Electrolysis is the chemical decomposition that is produced by passing electrical currents through liquids or various solutions that contain ions. This technique is used to drive a chemical reaction that would normally be non-spontaneous.
Several different products can be created through industrial electrolysis. Bleach, chlorine, aluminum, and copper are all involved with this industry segment.
The electrolysis industry can also include the removal of small blemishes on the skin, as well as the removal of hair roots, by applying heat through the use of an electrical current.
That means there are two facets of the electrolysis industry to analyze. The industrial sector involves electro-chemical engineering, which has been applied to various products since the 1870s to create electrolytic products. Then there is the hair removal sector of the industry to consider as well, especially as trends in many societies is to remove body hair from various locations.
Interesting Electrolysis Industry Statistics
#1. Since the 1960s, American consumers have been willing to pay for waxing and electrolysis services at an increasing rate. From 2010-2015, this sector of the industry in the U.S. grew at an annual rate of 7.6%. (IBIS World)
#2. In 2014, the total revenues driven by the hair removal sector of the electrolysis industry generated $11 billion. About 300,000 firms in the United States are involved in this industry segment in some way. (IBIS World)
#3. About 1 in 5 customers that seeks out a body treatment from the electrolysis industry is male. Men contribute about $1 billion, in total, to hair removal services in the U.S. each year. (Inc.)
#4. The price for electrolysis services in the hair removal industry, as of 2014, was $289. Many opt for this type of service because it pays for itself over just 6 waxing sessions, based on average cost. (Inc.)
#5. Bleach may be a powerful disinfectant, but it also has an expected shelf life and an expiration date. An unopened bottle of bleach will lose up to 20% of its effectiveness each year. Once opened, a bottle of bleach lasts for about 6 months or less. (ThoughtCo)
#6. Bleach manufacturing in the United States has a market value of $2 billion. In the 5-year period ending in 2017, annual growth averaged 1.8% for the industry. (IBIS World)
#7. There are 26 firms currently active in bleach production within the U.S. market. These firms employ about 1,400 people directly. (IBIS World)
#8. 33.6% of the aluminum industry comes from a primary domestic provider in the United States. Imports account for 27.5% of the industry supply in the U.S. each year. In total, there are 26.4 billion pounds of aluminum produced for consumption in the U.S., based on 2016 production figures. (The Aluminum Association)
#9. The aluminum segment benefits from the reclamation of aluminum cans each year. The industry recycled over 1.6 billion pounds of used beverage cans in 2016, which accounts for about two-thirds of all shipments. (The Aluminum Association)
#10. Flat roll aluminum products are the most popular item in-demand from this industry segment, accounting for 44.4% of total sales. Aluminum ingots for castings make up another 29.6% of the industry. (The Aluminum Association)
#11. The transportation industries of North America are the biggest consumer of aluminum goods for the electrolysis industry, accounting for over 35% of total shipments. More than 9 billion pounds of aluminum is consumed by the transportation sector each year. (The Aluminum Association)
#12. Aluminum production, especially with consumer cans, has become much more efficient over the past 40 years. In 1975, one pound of aluminum cans involved a total of 23 cans. In 2016, it took 35 cans to create one pound. (The Aluminum Association)
#13. Just 12% of the aluminum industry is designated for exports in the United States. In 2016, 3.1 billion pounds of aluminum products were exported. Outside of Eastern Asia, which receives more than half of U.S. aluminum exports, Mexico was the most popular destination. In 2016, Mexico accounted for 32.3% of the exports from the industry. (The Aluminum Association)
#14. Total global copper production worldwide from mining operations in 2016 accounted for 22.5 million metric tons. One-third of the world’s copper supply comes from Chile. (Statista)
#15. The United States is the fourth-largest copper supplier in the world today. Mining in the U.S. produced about 1.4 million metric tons, employing about 10,000 people in mills and mines throughout the country. (Statista)
#16. In the United States, about 10% of the total copper that reaches the market comes from recovered scrap. (U.S. Geological Survey)
#17. Refined copper and scrap was used at more than 500 different foundries in the U.S. in 2016. An additional 15 rod mills and 30 brass mills received products from the copper industry as well. (U.S. Geological Survey)
#18. 19% of the copper or copper alloy products produced by the electrolysis industry are destined for transportation equipment. Another 19% goes to electronic products. The biggest benefactor of copper in the U.S., however, is the construction industry, which accounts of 43% of the products sold. (U.S. Geological Survey)
#19. In 2010, the chlorine segment of the electrolysis industry produced 11.6 million short tons of chlorine. The industry was able to produce 12.2 million short tons of sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) at the same time. (American Chemistry Council)
#20. About 40% of the chlorine that is produced in the U.S. is used to create vinyl or PVC products. Another 37% of the chlorine is used to produce base organic chemicals that are used in a variety of industries. (American Chemistry Council)
#21. 93% of the pharmaceuticals sold in the U.S. are manufactured, in part, because of contributions by the chlorine industry. In total, chlorine sales total about $8 billion annually, with direct employment opportunities for 20,000 people. (American Chemistry Council)
Electrolysis Industry Trends and Forecast
As economic activities have stabilized around the world, there has been an increase in demand for products and services from the electrolysis industry. Household formation, in particular, has driven a desire for chemical products that are produced by the industry.
Demand levels from the hospitality industry, the restaurant industry, and the janitorial service industry has also fueled recent growth trends for the electrolysis industry.
In the next 5 years, however, the overall forecast for the electrolysis industry is somewhat murky. Most segments within the industry have 2-3 firms which control more than 50% of their segment’s revenues. Clorox, for example, owns a 48% share of the bleach industry. That means the overall performance of these companies directly affects the outcomes of the overall industry.
2018 has been a year of uncertainty. Proposed tariffs that include industry products, coupled with uncertain tax changes for some industry firms, has depressed growth in some sectors. Will this growth return once the uncertainty fades? Only time will tell.