Iron(III) oxide or ferric oxide is the inorganic compound with the formula Fe2O3. It is one of the three main oxides of iron, the other two being iron(II) oxide(FeO), which is rare, and iron(II,III) oxide (Fe3O4), which also occurs naturally as the mineral magnetite. As the mineral known as hematite, Fe2O3 is the main source of iron for the steel industry. Iron oxide is most commonly used as coloring pigment for building materials, paints and coatings. All ores of iron are present naturally as oxides of iron.  Iron oxide is also produced synthetically to control the properties and impart certain characteristics to the oxide synthesized. The recovering construction and building materials market is expected to drive the global demand for iron oxide in the coming years. Additionally, the rapidly expanding paints and coatings market is also anticipated to aid the growth of the market. New applications of the iron oxide powders are projected to bring future prospective demand.

Main uses

Iron industry

The overwhelming application of iron oxide is as the feedstock of the steel and iron industries, e.g. the production of pure iron, steel, and many alloys.

Coke Production

Traditional integrated steelworks use iron ore, coal, limestone, and oxygen or air to produce steel. The first step in this process is the conversion of coal to coke, a porous, strong, carbon-rich material used in blast furnaces to provide most of the reducing power and heat required to reduce iron from iron oxides. Coke also maintains porosity in the furnace charge while the iron and slag are being melted.

Coke is produced by the destructive distillation of coal, and valuable organic compounds are separated as by-products. When the coke is finished, however, it is a red-hot mass that must be pushed from the coke oven and quickly quenched with water, which emits copious amounts of gases, steam, and particulates that pose severe air and water pollution problems. Although the industry has tried to solve these problems for many years, better methods of separation are continuously being sought, particularly for the removal of particulates from gases and water. Methods of treating quench water so it can be recycled and reused are also of interest to the industry. Over the years, the industry has tried to cut down or even eliminate the use of coke, and today the "coke rate" (pounds of coke per ton of hot metal) is much lower than it was even a few years ago. Steelmakers have also lowered coke rates by adding fuel oil or powdered coal through the blast furnace tuyeres. Anything that lessens coke requirements lessens the environmental problems associated with coke production.

Ironmaking

As supplies of the best natural ores (ores that do not require beneficiation) dwindled, the chemistry and physics of ironmaking in the blast furnace were becoming better understood. By the time the industry was forced to turn to much lower grade ores, which had to be finely ground, beneficiated, and reconstituted as pellets, increased productivity in the blast furnace had more than redressed the balance. Today, the production records belong to sintered ores (partially agglomerated ores strong enough to permit efficient gas flow in the blast furnace). Sintering also provides opportunities to incorporate fluxing agents into the mix to make their use more efficient and to reintroduce mill scale (the iron oxide waste produced during rolling). The sintering machine can take ore as coarse as 10mm and as fine as "all passing through 100 mesh," provided that efficient air flow through the bed is maintained. Although some iron ore producers are still motivated to increase product grades, ironmakers must take other factors into account. For example, a high grade iron oxide pellet would not be acceptable unless it could stand up to reduction in the blast furnace.

The process of ironmaking takes place in the blast furnace, a highly productive unit capable of turning out several thousand tons daily of molten iron, known as "hot metal" or "pig iron" (if cast). Inside the blast furnace, a high-temperature reducing atmosphere is maintained while fuel and ore are fed into the furnace, more or less continuously, through the top. Pressurized preheated air is blown in near the bottom, providing oxygen for coke combustion and carbon monoxide formation. In the shaft (stack) of the furnace, the mix of coke, limestone, and iron-bearing material progresses downward as solid-state reduction proceeds. Near the bottom of the stack, temperatures reach 1,000°C and slag formation commences, involving the added limestone, silica, and alumina from the ore, as well as other impurities from both the ore and coke. In the fusion zone, temperatures reach 1,200°C to 1,600°C. This portion of the furnace, called the bosch, terminates at the tuyere line, where everything except coke is molten. Near the tuyeres there is a limited oxidation zone in which coke can still be burned, raising the temperature to 1,900°C. In the hearth of the furnace, below the tuyere line, hot metal and slag can collect. Some separation of impurities may still take place, but the molten layers are relatively quiescent and are frequently tapped. Some formation of refractory compounds (e.g., TiN) may take place above the hearth. These are solids and may be troublesome in the downstream steelmaking operations.

