Hydroxylamine is an unstable, white, crystalline compound, which is hygroscopic in nature. It is generally used as an aqueous solution, for the preparation of oximes. Hydroxylamine is also used for the oxidation of ammonia which is mediated by the HAO (hydroxylamine oxidoreductase) enzyme. Hydroxylamine is used in a broad spectrum of applications such as antioxidants for fatty acids, reducing agents in myriad inorganic and organic reactions, hair removal treatments from animal hides, rocket propellants, and photography applications. In the electronics industry, hydroxylamine is used for removing photoresistivity after lithography in semiconductors.
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Due to recent improvements and innovation in the availability and properties of semiconductors, their applications in electronics have been rapidly growing, which in turn have been boosting the demand for hydroxylamines. Hydroxylamine is also used for precisely cleaving peptide bonds in proteins and peptides, and is also used in protein hydrolysis. Protein hydrolysis is defined as the protein breakdown into amino acids as well as minute peptides. Pancreatic protease is one of the enzymes which is one of the most basic procedures of achieving this that simulates the hydrolytic process. Enzymes from a range of sources such as microorganisms, animals, and plants are used in this industry that finds applications in several end-user industries such as textile, photography, animal feed, detergents, pharmaceuticals and food
The global industry for hydroxylamines has been witnessing a significant growth, owing to the rising adoption of protease enzymes in the light of certain advantages they represent. Protease is used in the industry owing to its purpose of hydrolysis of protein peptides into amino acids. Emerging economies such as China is one of the largest markets for protease enzymes, growing at a faster rate than other economies. Several growth factors such as modification and advancement of properties in food proteins coupled with the reduction in feed costs for protein hydrolysis enzymes are expected to boost the demand for these enzymes over the next few years, thereby driving the demand for hydroxylamine. Other factors such as rising use of protease enzymes in reducing phosphorus pollution as well as nitrogen content is also expected to contribute to the growth of the market. However, factors such as limited applications of these enzymes in food applications and increasing use of chemicals as a substitute is expected to hamper the growth of the market.
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North America was the largest consumer for protein hydrolysis enzymes with the presence of the large cleaning & detergent industry in the region. However, emerging regions such as Asia Pacific show significant unexplored opportunities for the growth of the market. Consumers are exploring new convenient products with the modernization of the cleaning & detergent industry in this region. Other major uses of hydroxylamine include its application in semiconductors in the electronics industry. Major end-user segments of semiconductors include electronics, electricity, medical, and transportation. Semiconductors have found wide application scope in MRI technology owing to technological advancements in the medical industry. Semiconductors are used in these machines to provide strong magnetic fields so that hydrogen atoms in the human body’s water and fat molecules will pick up energy from the magnetic field and be detected by specific instruments. Devices such as SQUIDs can also be used as an MRI, having the advantage of working without a strong magnetic field. On account of these factors, demand for semiconductors is expected to fuel the demand for hydroxlamines over the next few years.
Pierce Biotechnology, Inc., G-Biosciences, Life Technologies, and Praxiar, Inc. are some of the key manufacturers and suppliers for hydroxylamines.