Water Treatment Chemicals Market – Insights
Increasing population, urbanization, and economic development have led to increasing demand for fresh water supply to satisfy human need and to support industrial activities. Players operating in the water treatment industry use various methods of water treatment, in order to make water usable for drinking, cooking, industrial activities, irrigation, and other purposes. The particles removed during water treatment process are suspended solids, fungi, viruses, bacteria, minerals, and algae. The water treatment process involves chemical and physical methods. The chemicals used in the process are called water treatment chemicals. The water treatment method involves four processes including boiler water treatment, cooling water treatment, water purification, and wastewater effluent treatment. The market is projected to reach US$ 49.0 billion by the end of 2027, at a CAGR of 5.6% over the forecast period, owing to increasing demand for portable water.
Coagulants & flocculants are preferred for industrial and sewage wastewater treatment application due to their high efficiency and effectiveness in wastewater treatment. Coagulants are also used for treating drinking water by removing excess chlorine from the treated water. Strict government regulations have made it mandatory to treat industrial wastewater before discharging it in the environment. These regulations are expected to increase demand for water treatment chemicals in industrial wastewater treatment. According to Central Pollution Control Board of India's Environmental Protection Rules, 1986, the effluents released in inland surface water should have pH value between 5.5 and 9.0, and suspended solids content should be less than 100 mg/l.
Growth of manufacturing sector, which includes automobile industry, drugs & pharmaceuticals, chemicals, food processing, and others, across the globe has resulted in increasing demand for water treatment chemicals. This is owing to increasing water contamination due to wastes from manufacturing units. For instance, according to India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), in 2017, market size of manufacturing sector in India increased to US$ 347.18 billion from US$ 323.27 billion in 2016.
Key players in the water treatment chemicals market are increasing the prices of water treatment chemicals, which is a major factor restraining the water treatment chemicals market growth. For instance, in 2018, Kemira, a global chemicals company, announced the increase in prices for all polymers, inorganic coagulants, and other products in North America and Latin America market. The company raised the prices of emulsion polymers and dry polymers up to 7%-15%, inorganic coagulants up to 10% -20%, polyamines up to 10%-17%, and polyacrylate dispersants up to 7%-12%.
The global water treatment chemicals market was valued at US$ 30.0 billion in 2018 and is expected to register a CAGR of 5.6% in terms of revenue over the forecast period (2019– 2027).
Figure 1. Global Water Treatment Chemicals Market Share (%), By Region, 2018
Source: Coherent Market Insights, 2018
North America accounted for the largest market share of around 30.5% in 2018, owing to increasing demand for water treatment chemicals from wastewater treatment plants. For instance, according to American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), in 2018, 240 million Americans i.e. 76% of the population relied on 14,748 treatment plants for wastewater sanitation. It is expected that by 2032, 56 million more people will connect to centralized treatment plants rather than private septic systems, which is a 23% increase in demand.
Players operating in the global water treatment chemicals market are adopting various growth strategies such as mergers & acquisitions, in order to strengthen their market presence. For instance, in 2017, SUEZ S.A. acquired GE Water & Process Technologies and formed a new business unit Water Technologies & Solutions. The new unit combined the acquired company and SUEZ’s industrial service activities. The new business unit will help SUEZ to expand its offerings in water treatment activities.
In May 2018, BASF merged its wet-end paper and water chemicals business with Solenis. BASF held a 49% share of the combined entity that operates under Solenis and 51% of the shares held by funds managed by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice. The combined company intends to operate under Solenis brand. This merger helped BASF to expand its water treatment chemicals business in the global market.
Major players operating in the global water treatment chemicals market include BASF S.E., Suez S.A., Kemira OYJ, BWA Water Additives, Ecolab Inc., Cortec Corporation, DowDuPont Inc., Baker Huges Incorporated, Akzo Nobel N.V., and Solenis LLC.