As a separator, the blast furnace is only effective for removing silica, alumina, and other gangue minerals and the oxygen in iron minerals. The burden of removing impurities is therefore placed on the steelmaking process. Blast furnace hot metal is far too high in carbon to be directly useful except as pig iron in certain foundry operations. The various processes for making steel are fairly effective for separating impurities, and so are used for this purpose.

Additional Uses

Polishing

A very fine powder of ferric oxide is known as jeweler's rouge, red rouge, or simply rouge. It is used to put the final polish on metallic jewelry and lenses, and historically as a cosmetic. Rouge cuts more slowly than some modern polishes, such as cerium oxide, but is still used in optics fabrication and by jewelers for the superior finish it can produce. When polishing gold, the rouge slightly stains the gold, which contributes to the appearance of the finished piece. Rouge is sold as a powder, paste, laced on polishing cloths, or solid bar. Other polishing compounds are also often called "rouge", even when they do not contain iron oxide. Jewelers remove the residual rouge on jewelry by use of ultrasonic cleaning.

Pigment

Iron oxide is also used as a pigment, under names "Pigment Brown 6", "Pigment Brown 7", and "Pigment Red 101". Some of them, e.g. Pigment Red 101 and Pigment Brown 6, are Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved for use in cosmetics.



Tool Sharpening

Products sold as stropping compound are often applied to a leather strop to assist in getting a razor edge on knives, straight razors, or any other edged tool.

Magnetic recording

Iron(III) oxide was the most common magnetic particle used in all types of magnetic storage and recording media, including magnetic disks (for data storage) and magnetic tape (used in audio and video recording as well as data storage). Its use in computer disks was superseded by cobalt alloy, enabling thinner magnetic films with higher storage density.

Photocatalysis

Because its bandgap (1.9-2.2 eV) lies in an intense region of the solar spectrum, α-Fe2O3 has been studied as a photoanode for solar water oxidation. However, its efficacy is limited by a short diffusion length (2-4 nm) of photo-excited charge carriers and subsequent fast recombination, requiring a large overpotenial to drive the reaction. Research has been focused on improving the water oxidation performance of Fe2O3 using nanostructuring, surface functionalization, or by employing alternate crystal phases such as β-Fe2O3.

Medicine

A mixture of zinc oxide with about 0.5% iron(III) oxide is called calamine, which is the active ingredient of calamine lotion.

Market Demand

Global Iron Oxide Market is Projected to be Valued at over US$ 2.8 Billion by 2025, characterised by Market Consolidation in China due to Stringent Regulatory Policies over the Forecast Period

Published On : Feb 22,2016
Future Market Insights (FMI) delivers key insights on the global iron oxide market in its latest report titled, ‘Iron Oxide Market: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment, 2015-2025’. In terms of value, the global iron oxide market is projected to increase at a CAGR of 4.3% during the forecast period, owing to various factors, regarding which FMI offers vital insights in detail in this report.

Iron oxides are chemical compounds that, apart from iron ores, find wide application as pigments, catalysts, etc. Construction and paints & coatings are the major end-use industries for iron oxides.

Growth in construction industry, supported by rising urbanization, is expected to be among the major drivers for global iron oxide market. Major application of iron oxides in the construction industry is to colour concrete blocks and pavement bricks. Iron oxide pigments are being widely used in paints and coatings industry for their use as primers for automobiles and steel structures.

Stringent government regulations are expected to adversely impact global iron oxide market significantly. This is especially the case in China, where, over the last two years, various small- and medium-scale companies have exited the iron oxide market due to high costs involved in ensuring regulatory compliance. The same trend is expected to continue over the near future.

The iron oxide market is segmented on the basis of product type, application and region. On the basis of product type, the global iron oxide market is segmented into red iron oxide, yellow iron oxide, black iron oxide, orange iron oxide, brown iron oxide, green iron oxide and other blends. On the basis of application, the global iron oxide market is segmented into construction, paints & coatings, plastics, chemicals, paper & pulp manufacturing, textile, ceramics, leather and others (fertilizers, cosmetics and rubber). Regionally, the global iron oxide market is segmented into Asia Pacific Excluding Japan (APEJ), North America, Latin America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa and Japan.

