Chemistry and Water Treatment: Growth and Forecast

August 21, 2021

Recent projections have shown that the global market size is set almost to double between 2021 and 2026. Strong demand for chemically treated water from various segments and a range of regulatory and sustainability laws that focus on environmental protection are the main drivers of the projected growth. As a result, the market prospects have the potential to be a window of opportunity for chemical supply companies that engage in processes and chemicals related to water treatment.

What is driving the growth?

Due to various reasons, the gap between demand and supply of freshwater is increasing. This has made it necessary to treat and recycle water using various water treatment chemicals efficiently. In addition, the growing wastewater consumption in other sectors like power generation, mining, oil, gas, etc., requires properly treated water as the input. Besides, the need for clean and fresh water for domestic and agricultural purposes is also increasing considerably. Advanced technologies like ion exchange and UV filtration are costly and inaccessible in many regions of the world. Compared to these traditional techniques, chemical treatment and associated processes like coagulation, flocculation, and disinfection cost much less and are preferred in emerging economies. This implies that chemical water treatment for industrial use and other purposes will be increasingly necessary for the coming years. Chemical distributors who focus on manufacturing raw materials for these processes can expect to see an increase in demand.

Rising Population and Urbanization as Opportunities

Although North America and Europe are the traditional markets for water treatment chemicals, emerging economies in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly China and India, are driving the growth. Rapidly increasing population and urban spaces in need of treated plants are cited as the reason for this market transformation. With the world’s 16% population and only 4% of freshwater resources, India is expected to be a major market for water treatment chemicals.

Need for Sustainability

Stricter environmental regulations and governmental oversight are seen as important inhibiting factors of the growth of water treatment chemicals. There are increasing concerns regarding the effects that the chemicals will have on the environment and communities. Manufacturers and processing units are incentivised to opt for greener alternatives. It is recommended that the chemical companies focus on water treatment materials and coordinate with environmental agencies to assess the consequences of chemicals on the environment accurately. The companies must also invest in research and development techniques and chemicals that leave a minimal trace and are unlikely to harm the ecosystems. A focus on sustainability has become a necessary prerequisite for a socially responsible industry.

What do the projections show?

Coagulants and flocculants are the largest segments within the water treatment chemicals market. Coagulants are used to remove colour and turbidity from raw water. The coagulant market is driven by increased use in municipal and wastewater treatment sectors. Flocculants are used to improve the sedimentation and filterability of small particles in water treatment processes. Polyacrylamide and its derivatives constitute the important raw materials of flocculants.

Overall, the industrial segment is forecasted to be the largest end-use sector for chemical water treatment. Therefore, the industry should focus on improving and developing sustainable practices. It is evident that many factors like population rise are going to drive up the market demand for treatment chemicals. Industries must closely watch market developments and capitalize to ensure healthy and sustainable post-pandemic recovery.

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