Global Precious Metal Catalysts Market - Outlook and Forecast 2022-2027

Market Overview

The global market for precious metal catalysts is projected to reach $19.76 billion by 2027, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.57% from 2021 to 2027. Precious metal catalysts, also known as noble metal catalysts, are substances made from metals such as platinum, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium, and osmium. These catalysts are used in various industries to accelerate chemical reactions and provide oxidation and corrosion resistance properties.

One of the key industries where precious metal catalysts are utilized is the pharmaceutical industry. They are involved in the production of drugs for treating DNA/RNA-related diseases, cancer, heart conditions, and other medical treatments. Factors such as the increasing global population, the spread of new infectious diseases, growing transportation activities, and expanding agriculture contribute to the growth of the precious metal catalysts market. China, India, Japan, and South Korea lead the market in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, while North America, specifically the United States and Canada, are major markets for precious metal catalysts. Increasing awareness and evolving government policies are driving the demand for precious metal catalysts worldwide.

Product Type

Market Report

No. of Pages


Release Date

December 2022

Base Year


Forecast Period


Market Size

USD 13.5 billion in 2020

Market Segments

Type, End-Use, and Geography



No. of Companies Mentioned


Industries such as pharmaceuticals, automotive, aerospace, oil & gas, agrochemicals, and others utilize precious metal catalysts. With the advancement of technology, sustainability has become a global focus. Companies are adopting sustainable practices in their manufacturing processes, including training suppliers to improve sustainability. The use of precious metal catalysts instead of chemical catalysts enhances sustainability, leading to the growth of the precious metal catalysts market.

In the oil & gas industry, precious metal catalysts play a crucial role in reducing carbon emissions. During the conversion process in oil refining, catalysts are necessary for cracking hydrocarbons and converting them into lighter molecules. Platinum, ruthenium, palladium, and rhodium are the precious metal catalysts used in catalytic reactions within the oil & gas sector, contributing to the growth of the precious metal catalysts market.

The demand for natural resources and fossil fuels has resulted in biodiversity loss and environmental degradation. Dumping human and industrial waste, including personal care and pharmaceutical products, into water bodies has led to increased contamination levels. Additionally, after the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a heightened focus on the role of air pollution and hazardous gases. Governments have implemented regulatory norms to restrict air pollution, prompting companies to increase their usage of precious metal catalysts to reduce carbon emissions.

In the automotive industry, combustion engines play a crucial role in powering vehicles. These engines produce large amounts of energy using fuel, primarily hydrocarbons. However, hydrocarbons contain pollutants and harmful chemicals such as nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide. Precious metal catalysts, specifically platinum, palladium, and rhodium, are used to reduce carbon emissions from vehicle exhaust, driving the market share of precious metal catalysts in the automotive industry.

Price fluctuations pose a significant challenge for companies operating in the precious metal catalysts market. These fluctuations impact factors such as competitiveness, capital commitment, and profit margins. Handling volatility in precious metal prices requires expertise, time, and experience.

Platinum and other precious metals are rare, resulting in higher prices compared to gold. The demand for platinum is high not only in the jewelry industry but also in the automotive industry for reducing carbon emissions. With changing government regulations regarding carbon emissions, companies are actively working towards emission reduction, leading to an increase in the usage of platinum metal catalysts. However, a disadvantage of investing in precious metals is the lack of cash flow, thereby making the price of precious metal catalysts volatile.

Market Segmentation

The market is segmented based on various factors, including type, end-use, and geography.

Segmentation by Type

Segmentation by End-Use
Oil & Gas

Segmentation by Geography
North America – US, Canada
Europe – Germany, France, UK, Italy, Spain, Rest of Europe
APAC – China, Japan, India, South Korea, Rest of APAC
Latin America – Brazil, Mexico, Rest of Latin America
Middle East & Africa – South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Rest of MEA

The platinum precious metal catalyst market currently holds the largest market share and is projected to surpass USD 8.52 billion by 2027. Platinum, a rare chemical element and part of the platinum group metals, exhibits high demand due to its unique properties. Platinum catalysts are known for their exceptional activity in oxidation reactions and are widely used in motor vehicles to combat carbon emissions from combustion engine exhaust.

Palladium, according to data from the US Department of Energy, is the second-largest precious metal catalyst used globally. In the oil & gas industry, palladium serves as a catalyst for hydrocracking processes. Furthermore, it is employed in the automotive industry to reduce carbon emissions by absorbing hazardous particles from engine exhaust. Additionally, palladium finds application in alcohol production for alkaline media oxidation.