Browse the full "Iron Oxide Market: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment, 2015-2025" market research report at https://www.futuremarketinsights.com/reports/iron-oxide-market

Among product types, red iron oxide was the largest revenue contributor to the global iron oxide market in 2014. Wide application of red iron oxide across various industries is expected to support growth of the segment over the forecast period.

In 2014, the construction industry segment dominated the global market, accounting for around 50% revenue share. Growth of the construction industry is in turn expected to drive growth of the iron oxide market over forecast period. In order to enhance their market share, iron oxide producers are focusing on development of new applications for iron oxides.

In 2014, Asia pacific excluding Japan (APEJ) was the largest market for iron oxide, both in terms of production and consumption. In terms of consumption, APEJ was followed by Western Europe and North America, respectively.

Key players profiled in this study of the global iron oxide market include LANXESS AG, Huntsman International Inc. Cathay Industries, Alabama Pigments Company LLC, Shenghua Group Deqing Huayuan Pigment Co LTD, TODA KOGYO CORPORATION, Jiangsu Yuxing Industry and Trade Co., Ltd., Hunan Three-ring Pigments Co., Ltd., Yaroslavsky Pigment Company and Tata Pigments Company. LANXESS AG has been estimated to account for the largest share in the global iron oxide market in 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

Market Dynamics

Iron oxides find wide application in the construction industry both directly and indirectly. Iron oxide pigments (IOP) are used to colour various construction materials, including concrete block and brick, ready-mixed concrete and roofing tiles. Growing construction industry output is expected to be one of the most significant drivers for the global iron oxide market.

Rising environmental concerns has led to implementation of stringent regulations worldwide regarding manufacturing process of iron oxides. Effluents released during production of iron oxides pose severe disposing concerns to manufacturers. To overcome this challenge, market players need to replace conventional methods of production with more environment-friendly and sustainable production processes. Due to high costs involved, this transition has led several market players to exit from the market, which has impacted global supply of IOP.

Over the years, intensive R&D activities have led to enhancements in physical and chemical properties of iron oxides. These products are increasingly finding wide applications across various industries such as use of iron oxide in water treatment & purification and in chemical processing as catalyst are anticipated to offer new opportunities of growth of value-added iron oxide products.

The global iron oxide market is going through a phase of consolidation due to stringent environmental regulations. The market in China is most affected in this transition, since small players are finding it difficult to adopt to changes due to high investment costs.

Product Type Analysis

On the basis of product type, the global iron oxide market is segmented into red iron oxide, yellow iron oxide, black iron oxide, orange iron oxide, brown iron oxide, green iron oxide and other blends. In 2014, the red iron oxide segment dominated the global iron oxide market and is expected to remain dominant throughout the forecast period. Yellow iron oxide and black iron oxide segments are expected to contribute significantly to the iron oxide market revenue from 2015 to 2025.

Application Analysis

On the basis of application, the global iron oxide market is segmented into construction, paints & coatings, plastics, chemicals, paper & pulp manufacturing, textile, ceramics, leather and others (fertilizers, cosmetics and rubber). In 2014, the construction industry segment dominated the global iron oxide market. Among applications, construction industry segment is expected to account for largest market share in the global iron oxide market throughout the forecast period. Strategy of iron oxide producers to develop new and niche applications for these products would further assist to increase market value of iron oxide products.

Regional Analysis

Globally, iron oxide market is segmented into Asia Pacific Excluding Japan (APEJ), North America, Latin America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa and Japan.

iron-oxide-market

Key Players

Key players profiled in the study of the global iron oxide market include LANXESS AG, Huntsman International Inc. Cathay Industries, Alabama Pigments Company LLC, Shenghua Group Deqing Huayuan Pigment Co LTD, TODA KOGYO CORPORATION, Jiangsu Yuxing Industry and Trade Co., Ltd., Hunan Three-ring Pigments Co., Ltd., Yaroslavsky Pigment Company and Tata Pigments Company.

 

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