Water and wastewater treatment chemicals are chemical compounds used to remove the impurities present in water and wastewater. Increasing gap between demand and supply of water in conjunction with government regulations towards the water reuse and recycle projects is driving the growth of water and wastewater treatment chemicals market. Raw or processed water is used for a wide range of applications such as cooling, washing, and processing in most of the manufacturing industries such as pulp and paper, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, metal and mining, semiconductors, power, oil and gas, and textiles. The wastewater generated from these industries is among the major contributors to the rising water pollution globally. As a result, new regulations for the maximum limit of pollutants are being passed globally, depending on the industry and type of pollutant. This in turn, is driving the demand for water and wastewater treatment chemicals market.
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On the basis of type of chemical, water and wastewater treatment chemicals are broadly classified into: Corrosion and Scale Inhibitors, Coagulants & Flocculants, Biocides and Disinfectants, pH Adjusters, Chelating agents, Anti foaming agents, and Softeners. Corrosion inhibitor holds a majority share of the global water and wastewater treatment chemicals market, whereas a majority of the growth is observed by the pH Adjusters.
Due to rising expenditure in power plants, municipal drinking water, municipal wastewater, refineries, and microelectronics plants, Asia Pacific is dominating the global water and wastewater treatment chemicals market. Considering the escalating population growth and high urbanization rate in the region, the stress on Asia Pacific’s water resources is rapidly intensifying. As the fresh water resources are continuously depleting, the requirement for clean, potable water is imperative and immediate. Asia Pacific is also facing insufficient water infrastructure, in particular for wastewater treatment, which is poorly maintained. Countries such as China, India, Japan, and South Korea are witnessing a poor rate of wastewater treatment. Apart from poor wastewater infrastructure, the governments of respective countries in the region are continuously investing to introduce new wastewater treatment plants and upgrading the capacity of the existing plants, consequently pushing the demand for wastewater treatment chemicals higher.
On the basis of end-user industries, water and wastewater treatment chemicals market is segmented into two segments: industrial and municipal. Industrial segment is further categorized into various water intensive industries such as pulp and paper, textiles, oil and gas, power, semiconductors, and other manufacturing industries. Among all these industries, oil and gas industry is witnessing the strong growth as large quantity of water is required in the exploration and processing of oil and gas. Strong exploration of shale gas in North America together with growing exploration in developing economies such as China and India is fueling the demand for treatment chemicals. Sea water desalination industry is also providing strong opportunity to the water and wastewater treatment chemicals. Desalination is growing robustly in water scarce regions, especially the Middle East and Asia Pacific. In 2011, the total number of desalination plants stood at 15,988 and this number rose to 17,000 in 2013. Chemicals are utilized during the pretreatment phase of sea water desalination, consequently driving the growth of treatment chemicals.
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Some leading global players operating in the water and wastewater treatment chemical market include Kemira Oyj, Ecolab, Inc., Kurita Water Industries Ltd., GE Water and Process Technologies, BASF SE, The Dow Chemical Company, Ashland Inc., Lonza Group AG, AkzoNobel N.V, Veolia Water, E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, ChemTreat Inc., Buckman Laboratories, BWA Water Additives, Carus Corporation, Hydrite Chemical Co., Ion Exchange India Limited, and Thermax Limited.