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Published: September 2011
The principal products covered in this report are alumina trihydrate, aluminum oxide, aluminum chloride, aluminum sulfate (alum), alumina silicate and sodium aluminate.
Alumina trihydrate is typically produced from bauxite via the Bayer process; the vast majority of production is calcined and used for aluminum metal production. This report, however, excludes these metallurgical uses, and instead focuses on chemical markets for alumina trihydrate and the markets for the other mentioned aluminum chemicals that may be, but are not always, derived from alumina trihydrate.
Important alumina trihydrate end uses include
- Flame retardant and reinforcement filler in plastics, elastomers, adhesives and other products
- Filler pigments and coatings in papermaking
- Precursor for production of activated and other specialty aluminas
- Raw material for production of aluminum-containing chemicals, such as aluminum oxide, aluminum chloride, alum and sodium aluminate
The following pie chart shows consumption of alumina trihydrate by end use for the major consuming regions (United States, Canada, Europe, CIS, China, Japan and Other Asia):
This pie chart does not reflect alumina trihydrate used for metallurgical applications, calcined alumina and products derived from calcined alumina. End uses for China and Other Asia are included in Other.
Major uses for aluminum compounds other than alumina trihydrate include the following:
- High-quality papermaking (alum)
- Electrolyte flux in aluminum metal smelting (aluminum fluoride)
- Surface treatment of titanium dioxide (sodium aluminate)
- Water treatment (sodium aluminate, alum, polymerized and aqueous aluminum chloride)
- Pulp and paper (sodium aluminate, alum)
- Detergent builders (crystalline aluminosilicates)
- Catalysts (crystalline aluminosilicates, alumina, anhydrous aluminum chloride, sodium aluminate)
- Pharmaceuticals (hydrous aluminum chloride)
- Molecular sieves (crystalline aluminosilicates)
Most markets are mature. Worldwide growth for most applications is expected to be about 1–3% per year.