Aluminum sulfate is a salt with the chemical formula Al2(SO4)3. Aluminum sulfate mostly occurs in an anhydrous form in nature. It is generally prepared from bauxite ore, where it is calcinated, mixed with sulfuric acid and water and heated to high temperatures. The resulting exothermic reaction yields aluminum sulfate. The major applications of aluminum sulfate are as a water treatment agent and as a mordant in the textile industry. High purity aluminum sulfate is also used as an additive in lithium-ion batteries and other electronic components.
The rising demands mainly drive the demand for high purity aluminum sulfates as a water treatment agent and the rising adoption of electric batteries, an additive in lithium-ion batteries. The availability of advanced purification techniques and the high cost of lithium-ion batteries is a challenge for the growth of this market.
Aluminum sulfate is commonly known as alum and is used as a water purification agent. It performs the role of a coagulating agent. The suspended impurities in water coagulate into larger particles and settle at the bottom. Aluminum sulfate is cheap and is readily available in industrial quantities; this makes it the preferred water treatment agent globally. Water treatment is the largest application for aluminum sulfate and is the main driver for this market.
The increasing adoption of electric vehicles is witnessing a significant boost, particularly in lagging markets such as South America, the Middle East and Africa. Recent advances in electric battery technology, government subsidies, and reduced costs due to economics of scale are factors that incentivize automotive companies to shift production to electric vehicles. Consumers are attracted by the lower running and maintenance costs. Such factors will accelerate the switch from conventional vehicles to electric vehicles in the medium and long term. High purity aluminum sulfate is an important additive to the lithium-ion battery, and the rising demand for lithium-ion batteries will be a key driver for the market.
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