Market Overview: The global noble gas market is poised to reach a valuation of USD 13.19 billion by 2028, with a projected revenue compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.3% throughout the forecast period. This growth is primarily attributed to the increasing adoption of xenon in automotive headlights, driven by stringent fuel efficiency regulations. Xenon bulbs are also utilized in light and cinema projectors, as well as camera flashes. Furthermore, xenon plays a vital role in plasma displays, comprising around 5.0% of the gas mixture.
The healthcare sector is witnessing a rising demand for noble gases, particularly in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanners, where they are employed for cooling superconducting magnets. This expansion is fueled by the global healthcare industry's rapid growth and the increasing requirement for diagnostic equipment. Noble gases, such as xenon, are also utilized in the aerospace sector for ion thrust propulsion systems used in spacecraft.
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Market Dynamics: Drivers: The healthcare sector's increasing demand for helium contributes significantly to the growth of the noble gas market. Helium finds wide application in relieving various respiratory conditions, including asthma exacerbation, airway obstruction, and post-extubation stridor. Additionally, helium's innovative use in scanning helium microscopes prevents damage to delicate materials compared to traditional microscopes, which can potentially cause sample boiling. Argon is another noble gas employed as an anesthetic and neuroprotective agent in healthcare facilities.
Restraints: The availability of substitutes and alternative technologies in various applications may impede the market's revenue growth. Additionally, challenges in sourcing noble gases in certain countries may limit their demand to some extent.
COVID-19 Impact: The COVID-19 pandemic had a negative impact on the noble gas market, as many countries imposed lockdowns that led to the closure of production facilities in industries such as construction, aerospace, and automotive. This resulted in reduced product demand and hindered market revenue growth. However, the use of noble gases in treating respiratory conditions and in certain medical instruments played a crucial role in sustaining product demand during this period.
Type Insights: The global noble gas market is categorized into various types, including helium, krypton, argon, neon, xenon, and radon. Helium, due to its easy availability and cost-effectiveness, dominated the market in 2020. It is extensively used in the healthcare sector for treating respiratory diseases, as well as in MRI scanners and NMR spectrometers for cooling purposes. Helium also serves in detecting leaks in car air conditioning systems, inflating balloons, and powering barcode scanners.
The neon segment is expected to exhibit the highest revenue CAGR during the forecast period. Neon is employed in television tubes and plasma screens, where it contributes to vibrant color production. Liquid neon is used as a refrigerant in specific applications.
Krypton, utilized in energy-efficient fluorescent lamps, is experiencing increased demand as energy-efficient lighting products gain popularity. It is also used in high-speed photography within flash lamps. Radon has diverse medical applications, including radiation therapy and the production of implantable seeds for Brachytherapy in cancer treatment. It is also known to reduce autoimmune diseases like arthritis.
Application Insights: The noble gas market is segmented by application into chemical analysis, working fluid, refrigerant, advertising, television tubes, lighting, insulation, welding, anesthetic, and picture projection. In terms of application, welding accounted for a significant share of revenue in 2020. Noble gases, such as argon and helium, are crucial in welding processes. They can be used independently or in combination, as they prevent oxidation and reduce the interaction of oxygen with molten metal. The increasing number of infrastructure projects worldwide is driving the demand for noble gases, particularly in gas tungsten arc welding and gas metal arc welding for non-ferrous metals.
The anesthetic segment is expected to witness rapid revenue growth during the forecast period. Noble gases, notably xenon, are utilized in the healthcare industry for their anesthetic properties. Patients administered with xenon anesthesia experience shorter recovery times and less post-operative pain compared to those given volatile anesthetics.
End-Use Insights: The global noble gas market encompasses various end-use sectors, including oil gas, mining, healthcare, aerospace, building construction, power, and others. The building construction segment emerged as the largest contributor to revenue in 2020. Noble gases, such as argon and krypton, are used in the spaces between window panes and sealed glazed units to enhance thermal efficiency in buildings. The increasing focus on energy-efficient solutions for residential and commercial structures, coupled with investments in Smart Cities development, is driving the segment's revenue growth.
Regional Insights: In 2020, the Asia Pacific region accounted for the largest share of revenue in the global noble gas market and is expected to exhibit the highest revenue CAGR during the forecast period. This growth is fueled by increased investments in construction and healthcare sectors in countries like India, Japan, and China. The region also witnesses rising awareness regarding energy-efficient building solutions. Furthermore, investments in space missions by organizations like the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) are projected to boost market growth in Asia Pacific.
North America also played a significant role in the global noble gas market in 2020. Noble gases are employed in the oil gas industry for exploration and crude oil extraction. Additionally, advancements in healthcare technology and the presence of leading aerospace companies contribute to revenue growth in North America.
Competitive Landscape: Key companies in the global noble gas market include Messer Group, Linde PLC, Praxair Inc., Gulf Cryo, Buzwair Industrial Gases Factories, BASF SE, Gazprom, Airgas Inc., Air Products and Chemicals Inc., and Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation. These market players are driving growth through various initiatives, such as joint ventures and acquisitions. For instance:
- In January 2021, Air Liquide announced a joint venture agreement with the Hefei Institutes of Physical Science of the Chinese Academy of Science to develop and produce helium-based refrigeration systems, supporting large-scale scientific research in China.
- In November 2020, Messer completed the acquisition of entities of Air Liquide in Slovakia, strengthening its position in the industrial gases market in Slovakia.
- In September 2019, Messer announced a USD 37.0 million investment in a new air separation plant in Indianapolis, USA. The plant aims to expand Messer's presence in the U.S. and produce medical and industrial-grade gases for various industries, promoting regional employment.
Report Scope: The report offers historical data and forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels, providing analysis of market trends in sub-segments from 2018 to 2028. It segments the global noble gas market by type, application, end-use, distribution channel, and region.
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