Within the end-use segments, the global pharmaceutical precious metal catalysts market is the largest, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.84% during the forecast period. This dominance is attributed to the anticipated significant growth in demand for pharmaceutical products over the same period. The pharmaceutical industry extensively utilizes catalysts in areas such as molecular biology, extraction of medically important compounds, diagnostic procedures, chemical pharmaceutical manufacturing, and supplements to address deficiencies. Precious metal catalysts play a crucial role in drug manufacturing, particularly for treating infectious diseases. The rising global population and the emergence of new variants of chronic illnesses contribute to the increasing demand for pharmaceutical products.

Valued at USD 3.718 billion in 2021, the global oil & gas precious metal catalysts market is experiencing rapid growth following the COVID-19 pandemic. The substantial demand for gasoline oil across various industries drives this expansion. Catalysts, including palladium, platinum, ruthenium, and rhodium, are instrumental in catalytic reactions within the oil & gas sector. They play a crucial role in separating gasoline from heavier oils.

In terms of regional market share, the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region commands the largest percentage at 44.46% in terms of value. China, India, Japan, South Korea, and other countries within APAC demonstrate significant penetration and steadily increasing revenues for precious metal catalysts. The region’s vigorous infrastructure development, expanding population, and growing demand from industries such as pharmaceuticals, automotive, and oil & gas contribute to its overall growth.

North America’s precious metal catalysts market was valued at USD 3.4 billion in 2021 and represents the second-largest industry globally. The region stands as one of the largest producers of vehicles, with the United States and Canada being major players in the automotive market. Consequently, the demand for platinum and palladium catalysts is rapidly increasing in this region. Noteworthy companies like Alfa Chemistry (US) and Sabin Metal Corporation (US) are significant contributors to the production of platinum and palladium catalysts, particularly for agricultural chemical applications.

Europe’s precious metal catalysts market demonstrates a CAGR of 5.38% during the forecast period, with countries such as Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and the UK leading the region. The demand for pharmaceutical products in Europe is on the rise due to the increasing prevalence of infectious diseases, thereby driving the need for precious metal catalysts in the region.

Competitive Landscape

The major companies operating in the precious metal catalysts market have implemented a merger and acquisition strategy, which provides them with a competitive advantage and helps them increase their market share. These key players have adopted various strategies to expand their presence in the precious metal catalysts market. Investments in research and development, technological advancements, and addressing environmental and economic challenges are driving the demand for innovative and sustainable products in this market. Companies are strategically competing with each other, although achieving sustainable growth remains a challenge for all companies on a global scale.

Some of the major players in the global precious metal catalysts market include BASF SE (Germany), Johnson Matthey (UK), Evonik (Germany), Umicore (Germany), and Heraeus Holding (Germany). These companies have pursued strategies such as expansion, acquisitions, new product development, and joint ventures to enhance their market revenues. Additionally, other notable companies such as Clariant (Switzerland), American Elements (US), Kaili Catalysts (China), Dyadic International (US), and others have made significant investments in research and development to develop products based on precious metal catalysts that cater to customer preferences. Consequently, these other prominent companies pose strong competition to the major players in the market.

Key companies profiled in this report include BASF SE, Evonik, Johnson Matthey, Heraeus Holding, Umicore, Alfa Chemistry, American Elements, Arora Matthey Limited, Clariant International Ltd., Chimet S.p.A., Dongguan City Betterly New Materials Co., Ltd., Halder Topsoe A/S, J&J Materials Inc., Kaili Catalyst New Materials CO., LTD, N.E. Chemcat Corporation, Synthesis with Catalysts Pvt. Ltd. (SWC), Sabin Metal Corporation, Souvenier Chemicals, Stanford Advanced Materials, Takasago International Corporation, Vineeth Precious Metal Catalysts Pvt. Ltd.

Key Questions Answered

What is the projected revenue for the global precious metal catalysts market?

The global precious metal catalysts market is projected to reach a value of USD 19.76 billion by 2027, up from USD 13.49 billion in 2021.

What is the growth rate of the precious metal catalysts market?

The precious metal catalysts market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.51% from 2021 to 2027.

Who are the major players in the global precious metal catalysts market?

The major players in the global precious metal catalysts market include BASF SE, Johnson Matthey, Evonik, Umicore, and Heraeus Holding.

Which region dominates the global precious metal catalysts market?

The Asia-Pacific (APAC) region dominates the global precious metal catalysts market, accounting for a significant market share of 44.46%. This dominance is driven by countries such as China, India, Japan, South Korea, and others, where there is a high penetration of precious metal catalysts and steady revenue growth.

What are the key drivers of growth in the precious metal catalysts market?

The growth of the precious metal catalysts market is primarily driven by the increasing demand for transportation fuels, investments in the refinery sector, and growing environmental concerns.

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