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The world market for sedimentation and centrifugation equipment will rise from $5 billion per year in 2005 to $6 billion per year by 2010. In the continually updated online report, Sedimentation & Centrifugation World Markets, the McIlvaine Co. attributes the growth primarily to the increased demand in the water and energy sectors.
In the water sector, equipment such as clarifers, dissolved air flotation, centrifuges and hydrocyclones are used for preliminary treatment of drinking water, wastewater purification and sludge dewatering. The booming market in Asia, where most of the citizens still lack clean water, will account for significant growth.
In Asia, hundreds of millions of people are moving into the cities from rural areas. Instead of untreated well water, there is the need for filtered surface water. Instead of night soil for use in agriculture, there is the need for dewatered sewage sludge. Decanter centrifuges are used in preference to belt filters for larger sewage sludge dewatering plants. European suppliers of centrifuges have successfully expanded into this Asian market, and through direct sales or licenses, dominate this region.
Clarifiers and dissolved air flotation units are employed at many new municipal water treatment facilities. Desalination plants need clarifiers and hydrocyclones for pretreatment of seawater.
In the energy sector, there are double-digit niche growth segments. Hundreds of ethanol plants are now in planning and construction throughout the world. Most will use decanter centrifuges for dewatering of residues used for animal feed. The opportunity for separation equipment sales will increase if grasses rather than corn become the primary feed stock. The technology for making ethanol from grasses is more complex, but the cost of growing grasses is considerably less than corn. The U.S. and Brazil are already the leading suppliers and will maintain this lead. Over 100 ethanol plants are now in planning or construction in the U.S.
The world will be investing over $50 billion per year in new coal-fired power plants over the next two decades. This will result in nearly $100 million per year invested in a variety of sedimentation and centrifugation equipment. These plants will require large amounts of surface water for cooling. Clarifiers will be needed to remove sediment and provide pretreatment.
Hydro cyclones and clarifiers will be needed to concentrate the gypsum formed by the capture of SO2 in limestone scrubbers. Basket centrifuges will compete with belt filters for the dewatering of the gypsum.
China will be the leading purchaser of sedimentation and centrifugation equipment over the next decade. Activity in municipal water and wastewater will be high, as will expansion of mining and heavy manufacturing. China will be building more coal-fired power plants than any other country.