COVID-19 Impact on Inorganic Chemicals in Chemical and Materials Industry

COVID-19 Impact on Inorganic Chemicals in Chemical and Materials Industry

  • Chemical and Materials
  • Dec 07, 2020

COVID-19 Impact on Inorganic Chemicals in Chemical and Materials Industry

INTRODUCTION

Inorganic chemicals represent the physical and chemical properties of inorganic compounds, which consist of various minerals, organometallic compounds and metals. Whereas, organic chemicals render the carbon-containing compounds and inorganic chemicals are the remaining subset of compounds other than organic compounds.

The inorganic chemicals are divided into bases, salt, acids. These categories have different applications in various industries. Inorganic chemicals are used as pigments, catalysts, coatings, fuels, medicines, surfactants, and more. They usually have specific electrical conductivity properties and high melting points, which enables various applications in different sectors. For instance:

Ammonia is used as a nitrogen source in fertilizers, and it is one of the major used inorganic chemicals used in the production of manufacture of plastics, explosives, textiles, pesticides, dyes, and other chemicals (used in adhesives, foams, and tough chemical-resistant coatings), hydrazine (used in jet and rocket fuels).

Chlorine is a greenish-yellow gas at room temperature and atmospheric pressure. Chlorine is used in the manufacture of polyvinyl chloride (used for pipes, clothing, furniture among others), agrochemicals (fertilizer, insecticide, or soil treatment), and pharmaceuticals, as well as chemicals for water treatment and sterilization.

Titanium dioxide, a white powder pigments, which occurs naturally as oxide of titanium, used in inks, fibers, food, paints, plastics, coatings, paper and cosmetics. It has good ultraviolet light resistance properties, also has an increasing demand for its use in photocatalysts.

FIGURE1: SEGMENTATION OF INORGANIC CHEMICALS MARKET

Covid-19 Impact On Inorganic Chemicals In Chemical And Materials IndustryMajor Industries Using Inorganic Chemicals are-

  • Environmental Science-
  • Fibers and Plastics
  • Mining, Ore, and Metals
  • Paint, Pigment, and Coating

IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON INORGANIC CHEMICALS

At beginning of January 2020, the world faced a Coronavirus outbreak build-up, the pandemic leads to unparalleled human, economic and social disruption, scarcely leaving any life unaffected. The COVID-19 epidemic in the future will be listed as the most economically affecting crisis so far. The world economy is facing unmatched loss due to the pandemic hitting tough across the world. The situation is getting from bad to worse on a day-to-day basis since more restrictive, impulsive and efficient actions are taken by several Governments worldwide, from travel bans to complete lockdown. Such actions have only limited the growth of the economy but also have brought complete stoppage to inter-regional activities.

Detergents and disinfectants sub-sector that was considered highly-essential during the COVID-19 pandemic, this sector was operating during lock-down, in order to increase its production capacity, as the usage of detergents and disinfectants were the only prevention that could be taken, this resulted in high revenues in the past few months than it had gained in the last few years. The drastic increase in production and demand has resulted in limited raw materials supply, as manufacturing units were facing a shortage of “alcoholic materials” at the beginning of the crisis, a large shipment was imported to compensate for the supply of raw material. The majority of manufacturing factories operate within this sub-sector mainly produced sanitizers and disinfectants for use in homes and offices. During the crisis, these products have reached personal-use category products.

The paints sub-sector is directly linked to the construction sector, which has completely suspended its operations for almost three months. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for construction materials and products has been relatively low.

The major industries such as surfactants, paints and coatings, minerals and ore industries, etc. operating basically on inorganic chemicals such as Ammonia, Calcium carbonates, Phosphorous, Sulphur compounds, and various other chemicals, these majority industries work with help of major human help, such as there are so many sub-operations that are handled manually. The COVID-19 impacted the whole human race to stay indoors, therefore these industries faced a large reduction in the manufacturing of the chemicals.

Government all over the world had laid rules for lockdown in order to prevent the human race from suffering to a larger extent, but the worldwide trade faced huge loss as not only manufacturing of inorganic chemicals became low but also the demand for these chemicals is still less than it was in past years.

COMPANIES STRATERGIC INITIATIVES DURING COVID-19

Various companies state that structural reforms are inevitable. Higher spending in food security, nutrition and livelihoods, public health, technology and innovation, strengthening international trade and capital flow, smart and green logistics, fighting poverty, enhancing the quality of human capital and education standards, strengthening institutions and governance, among others, are the basic steps that should be taken in order to overcome from this current situation.

STEPS TAKEN BY GOVERNMENT TO OVERCOME THE SITUATION

The government has relentlessly worked toward appeasing the pandemic associated impacts, in terms of medical, security and financial measures. Among the several strategic steps undertaken since the declaration of COVID-19 as a notified disaster, the timeline below illustrates the major interventions by the central authorities to offer relief to citizens.

In India various steps have been taken to counter affect the situation as follows-

  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies detect and identify the nature and source of pollutants
  • Target to increase the share of manufacturing in GDP to at least 25% by 2025 (from current 16%). Investments in manufacturing in the chemical sector are absolutely essential to ensure growth of the Indian chemical industry
  • Chemical industry could be granted tax and duty reductions for specific identified products such as import duty reduction on inputs like coal, furnace oil, naphtha, etc., inclusion of a wider range of inputs under CENVAT credit and encouraging companies to set up captive power plants
  • Entrepreneurs are allowed to set up chemical industries following the Industrial Entrepreneurs’ Memorandum (IEM) route

CONCLUSION

The inorganic chemical industry produces a huge range of chemicals in the manufacturing sector. Various basic inorganic chemicals and alkaline chemicals are growing in the imports and exports markets. Imports have also gone up, to support to growing worldwide demand. For some widely used products, such as, carbon black and sodium hydroxide, the growth in demand has outpaced manufacturing capacity, leading to very high utilization levels. Thus there is a need for investment into the industry, to enable the industry to realize its growth potential. Most of the chemicals clusters in the world are located in the Asia-Pacific region and this region provide suitable surrounding for the chemical industry.

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