Sodium formate is the sodium salt of formic acid and appears as a white powder. Sodium formate is used in numerous printing and dyeing processes. In addition, it is also used as a buffering agent for mineral acids to increase their pH, as a food additive (E237), and as a de-iceing agent. Sodium florate is non toxic, biodegradable and environmental friendly. In biology, sodium formate is used as a cryoprotectant for X-ray diffraction experiments on protein crystals, which are conducted at a high temperature to reduce the effects of radiation damage. Sodium formate is prepared in the laboratory by neutralizing formic acid with sodium carbonate. Sodium formate is also obtained by reacting sodium hydroxide with chloroform. For commercial use, sodium formate is manufactured by absorbing carbon monoxide under pressure in solid sodium hydroxide. Sodium formate is also used in the production of formic acid, sodium hydrosulphite, leather tanning and as an enzyme stabilizer in detergent. Sodium formate is hygroscopic in nature and should be carefully handled to prevent absorption of moisture. Furthermore, sodium florate is used in the oilfield industry to form clear brine used in work over and completion fluids.
The growth in end user industries is expected to increase the consumption of sodium formate. In addition, increasing demand for sodium formate from emerging economies of Asia Pacific and Latin America is expected to increase the consumption of sodium formate. The growth in food and beverage and dyeing and printing industry is expected to boost demand for sodium formate in the emerging economies. However, availability of substitutes and fluctuating raw material prices could hamper the growth of this market. Urea can substitute sodium formate for deicing applications.
Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest growing market for sodium formate followed by North America, Europe and Latin America. India and China are the largest consumers of sodium formate in Asia Pacific. Sodium formate manufacturers are shifting their production facilities from developed economies to emerging economies of Asia Pacific and Latin America due to availability of cheap land, skilled labor and government subsides. Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, and Vietnam are expected to be other major consumers of sodium formate in Asia Pacific. Latin America is also a major consumer of sodium formate and expected to experience moderate to high growth. Europe and North America are mature markets and expected to experience moderate growth.
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