Ferrosilicon is an alloy of iron and silicon that contains a higher proportion of iron silicide, with typical silicon content ranging from 15-90% by weight. It is produced by reducing silica or sand with coke in the presence of iron. Scrap iron or scale is a common source of iron and is used as a source of silicon to reduce oxides of metals and to deoxidize steel and other ferroalloys. It prevents the loss of carbon in molten steel, ferromanganese, mirror silicon, calcium silicide, and many others. Materials are also used for the same purpose.
Ferrosilicon is used in the manufacture of electric motors and transformers because it can withstand extreme temperatures. In addition, it is used in the production of cast iron. Ferrosilicon produces hydrogen gas in the presence of an alkali (such as water). In addition, it is also used to manufacture silicon, high-temperature corrosion-resistant iron-silicon alloys, silicon steel, etc. It is used in the production of alloys for the semiconductor and automotive industries. In addition, its applications include mining, construction, solar energy, metallurgy and other industries.
Ferrosilicon is stored in waterproof containers under special storage conditions to avoid harmful effects on the environment. The machinery and all equipment that handles ferrosilicon raw materials are isolated to reduce the emission of pollutants to the surrounding environment.
Global Ferrosilicon Market Size, Forecast and Trend Highlights 2023-2033
The global ferrosilicon market is expected to reach revenue of USD 17 billion by the end of 2033, growing at a CAGR of approximately 3% during the forecast period (i.e., 2023 to 2033). In addition, the revenue of this market will reach US$13 billion by 2022. Ferrosilicon is mainly used for steel deoxidation, so the main growth driver of ferrosilicon sales comes from the world steel market itself. Global finished steel production is estimated to increase from approximately 1.76 billion tons in 2020 to approximately 1.84 billion tons in 2021, with growing global industrialization increasing the use of metals. Furthermore, increasing government-initiated construction of roads, railways, industrial estates, DFCs, metro connections, transport and transmission towers is expected to drive the growth of the market. As steel is the major component used to construct the foundation of any of these buildings, it is expected to boost the global Ferrosilicon market growth.
Global Ferrosilicon Market: Growth Drivers and Challenges
Ferrosilicon is used in steel manufacturing to increase its strength – Since silicon and oxygen are highly chemically reactive with each other, ferrosilicon becomes a powerful deoxidizer used in the steel manufacturing process. Increasing brick production is expected to boost the ferrosilicon market over the forecast period, with total silicon production increasing from 277 units in 2020 to 310 units in 2021, according to the US Geological Survey.
Growing demand for ferrosilicon in the automotive industry due to weight reduction – As the automotive industry uses steel as raw material, the usage and production of ferrosilicon will grow proportionally and, therefore, the growth of the global ferrosilicon market is expected to accelerate. Global car sales increased from 62 million units in 2020 to more than 67 million units in 2021.
The demand for atomized ferrosilicon used as powder in automotive manufacturing is growing – and whenever the demand for a product increases its supply, the price increases. Therefore, the global ferrosilicon market is expected to grow significantly. In March 2022, the price of ferrosilicon (including atomized ferrosilicon) in the United States increased by 12.9%.
Increasing global cast iron and pig iron production to meet demand Ferrosilicon, used as an inoculant in the cast iron production process, is expected to significantly drive market growth in the coming years. According to the United States Geological Survey, total global pig iron production increased from 1.31 billion tons in 2020 to 1.4 billion tons in 2021.
Environmental Challenges Regarding Emissions – There is a growing concern about the state of the environment and the adverse side effects of human activities. Additionally, all aspects of ferroalloy production and use are energy-intensive and the process itself has environmental impacts. Hence, this is expected to hinder the growth of the market.
Global Ferrosilicon Market Segmentation
The global ferrosilicon market demand and supply are segmented and analyzed by application of deoxidizers and inoculants. Among them, the deoxidizer segment is expected to account for the majority of the market share by 2033, which can be attributed to the slow and stable demand for steel in various industries around the world and the use of ferrosilicon as a deoxidizer in steel. For example, based on silicon content, ferrosilicon accounts for nearly 70% of the global silicon production in 2021. Steel is deoxidized with ferrosilicon in the final stage of production to increase the elasticity and strength of the steel. Moreover, ferrosilicon is obtained through electric furnace smelting, and steel is treated with ferrosilicon to obtain qualified steel. Ferrosilicon is used in the diffusion and precipitation processes of steel in steel manufacturing.
The global ferrosilicon market is also segmented and analyzed based on end-user demand and supply, into stainless steel, cast iron, and electrical steel. Out of these three segments, the stainless steel segment is expected to hold a significant share even after exposure to water. , stainless steel is also not easy to dust, corrode or stain. Stainless steel does not conduct electricity through it and is used in many household appliances because it is recyclable and easy to sterilize and use. It is used in the manufacture of kitchen sinks, kitchen sinks, cutlery and cookware, and in addition, it is used in medical device products such as surgical tools, medical equipment, temporary crown surgery equipment in the dental field and venous products. Additionally, buildings, beams, sculptures, and monuments are constructed using stainless steel tools, in airport roof construction, automotive, aerospace, rolling stock, and aircraft are constructed using stainless steel materials. All these applications are contributing to the growth of the segment. , which in turn will drive the growth of the market in the coming years.