The Potential Metal of the Future Scandium
The scandium market is predicted to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.27% to attain a market size of US$299.791 million by the end of 2026. Scandium is a silvery-pure, squishy metallic chemical component that was previously classified as a rare earth source. Scandium iodide is used in film and photographic lamps because it helps to produce light with a similar tone to sunshine. It is also employed in metal-halide lamps, which are increasingly being used instead of mercury-vapor lamps because of their better efficiency. It is relatively stable in air, although it will gradually change color from silvery white to a yellowish look due to surface development. In diluted acids, the metal dissolves rather slowly, except in hydrofluoric acid.
Scandium-oxide, the primary form of refined scandium metal, as well as its various composites and alloys, are produced in tiny quantities at a few locations across the world. The best thing about the scandium oxide is that it is mined and taken from the rarest of earth and uranium compounds, which are then purified. Scandium has high electrical conductivity, is a heat stabilizer, has a creep-resistant description, and is lightweight, all of which contribute to it being a key component in a variety of profitable and industrial areas. The price of scandium oxide is expected to fall as the market expands due to production economies of scale. Aluminum or scandium is predicted to be used in an increasing number of applications as a result of the price decrease, expanding the potential market.
Rising Demand for Alternate Energy Sources Creates Demand for the Scandium Market During the Forecasted Period
Growing use in Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs), rising demand in end-user industries such as the aerospace and automobile industry are just a few drivers of the market. The increased demand for clean energy because of environmental concerns about energy generation from conventional sources such as coal and natural gas is expected to fuel demand for SOFCs, which will drive scandium market expansion throughout the forecast period. Growing international trade has demonstrated to the rest of the world that production has relocated away from where products are used. Scandium is also employed in the production of alloys that are used in the manufacture of bicycles and other sporting goods. Many aluminum companies such as Rio Tinto and Rusal, have entered the scandium market owing to its growing demand. In conjunction with Deakin University's Institute for Frontier Materials, Australian Mines Ltd, one of the most potential main participants in the scandium market, will produce next-generation aluminum alloys. The 9-month research, which began on October 12, 2020, will rely on machine learning algorithms and Deakin's alloy development expertise.
Inconsistent Supply and Scarcity of the Raw Materials Restrains the Scandium Market’s Potential Growth
Scandium is a type of rare earth metal. Scandium is found in minerals such as thortveitite, bazzite, and wiikite, as well as a byproduct of uranium refining. The growing demand for scandium in a variety of industries has resulted in a scarcity of metal in the market. There is no reliable source of scandium, resulting in scarcity and inconsistency in supply. This may limit market expansion throughout the projection period, as companies will be forced to choose an alternative if scandium is not available to satisfy rising demand. The high cost and lack of technical know-how would also curtail the market's growth in the long term.
SOFCs are Progressing at a Lightening Rate
The market is predicted to rise due to the accelerated development of SOFCs for large energy savings, as aluminum-scandium alloys have electrical conductivity and thermal stabilization properties. Transportation, industrial equipment, aerospace, and other high-performance applications industries rely heavily on these alloys. SOFCs operate at low temperatures, lowering component costs and extending fuel cell life, making them a cost-effective and competitive source of energy. When compared to traditional yttrium stabilized zirconia solid electrolytes, scandium containing SOFCs have demonstrated superior performance. With rising electricity rates, the need to switch to more environmentally friendly power generating methods is predicted to open the substantial market potential for SOFCs, boosting scandium's importance. This is due to the fact that the use of electrolytes based on scandium has improved cell efficiency, ionic conductivity, and fuel cell operational life. As a result, market growth will be fueled by the rising use and development of SOFCs over the forecast period.
Aerospace Presents Diverse Market Opportunities for the Scandium Industry
Scandium is used in the creation of aluminum-scandium alloy, which is employed in the aerospace sector while producing airplanes. The aerospace industry is expected to have a significant market share. When a trace quantity of scandium, approximately 0.1 to 0.5 percent, is added to aluminum, the strength of the metal increases while the weight is reduced by 15 to 20 percent. As a result, the use of scandium in the aircraft industry is expected to increase over the projection period. Because of the movement toward urbanization, the increasing population, growing disposable income, and changes in people's lifestyles, more airplanes and airports are being developed, particularly in developing countries, which will boost the market growth of scandium throughout the projection period. Furthermore, with the increased building of airports in countries such as China, Qatar, India, and others, the need for airplanes is likely to rise even more in the coming years, driving up the demand for aluminum and, by extension, scandium.
The Asia Pacific Segment of the Market Will Grow at a Skyrocketing Rate While North America Will Dominate the Industry
Due to the existence of numerous end-user industries, the North American area is predicted to be the largest market for worldwide scandium. The US is expected to dominate the market. The United States possesses the world's largest aerospace industry and a huge electronics market. The overall active general aviation fleet is predicted to rise from 212,885 aircraft in 2018 to 211,575 aircraft by 2039, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The Asia-Pacific area is expected to grow at a quicker rate compared to other regions owing to the fact that China holds one of the world's largest scandium reserves. China's market share is likely to grow further as a result of several government restrictions restricting trade exports. The region's focus on defense and aerospace investment is projected to play a key role in boosting APAC's market expansion. The production of scandium is dominated by a number of countries, including Ukraine, Kazakhstan, China, and Russia. Furthermore, numerous minor mining businesses in Australia are seeking to develop scandium reserves in New South Wales, indicating that Australia will become a new growth hub.
Coronavirus Pandemic Analysis
The report also provides a study about the impact of the coronavirus on market for scandium and other end-user industries, stating how the lockdown and employment have severely impacted the scandium market along with the impact of a disrupting supply chain on the industry.
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