Air Separation Unit Market Size, Share And Forecast To 2031

(MENAFN- Straits Research) An air separation unit splits atmospheric air into its constituent gases, typically nitrogen and oxygen, but also argon and other rare inert gases. Fractional distillation is the predominant technique utilized for the separation of air. Cryogenic air separation units (ASUs) are intended to produce nitrogen, oxygen, and often argon. The commercial separation of a single component from ambient air also uses other technologies, such as pressure swing adsorption (PSA), membrane, and vacuum pressure swing adsorption (VPSA). Cryogenic distillation is required to produce ultra-pure oxygen, nitrogen, and argon for the fabrication of semiconductor devices.
Market Dynamics
Growing Demand for Industrial Gases Drives the Global Market
Improvements in the global economy (especially in developing economies like Asia-Pacific) and the demand for more effective, efficient, and sustainable processes across all industries have led to growth in a wide variety of sectors, including refineries, fertilizer production, steel production, food and beverage industry, and the chemical industry. There has also been an increase in energy demand worldwide. In 2021, primary energy consumption will reach 595.15 exajoules, a 15% increase from 2012.
The major end-users of gases produced by air separation units are the iron and steel, petrochemicals, chemicals, healthcare, and oil and gas industries. ASUs have recently supplemented the demand for industrial gases such as oxygen and nitrogen. It is anticipated that the demand for the installation of ASUs to separate atmospheric air into its basic industrial gases, such as oxygen and nitrogen, will remain high to meet the increasing demand for industrial gases. These factors expedite the expansion of the market.
Strategic Initiatives by Key Players Create Tremendous Opportunities
Market leaders have prioritized the introduction of new products with enhanced capabilities. For instance, air separators for pharmaceutical powder with a particle size of 45 microns have been developed. Expansions, acquisitions, and partnerships are the major growth strategies major players use to expand their businesses in potential markets. For example, Air Products and its regional partner, Saudi Arabian Refrigerant Gases Company of Saudi Arabia (SARGAS), revealed in March 2022 that they had signed a contract to build a new ASU at the Jindal Shadeed Iron & Steel facility in Sohar, Oman. The new unit will provide the facility with over 400 T/D of nitrogen and oxygen. Such developments are anticipated to create opportunities for market expansion.
Regional Analysis
Asia-Pacific is the most significant global air separation unit market shareholder and is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 5.16% during the forecast period. Due to the presence of emerging nations, like India and China, and developed nations, including Japan, South Korea, and Australia, Asia-Pacific is one of the fastest-growing regions in the world. Rapid growth in energy-intensive industries in the region, primarily in China, India, and Southeast Asia, owing to the presence of a wide variety of industrial units, such as manufacturing facilities, refineries, and smelters, is anticipated to drive the market in the region. This has resulted in a high demand for air separator units. In addition, the region has seen the construction of new refineries and the upgrading and expansion of older refineries. For example, in May 2022, Suzhou Oxygen Plant Co., Ltd. (SOPC) of China announced the launch of a new nitrogen plant that will likely produce high-purity nitrogen and high-purity liquid oxygen (LOx) to supply critical gases for China's semiconductor industry.
North America is expected to expand substantially over the forecast period. There is a significant demand for air separator units in the North American region, characterized by various manufacturing facilities, refineries, and smelters. The North American region is the world's net exporter of crude oil. The region has been actively employing Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) techniques to increase oil and gas production, necessitating extensive industrial gas consumption. This is anticipated to increase the demand for air separation units in North America. In addition, the expansion of the North American region's oil and gas downstream sector is anticipated to positively impact demand for air separation units. The U.S. crude oil production in 2021 was 11.18 million barrels per day, slightly lower than in 2020 (11.28 million barrels per day) but significantly higher than in 2015 (9.44 million barrels per day). These factors stimulate the regional market's expansion.
Key Highlights

The global air separation unit market was valued at USD 5.32 billion in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 7.98 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 4.62% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
Based on the process, the global air separation unit market is bifurcated into cryogenic distillation and non-cryogenic distillation.
The cryogenic distillation process segment dominates the global market and is expected to expand substantially over the forecast period.
Based on gas, the global air separation unit market is divided into nitrogen, oxygen, argon, and other gases.
The nitrogen segment is the largest revenue contributor to the market and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 4.69% over the forecast period.
Based on end-users, the global air separation unit market is segmented into the chemical industry, oil and gas industry, iron and steel industry, and other end-users.
The iron and steel industry segment owns the highest market share and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 4.83% during the forecast period.
Asia-Pacific is the most significant global air separation unit market shareholder and is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 5.16% during the forecast period.

Competitive Players
The key global air separation unit market players are Linde PLC, Messer Group GmBH, SIAD Macchine Impianti SpA, Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation, Shanghai Chinllenge Gases Co. Ltd., Air Liquide SA, Universal Industrial Plants Manufacturing Co. Private Limited, Air Products and Chemicals Inc., Bhoruka Gases Limited, and Sichuan Air Separation Group.
Market News

In May 2023, Inox Air and Tata Steel entered into a contractual arrangement for the establishment of two air separation units (ASU) with a production capacity of 1,800 tons of oxygen, nitrogen, and many other rare gases.
In August 2023, Linde announced that Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL) issued a Letter of Acceptance (LoA) for the establishment of an Air Separation Unit (ASU) in Panipat.

Global Air Separation Unit Market: Segmentation
By Process

Cryogenic Distillation
Non-cryogenic Distillation

By Gas

Other Gases

By End-User

Chemical Industry
Oil and Gas Industry
Iron and Steel Industry
Other end-users

By Regions

North America
South America
The Middle East and Africa


Straits Research

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