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Stricter Environmental Laws Drive Sludge Treatment Market

The industrial sludge treatment chemicals market in Western Europe, valued at 635.2 million euros ($1.02 billion) in 2011, will reach €808.8 million ($1.30 billion) in 2018, according to analysis from Frost & Sullivan.

The report says intensifying environmental awareness and stricter regulations related to discharge processes and disposal are driving growth.

The research covers chemicals used in four market segments: conditioning and stabilization treatment, digestion treatment, thickening treatment, and dewatering and drying treatments.

To compete in the market, companies will need to focus on technological improvements that will minimize the overall volumes of wastewater and sludge, thus lessening pollution and other environmental impacts, says Frost & Sullivan Industry analyst Anna Jarosik.

The report says improvements in product performance in order to meet the highest environmental standards will become critical competitive factors. Such enhancements will be in line with heightened quality and healthcare requirements.

Market participants should consider strategic partnerships with industry participants and/or established equipment manufacturers and engineering procurement and construction (EPC) companies to consolidate their position and explore growth opportunities in main as well as more specific niche markets, according to Frost & Sullivan.

Last month, the EPA fined two companies for alleged sludge-related violations.  In late October, Sunoco agreed to pay a $117,000 penalty to settle alleged violations of hazardous waste regulations at its former facility in Philadelphia. EPA cited Sunoco for violating the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act including storing phenol sludge without a permit.

Earlier in the month, Olson Wire Products agreed to pay an $80,000 civil penalty to settle alleged violations of hazardous waste regulations at its manufacturing facility in Baltimore, Md. EPA cited the company in May 2011 for violations involving hazardous waste storage including wastewater treatment sludge from electroplating operations.

Also in October, Inland Empire Paper Company and AlgEvolve Inc. commissioned an advanced biological water treatment system at the IEP facility located in Millwood, Wash. The paper company said it chose AlgEvole’s system primarily because it eliminates the use of chemicals and the disposal challenges of chemical sludge.

Photo Credit: Macphed Ventures Limited

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