Electric utility and steel industries face issues while unloading and handling frozen coal and coke during the winter season. Freezing in loaded bunkers, conveying equipment, and rail cars can be labor intensive and costly to deal with, and can result in disturbance in the production and dispatch in the two industries. Substances such as coal with surface moisture as low as 6% are likely to freeze. These substances, when frozen, cohere so strongly that additional labor and costs have to be deployed in order to break the frozen mass. These issues can be resolved if adequate precautions are taken at the time of loading these materials.
One such way is by applying freeze conditioner agents. Freeze conditioner agents are chemicals that reduce the freezing rate by retaining the moisture on the surface on which they are applied. Recent technological advancements in the chemical industry have improved the characteristics of chemical products and techniques to combat freezing. Apart from these industrial applications, freeze conditioner agents are also used for deicing roads and highways in cold countries.
Rise in demand for freeze conditioner agents for deicing and their extensive usage in industrial applications are expected to drive the freeze conditioner agents market in the next few years. This is prompting companies to increase the production of freeze conditioner agents. Additionally, easy availability of raw materials to manufacture freeze conditioner agents is anticipated to boost its demand in the near future.
Based on product, the freeze conditioner agents market can be divided into magnesium chloride, calcium chloride, sodium chloride, polymer emulsion, and others. The sodium chloride segment dominates the market, due to extensive usage of these freeze conditioner agents in end-use industries such as transportation across the globe.
Prominent players operating in the global freeze conditioner agents market include Compass Minerals International, Inc., Israel Chemicals Ltd, and BASF SE. These players engage in research & development activities, strategic alliances, and mergers & acquisitions to gain market share.