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Sludge is the harmful and hazardous products that are released during the wastewater treatment. This generally consists of biological solid mass and it needs to treat with a specific chemical such as coagulants, flocculants, and disinfectants before it gets deposited into environment. These chemicals remove and eradicate harmful pathogens, reduce odor, expel hazardous chemicals and separate and extract valuable products from sewage. Basically, sludge treatment chemicals used to purify water before it is used or released into the environment.

The global sludge treatment chemicals market was estimated to account for US$ 7.5 billion in terms of revenue in 2018 and is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 4.7% during the forecast period (2019 to 2027).


Ongoing industrialization around the globe is anticipated to raise the demand for chemicals used to treat sludge, which in turn augmenting the market growth. About 40% of the sludge produced globally is the industrial sludge. Rapidly growing industries in the emerging economies of Asia and the Middle East are increasing the sludge production from the industrial sector. For this companies are adopting sludge treatment boosting the demand for sludge treatment chemicals. Moreover, the government mandating the use of sludge treatment chemicals. According to the Coherent Market insights, in Japan surcharges are applied to industries and municipal water treatment plants if the wastewater contains 200mg/L or 300 mg/L of BOD or COD respectively.

Market Opportunities

The rising number of wastewater treatment plants around the globe is expected to offer enormous growth opportunity to the market of sludge treatment chemicals. For instance, in July 2019, the municipality of Dubai, the UAE, has launched a new plant to treat industrial wastewater, which will then be reused for irrigation. The new plant is situated at the Jebel Ali Hazardous Waste Treatment Complex and can produce 450,000l of irrigation water in 24 hours. The plant will treat 600 cubic meters of liquid waste per day, using the latest technology and artificial intelligence.

Market Restraints

The high cost of the process for treating sludge is expected to hamper the market growth of sludge treatment chemical over the forecast timeframe. The use of chemicals for sludge treatment accounts for greater operational costs. According to the Coherent Market Insights, the municipal plant with 10,000 p.e. (population equivalent) accounted for a cost of US$ 22,000 per year for chemical. While the total the operational cost was around US$ 220,000 per year that represent 10% of the total cost and for treating 1000 kg of sludge about 250 kg of chemicals are needed.

Key Takeaways

Among application, municipal segment dominated the global sludge treatment chemicals market in 2018 with a 53.3% of market share in terms of revenue, followed by industrial segment.

Market Trends

Increasing focus of manufacturers to launch effective flocculant as sludge treatment chemicals are anticipated to foster market growth. For instance, in April 2017, Kemira, a chemicals company serving customers in water-intensive industries, has introduced a new high-performance cationic flocculent, specifically designed for sludge dewatering applications. The Kemira Superfloc XD-7600 polymer is designed to help customers decrease their Total Cost of Ownership through more efficient sludge handling, including freight and disposal costs.

The market of sludge treatment chemicals is witnessing a handful of mergers and acquisition resulting in industry consolidation which is expected to augment the market growth of sludge treatment chemicals over the forecast period. For instance, in October 2017, SUEZ's acquired Process Technologies for the industrial water market. This acquisition extends the product portfolio of wastewater treatment chemicals. SUEZ’s new water technologies & solutions offer wastewater and process value chain, including design & build projects, specialty chemical services, equipment and system offerings, outsourced services, and digital water management.

Competitive Section

Key players active in the global sludge treatment chemicals market are BASF SE, Chembond Chemicals Limited, GE Water and Process Technologies, Kurita Water Industries Ltd., Ion Exchange, Kemira Oyj, AkzoNobel N.V., Solenis, Thermax Ltd., and Veolia Water Technologies.

Few Recent Developments


  • In April 2016, the company established a new bio-acrylamide plant in Bradford, with an aim to strengthen its polyacrylamide production globally.
  • In September 2016, the company introduced its product developments in water treatment technology at the Water, Energy Technology and Environment Exhibition (WETEX) in Germany. The products launched were in line with the company’s aim to provide sustainable and high-performing products, especially in the Middle East. 

Chembond Chemicals Limited

  • In July 2016, Chembond Chemicals Ltd. and Calvatis GmbH signed a joint venture agreement for manufacture and distribution of disinfectants and cleaning solutions primarily to cater to growing demands from the food & beverage industry in the Indian sub-continent
  • In 2016, the company entered into a joint venture agreement with Malaysia-based I-Chem Solution Sdn Bhd in order to expand its water treatment business in a high potential market of Malaysia

Market Taxonomy

By Product Type

  1. Flocculent
    • Cationic
    • Anionic
  2. Coagulant
    • Organic
    • Inorganic
  3. Disinfectant
  4. Anti-Foulants
  5. Anti-Foamers
  6. Activated Carbon

By Application

  • Municipal
  • Industrial
    • Paper & Pulp
    • Food & Beverage
    • Metal Processing
    • Chemical & Fertilizer
    • Automotive
    • Oil & Gas

By Treatment

  • Primary
  • Tertiary

By Region

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • Latin America
  • Middle East & Africa
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