Oct 02, 2013

U.S. Demand for Water Treatment Chemicals to Reach $6.7 Billion in 2017

The energy and mining markets are projected to show the fastest growth through 2017

The Freedonia Group water treatment chemicals

Demand for water treatment chemicals in the U.S. is forecast to rise 3.2% per year to $6.7 billion in 2017, according to a study from The Freedonia Group. Gains will reflect not only healthy growth in the oil, gas and mining industries and a rebound in manufacturing output, but also the increased use of scale control and other water treatment chemical products that help protect companies’ investments in water treatment equipment. These and other trends are presented in Water Treatment Chemicals, a new study from the Cleveland-based industry market research firm.

According to the study, a shift in product mix favoring more efficient and less hazardous chemicals that have higher prices will also promote growth in market value. Additionally, chemical demand will be supported by efforts to recycle water, as water treated for reuse usually needs greater conditioning than fresh supply water. The energy and mining markets are projected to show the fastest growth through 2017.

Scale control agents are expected to show the fastest growth through 2017, followed by foam control agents. In addition to the boost from increased use of water treatment equipment, demand for these products will be supported by a shift to more expensive chemicals and increased water recycling activities. Biocide demand growth, however, will be restrained by rising use of disinfection equipment.

The larger, more mature categories of water treatment chemicals are expected to show more modest growth, with gains driven by trends in equipment use, water use and recycling, and changes in product mix. Demand for higher value coagulants and flocculants will be supported by greater use of membrane separation systems and by an increased emphasis on reducing sludge volumes. Corrosion inhibitor market value is expected to recover from the price declines of the 2007 to 2012 period; going forward, demand for these products will be supported by increased oil and gas production and by gains in manufacturing output.

Demand for pH control agents will be supported by water recycling efforts; however, the declining use of alum as a coagulant and the dependence on inexpensive commodity chemicals for pH adjustment will slow growth for these products. The US Environmental Protection Agency’s Disinfection Byproducts (DBP) Rules are expected to contribute to the slowdown in biocide use in the municipal market, particularly as disinfection equipment can be used to reduce chemical use.