US demand for water treatment chemicals will rise 3.2 percent per year to reach $6.7 billion in 2017, an increase driven by growth in the oil, gas and mining industries and a rebound in manufacturing production, according to a study by the Freedonia Group.
The study, Water Treatment Chemicals, predicts demand will increase for more efficient and less hazardous chemicals, which tend to be more expensive than conventional products. Demand for chemicals will be buoyed by efforts to recycle water treated for reuse.
The study says sales of scale control agents, followed by foam control agents, will rise the fastest through 2017 as more companies shift to expensive chemicals and increase water recycling activities.
The larger, mature categories of water treatment chemicals will show more modest growth, the study says. As companies use more membrane separation systems and try to reduce sludge volumes, demand for higher value coagulants and flocculants will rise.
Oil and gas production and manufacturing output will help the market value of corrosion inhibitors recover from price declines between 2007 and 2012, the study says.
The EPA’s disinfection byproducts rules, known as DBP, will reduce the need for biocides in the municipal market, particularly as disinfection equipment is used to reduce chemical use, the study says.
Water treatment and technology companies stand to grow their profits as oil and gas companies feel the pressure to cut their freshwater use in dry areas of the US where much of the hydraulic fracturing is happening.
Omni Water Solutions last month announced it has treated more than 140,000 barrels of Marathon Oil’s flowback and produced water in Texas’ Eagle Ford shale since June to reduce boron and enable re-use of the cleaned water for fracking.
Also in September, Select Energy Services and Fountain Quail Water Management formed a joint venture to expand their oilfield and shale gas water treatment and recycling services. The companies have completed a recycling project in Texas’ Permian region for a large, public, independent E&P company, which the companies say has successfully treated and recycled nearly 300,000 barrels of water on site.