World demand for water treatment chemicals is forecast to rise 5.8 percent per year to $30.6 billion in 2017, according to a study by the Freedonia Group.
Demand will be driven by rising water quality standards in manufacturing and other industrial applications, expanding access to safe drinking water in underserved regions, and a shift toward higher value chemicals with improved performance and/or environmental profiles, particularly in developed countries.
Increases in developed countries will be tempered by greater competition between water treatment chemicals and equipment in some applications, reflecting a more complex industry response to environmental concerns, according to World Water Treatment Chemicals.
In developed areas — such as the US, Western Europe and Japan — where the use of water treatment chemicals is well-established, growth in demand is expected to be moderate and the shift in product mix will be more complex. Higher industrial water quality standards and environmental regulations are expected to contribute to rising demand for water treatment equipment, which can be used to partially replace some types of chemicals such as biocides.
On the other hand, water treatment equipment can also support the use of higher value specialty corrosion inhibitors, scale inhibitors, and coagulants and flocculants, which can improve equipment function and prevent damage to equipment.
Last month, Ecolab acquired AkzoNobel’s Purate business, which provides patented, proprietary chlorine dioxide (ClO2) chemistry for use in an array of water treatment applications and expands the range of water treatment solutions provided by Nalco, an Ecolab company. The Purate business made $23 million in revenue in 2012.