The global refrigerants market size is expected to grow from USD 23.0 billion in 2020 to USD 34.3 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 6.9% from 2021 to 2027. Cold Chain is becoming a crucial element for the worldwide availability of food and health supplies. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, fresh food products in billions of tons are lost each year due to poor cold chain systems in the developing part of the world. Fresh foods such as fruits, poultry, vegetables, dairy, and meat require an uninterrupted cold chain as they are perishable. By optimizing the parameters of temperature, atmospheric and humidity composition, and proper handling, cold chain service providers can improve the product life of fresh foods for months, weeks, and days. The appropriate utilization of cold chain service ensures fresh products hold their value for more extended periods, improve their transportability and provide the opportunity to expand their market reach.
Fluorocarbon-based refrigerants are dominant in the market. Air conditioning is expected to remain the most lucrative application augmented by significant residential, institutional, and commercial demand. The rapid urbanization and emerging economies have substantially increased the need for air conditioning equipment. The growth of frozen food sectors and retail food spaces in developing economies has led to a greater potential for the cold chain industry. The industry has evolved in terms of product specifications and awareness among end-users regarding the detrimental environmental effects of conventional refrigerants.
Rising awareness regarding low ozone depletion potential (ODP) and low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants to meet the environmental and social aspects and increasing demand for energy-efficient natural refrigerants are the key drivers of the refrigerant market growth across the globe. Inorganic refrigerants such as Co2 and ammonia and hydrocarbon-based are the most popular natural refrigerants, increasingly preferred by the end-users for their energy efficiency, low cost, and low GDP & ODP.
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Global Refrigerants Market Dynamics
Drivers: High demand for cooling equipment in emerging economies
Emerging economies are undergoing rapid economic growth due to market changes, business culture, technology, and social practices. The cooling equipment market in these regions is witnessing high demand owing to rapid industrialization, urbanization, and the inclination of industrialists towards much more efficient cooling systems. These factors, in turn, augment the growth of the refrigerant market.
Construction activities for residential and commercial infrastructure are expected to rise due to the needs of the rapidly increasing urban population. The increasing number of high-rise buildings, malls, retail stores, apartments, parks, and special economic zones is a testament to this. It has led to an increase in the usage of refrigerants in applications such as refrigeration and air conditioning.
Restraints: Stringent regulations against fluorocarbon refrigerants
The fluorocarbon segment holds a substantial share in the refrigerant market; however, the growth potential for the segment is expected to hit roadblocks owing to stringent regulations such as F-Gas, Kyoto Protocol, and Montreal Protocol. The strict regulation against fluorocarbons is due to their high global warming potential (GWP) and ozone depletion potential (ODP), which adversely affects the environment. The rules and regulations have led to many countries phasing out refrigerants with fluorocarbon content.
The Montreal and Kyoto Protocol and their subsequent amendments accompanied by ratification by individual countries have resulted in regulations limiting the consumption, trade, and production of fluorocarbon-based refrigerants.
Opportunities: Increasing demand for Natural Refrigerants
The most commonly used natural refrigerants are HCs, ammonia, and carbon dioxides, including isobutane and propane. Technological advancements in cooling equipment are replacing traditional refrigerants with natural ones. This has led to an increase in the market share of natural refrigerants in applications such as refrigeration, heating systems, and air conditioning.
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Scope of the Report
The study categorizes the refrigerants market based on product, application, and region.
By Product Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017-2027)
By Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017-2027)
- Transport & Commercial Refrigeration
- Stationary Air Conditioning
- Chillers & Heat Pumps
- Mobile Air Conditioning
By Region Outlook (Sales, USD Million, 2017-2027)
- North America (US, Canada, Mexico)
- South America (Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Rest of Latin America)
- Europe (Germany, Italy, France, UK, Spain, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Rest of Europe)
- Asia Pacific (China, Japan, India, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, the Philippines, Singapore, Australia & New Zealand, Rest of Asia Pacific)
- The Middle East & Africa (Saudi Arabia, UAE, South Africa, Northern Africa, Rest of MEA)
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Fluorocarbon refrigerant is projected to account for the largest market share by product
Based on product, the global refrigerant market comprises inorganic, hydrocarbon, and fluorocarbon. Fluorocarbon refrigerant dominated the market with the largest share of the market volume in 2020. Fluorocarbon refrigerants are based on those chemical compounds that have their hydrogen of hydrocarbon replaced with fluorine. Depending on the structure, they can be classified into Chloro-fluoro Carbons (CFCs), Hydro Chloro -Fluoro Carbons (HCFCs), Hydro Fluoro Carbons (HFCs), and Hydro Fluoro Olefins (HFOs). Due to high ODP & GWP, these refrigerants have been subjected to stringent regulations by numerous agencies. The CFCs and HCFCs are witnessing phase-out plans, while the Montreal protocol has ruled in favor of phasing down HFCs. HFCs hold the largest share in the refrigerant market among the Fluorocarbons.
Furthermore, the breakthrough achieved in hydro fluoro olefins (HFOs) development has provided a lifeline for fluorocarbon refrigerants. HFOs are low in GWP & ODP and are expected to be the ideal replacement for HFCs in prominent applications for the future. These factors are driving the growth of fluorocarbon refrigerants over the forecast period.
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Europe accounts for the highest CAGR during the forecast period
On the basis of region, the refrigerant market has been segmented into North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, South America, and the Middle East & Africa. Globally, Europe is the fastest-growing region with a CAGR of 5.4% during the forecast period, 2021-2027. The strict regulations and the rigorous implementation of the fluorocarbon refrigerant phase in Europe have led to significant demand for natural refrigerants. The hydrocarbon and inorganic-based refrigerants are expected to witness considerable growth in the forecast period. Their rapid adoption in domestic refrigeration fuels the need for hydrocarbon refrigerants; furthermore, the expansion of supermarket retail chains and their implementation of Co2 cascade technology in cooling solutions has significantly boosted the refrigerants market in the region.
Inorganic refrigerants are predicted to witness the highest growth rate over the forecast period as they are low priced, easily available, and are less harmful to the environment. This product segment is driven by significant advances in the cold chain industry and cascade technology in cooling solutions for commercial refrigeration. The high penetration achieved by ammonia in industrial refrigeration applications is another major factor boosting the growth of inorganic refrigerants across the region. Furthermore, the advancement in technology enabling the usage of Co2 refrigerants in mobile air conditioning has further enhanced the growth of refrigerants in the region over the forecasted years.
Key Market Players
The key market players profiled in the report include Arkema S.A., Dongyue Group Co. Ltd., Honeywell International Inc., The Chemours Company, The Linde Group, Air Liquide, Sinochem Lantian Co. Ltd., Daikin Industries, Mexichem, and Asahi Glass Corporation.