World Hydrogen Market Demand to Grow 3.5% Annually to 2018
Dallas, TX (PRWEB) July 06, 2014
World demand to rise 3.5% annually through 2018
Global consumption of merchant and captive hydrogen is forecast to increase 3.5 percent annually through 2018 to 290 billion cubic meters, driven by strong growth in petroleum hydrotreating and hydrocracking refining operations. These advances will be particularly robust in developing countries as per capita vehicle ownership rates rise, and as countries adopt and enforce more stringent emissions regulations to combat increasingly difficult air pollution problems. Merchant supply from industrial gas companies will expand rapidly as hydrogen consumption in upgraded petroleum refineries exceeds the refineries’ available captive resources.
Low-sulfur fuel regulations to continue driving demand
Over the past two decades, the adoption by many developed countries of motor vehicle emissions regulations has led to the need for low-sulfur and ultra-lowsulfur gasoline and diesel fuels, greatly increasing the consumption of hydrogen in refinery hydrotreating operations. This trend will continue to drive demand going forward as developing countries begin to combat persistently difficult air quality issues by implementing and/or enforcing more stringent fuel sulfur regulations. While tightening motor vehicle fuel sulfur regulations will be one factor driving refinery hydrogen demand in developing countries, growth will also be aided by rising per capita vehicle ownership rates and higher demand for fuels. Additionally, the shift in the world’s crude oil supply toward heavier crudes and rising demand for distillate fuels globally will support the increased use of hydrogen in refinery hydrocracking processes to break down heavier petroleum fractions into more valuable products.
Profiles key participants in the global industry including Air Products and Chemicals, L’Air Liquide, Linde & Praxair.
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Outside of refining, hydrogen is used in the production of many important chemicals; as well as in the metals, electronics, and thin-film solar industries; edible oil processing; and a variety of other applications. Although the chemical industry is the largest of these, more rapid growth is expected in several smaller markets. Additionally, the adoption of hydrogen energy technologies continues to proceed worldwide, and fuel cells will see greater mainstream adoption. Despite technical and other challenges, the emergence of a hydrogen market for fuel cell powered vehicles remains a possibility.
China to claim largest share of new demand growth
Although the United States will remain the world’s largest hydrogen consuming country, the greatest share of growth through 2018 is expected to occur in China. With air pollution in urban areas an increasingly pressing issue, China is expected to aggressively target motor vehicle emissions by enacting and enforcing tighter fuel sulfur regulations. This will drive hydrogen demand growth as the country’s refining industry increases its ability to produce low-sulfur fuels. Other emerging markets such as India and Russia will also seek to export ultralow- sulfur fuels, and will see among the fastest gains in hydrogen demand.
In most developed countries, demand for hydrogen will grow only modestly, if at all. The refining and chemical industries of Western Europe and Japan face stagnant domestic markets as well as strong competition from other areas. The US and Canada, however, will benefit from relatively plentiful raw material supply and the advanced state of their refining industries, allowing for healthier growth in hydrogen demand.
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This comprehensive study examines the world hydrogen industry by market and region. Historical data are provided for 2003, 2008, and 2013, with forecasts for the years 2018 and 2023. Within this study, the terms “demand” and “consumption” are used synonymously to refer to total use of merchant and captive supplied hydrogen unless otherwise indicated. Unless otherwise specified, data are presented in millions of US dollars and billions of cubic meters.
Throughout this study the concepts of value and price are distinct, though both are used to evaluate the global hydrogen market. A “value” is assigned to the captive or “on-purpose” consumption of hydrogen, a “price” to a merchant transaction. Merchant gas consumption is evaluated at the suppliers’ level — taking into account costs of production but excluding gross margins. Market share estimations apply only to the merchant segment of the market.
It should be noted that hydrogen consumed in the form of synthesis gas for the production of ammonia (for fertilizer) and methanol is excluded from the scope of this study. Hydrogen in this form is produced and immediately consumed in an integrated process, and therefore has no effect on the merchant market. Additionally, byproduct hydrogen is only included when separated for further use. Hydrogen flared, burned as fuel gas, or discharged into the atmosphere as waste is excluded.
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