Sodium sulfate is the sodium salt of sulfuric acid, which is mined from mirabilite at mineral salt deposits (for example, salt lakes). It can also be obtained from by-products of many chemical processes such as hydrochloric acid production. Its applications, mainly in the production of soaps and detergents, wood pulp, glass, textiles, starches or animal feed, vary geographically and temporarily subject to multiple factors. For instance, the increasing use of liquid detergents, technological innovations in the pulp and paper industry as well as ecological/health considerations (like the US FDA’s ban issued in mid 1980-ies to use sulphites in food preservation) may act as such factors. Despite market fluctuations, sodium sulfate has its strong niches, like glass industry and textiles, where its advantages, like non-corrosiveness in relation of dying steel vessels, outweigh possible shortcomings. Like with its application areas, certain world regions and countries dominate in sodium sulfate production and consumption.
Sodium sulfate: structure of the global production by country, 2016
The undisputed leader on the sodium sulfate market is Asia Pacific (and predominantly China) with almost 60% share in production and 64% in consumption. China hosts the world’s largest sodium sulfate manufacturers, including Nafine Group International, China Lumena New Materials, Jiangsu Yinzhu Chemical Group, Hunan Xinli Chemical, and Hongya Qing Yi Jiang Chemical Industry. This country also has significant glauberite ore resources, established R&D bases and modern production technologies.
More information on the sodium sulfate market can be found in the insightful research report “Sodium Sulfate: 2017 World Market Outlook and Forecast up to 2027”.