulfonic acid-based resins are also used in the fabrication of thin films and coating formulations for fuel cell membranes.
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The global perfluorosulfonic acid market is primarily driven by an increase in the demand for perfluorosulfonic acid for use in energy storage applications. Perfluorosulfonic acid is primarily used in ion exchange membranes due to its high proton conductance and gas separating capabilities. The use of perfluorosulfonic acid assists in enhancing the output and effectiveness of ion exchange membranes. Therefore, demand for perfluorosulfonic acid in energy storage applications is anticipated to increase in the near future. Advances in the electrochemical conversion of water from hydrogen and oxygen using ion exchange membrane have principally been achieved through the development of new chemicals such as perfluorosulfonic acid. Furthermore, manufacturers of ion exchange membranes and fuel cells prefer adopting perfluorosulfonic acids, owing to their excellent attributes. This is projected to offer lucrative opportunities to the perfluorosulfonic acid market.
The global perfluorosulfonic acid market can be segmented based on purity, form, application, and region. Based on purity, the global perfluorosulfonic acid market can be classified into < 99% and ≥ 99%. The ≥ 99% segment holds a key share of the market. Demand for perfluorosulfonic acid with ≥ 99% purity for use in perfluorosulfonic acid membranes is expected to increase in the near future, owing to increase in its usage of fuel cell membranes.
In terms of form, the global perfluorosulfonic acid market can be segmented into membranes, dispersions, powders, and pellets. The membranes segment holds a significant share of the market. Perfluorosulfonic acid membranes are widely used in electronic storage devices, due to their strong proton (or Na+, K+, Li+) conductivity and favorable water retention properties.
Based on application, the perfluorosulfonic acid market can be divided into ion exchange conductive film, fuel cell, catalyst, and others. The fuel cell segment accounted for a significant share of the global perfluorosulfonic acid market in 2017. Perfluorosulfonic acid possesses exceptional characteristics such as high stability, high chemical resistance, and dielectric properties. Hence, it is primarily employed in membranes and dispersions in fuel cells.
In terms of geography, the global perfluorosulfonic acid market can be divided into North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific accounted for a major share of the global perfluorosulfonic acid market in 2017, due to the presence of key chemical manufacturers in the region. The market in Asia Pacific is anticipated to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period, due to rise in industrialization in countries such as China, Japan, and South Korea. Rise in battery production and the advent new battery technologies are likely to offer an impetus to the demand for perfluorosulfonic acid in Asia Pacific in the near future. Production capacity expansions by battery manufacturers in China are likely to boost demand for perfluorosulfonic acid in the country in the next few years. North America and Europe also held substantial shares of the global market in 2017, owing to an increase in the demand for perfluorosulfonic acid in the energy industry in these regions.
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Key players operating in the global perfluorosulfonic acid market include 3M, Asahi Kasei Corporation, Dongyue Group, E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Jiangsu Tianjiayi Chemical Co., Ltd., Shanghai Fluorochem Industry Co.,Ltd, and Solvay. These players focus on distributing their products through strong distribution channels.