Markets

Introduction

INEOS Sulphur Chemicals’ products are used in a wide-range of markets.

Our commercial grade acids find end-uses in steel pickling, water treatment, power generation and agriculture whilst our ultra-pure grades of acid serve the semi-conductor market. Examples of some of our markets are listed below.

Agriculture

By far the largest end-use of sulphuric acid is the production of phosphate fertilisers. This is achieved by first reacting sulphuric acid with the rock fluorapatite, Ca5(PO4)3F to produce phosphoric acid which is subsequently used to produce phosphate fertilisers. For example by reacting phosphoric acid with ammonia, monoammonium and diammonium phosphate fertilisers can be produced. 

Chemical

Sulphuric acid is also used as a starting material in the production of a number of different chemical commodities. The most significant of these includes:

  • Titanium dioxide
  • Methyl methacrylate (MMA)
  • Hydrofluoric acid
  • Caprolactam
  • Rayon
  • Hydrochloric acid

The end-uses of these chemical commodities varies from pigments (TiO2) to polymers (MMA) to steel pickling (HF).

Fuel Additives

Sulphuric acid is also used in more niche applications such as the production of 2-ethylhexyl nitrate (2-ENH). This is produced by the nitration of 2-ethylhexanol (2-EH) using sulphuric acid, and serves as a cetane enhancer, increasing the combustion speed of diesel and therefore an engine’s efficiency. This niche application serves to demonstrate the diversity of end-uses of sulphuric acid.

OTHER APPLICATIONS

Other end-uses of sulphuric acid include: 

  • Mining
  • Cosmetics and health care
  • Water treatment
  • Beer, beverage and food industries
  • Metal sulphates
  • Metallurgy other than steel
  • Dyes and intermediates
  • Detergents and soaps
  • Minerals clays and sands
  • Pulp and paper