The World Industrial Gas Business

Published - Aug 2003| Analyst - Edward Gobina| Code - CHM041A
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Report Highlights

  • World industrial gas demand is estimated to be $36.1 billion in 2003. .
  • Rising at an AAGR (average annual growth rate) of 7.5%, demand is expected to reach nearly $52 billion in 2008.
  • Chemicals and refining processes should rebound from flat sales.
  • Metal manufacturing will remain the largest market segment through the period, but its share will drop from 15.6% to 14%.
  • Highest average annual growth will be seen in the electronics industry, a robust 11%.
  • Medical applications also will see strong growth through 2008.


The global industrial gas industry is a $36.137 billion (a 2003 estimate) that will grow over the next five years to reach $51.879 billion in 2008 at an AAGR of 7.5%. Industrial gases play a crucial role in virtually all the major markets, from agriculture, mining and oil and gas, to motor vehicles, food and chemical products. These markets, all of which in varying degrees rely on industrial gases to produce their final products or services, account for more than $9 trillion of total global GDP. In other words, more than 50% of the entire global economy is serviced in one way or another by industrial gases and related systems and technologies. Indeed, not being tied to one or two major markets for ultimate success is recognized as one of the major strengths of the industrial gas industry.

The use of industrial gases will continue growing. In particular, they will support greener processes for petrochemicals, agrochemicals and renewable energy production over the next five years, as even more stringent environmental legislation is enforced.

In this report, BCC provides a critical view of the key role played by industrial gases in world markets. It quantifies demands for industrial gases by category, product type, application, purity and technology, and shows the relationships between major consumers and producers. An important focus is placed on the dominant challenges to the long-term development of the industrial gas economy and its various technologies. These include the critical processing stages and how they relate to consumption and demand patterns.

The study evaluates how recent environmental legislation and technological breakthroughs will make industrial gas-fueled vehicles competitive with liquid crude oil for transportation and renewable power generation, and as the key chemical constituent and feedstock for synthetically derived chemicals. It also addresses the "produce" versus "purchase" argument for industrial gases, and discusses and analyzes the current status and future supply and demand issues for the major industrial gases.

This report provides important insights into the dynamics of the industrial gas . Thus, it will be invaluable to decision-makers in companies in the petrochemical, industrial and renewable energy production markets, i.e., those that supply and use industrial gases as well as equipment manufacturers, support companies and process designers.


This report provides coverage of:

  • Feedstocks, pricing, recovery and purification costs, plant investment
  • Industrial gases by end-use market segment with forecasts to 2008
  • Markets by product type and application with forecasts to 2008
  • Industrial gas demand by production technology and purity grade
  • The regulatory scene, industry structure and its competitive aspects
  • Patents, the international industrial gas , company profiles.


In this report, both historic and current data have been used in the demand analysis. Therefore, results of the calculations presented here are based on three components: historic analysis of global 2000-2003, estimates for 2003, and forecasted demand for the 2003-2008 time frame.


Information sources include trade data (national and international), company publicity literature, conference reports, world trade technical journals, and interviews with company representatives.


Edward Gobina is Research Professor in Chemical & Processing Engineering and has over 15 years research and teaching experience in petrochemical reaction engineering, catalysis and membrane technology. He has published extensively with over 80 publications in international scientific journals. He is the author of three patents on membrane related technologies and of eight previous reports relating to the chemical energy, and oil & gas industries. He is currently the principal investigator of three externally funded research projects involving postdoctoral researchers designing new compact reactor systems for enhancing fluid processing in offshore/deepwater platforms. Dr. Gobina is member of the European Membrane Society, the North American Membrane Society and the New York Academy of Sciences. He is currently the director at the Centre for Process Integration and Membrane Technology within the school of engineering at the Robert Gordon University in the U.K.

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