Potassium chlorate is a versatile chemical compound which has extensive industrial applications. Potassium chlorate generally occurs as a white or colorless, crystalline, water-soluble solid. It is the most common chlorate in commercial use. Potassium chlorate is used chiefly as an oxidizing agent in the manufacture of fireworks, explosives, matches, disinfectants and bleaches. Potassium chlorate is a strong oxidant and reacts easily with sulfur, carbon, phosphorous and organic compounds. In addition potassium chlorate is insoluble in water. Potassium chlorate is produced commercially by passing chlorine into the hot milk of lime and subsequently adding potassium chloride. Furthermore, potassium chlorate can be manufactured in small quantities by passing chlorine gas into a hot solution of caustic potash.
Potassium chlorate has numerous applications due to its superior chemical and physical properties. Potassium chlorate is a necessary ingredient in modern firearms. Potassium chlorate is used as an ingredient in smoke compositions such as smoke grenades. Potassium chlorate is also used in laboratories and educational institutions to generate oxygen gas. Potassium chlorate is used as a pesticide due to its weed killer applications. In Finland, potassium chlorate is sold under the brand name Fegabit. Potassium chlorate is used in chemical oxygen generators which are used as oxygen-supply systems of space stations, aircraft and submarines. Potassium chlorate displays potent antimicrobial properties due to its chemical nature. Potassium chlorate is used in making powerful disinfectants and used to treat drinking water from pathogens. In addition, potassium chlorate is used as a basic raw material for the safety match work industries and as a bleaching agent in the textile industry. Furthermore, potassium chlorate can be mixed with an appropriate fuel to form an explosive material called sprengel explosive.
The growth in the end user industries is expected to be a major driving factor for the growth of potassium chlorate market. The growth of pesticide and defense industry is expected to drive the demand for potassium chlorate. Potassium chlorate based firearms are more effective than traditional gunpowder and less likely to be damaged by water. In addition, growing demand from emerging economies due to rapid economic growth is expected to increase the demand for potassium chlorate. However availability of substitutes and government regulations could hamper the growth of this market.
Potassium chlorate has a global market due to its extensive industrial applications. Asia Pacific is one of the fastest growing markets for potassium chlorate along with Latin America. China and India are the major consumers of potassium chlorate in Asia Pacific due to growth of defense and pesticide industries. Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan and Japan are other major consumers of potassium chlorate in Asia Pacific. North America and Europe are saturated markets and demand for potassium chlorate is expected to grow at a moderate rate.
Some of the key players in the Potassium Chlorate market are Dow Chemical (U.S.), E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (U.S.), Mitsubishi Chemical (Japan), LG Chem (South Korea), BASF (Germany), Sumitomo Chemical (Japan), Mitsui Chemicals (Japan), Toray Industries (Japan), Eastman Chemical Company (U.S.), AkzoNobel (Netherlands) and Evonik Industries (Germany) among others. AkzoNobel is one of the largest producers of potassium chlorate in Europe.