Customer Knowledge Key to Growth of U.S. Bioremediation Markets

Increasing awareness about complex bioremediation systems is expected to reduce initial reluctance of implementation of these technologies by clients, in turn, boosting the user base.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan on the "U.S. Bioremediation Markets" reveals of the 213 billion dollar environmental industry, remediation specific services are estimated to be around 7 to 8 billion annually, with growing potential in specific technologies applications, of which bioremediation is a small portion.

The total market size is calculated by the number of sites because there are too many treatment variables involved to calculate a specific dollar value. The potential for growth is tremendous, considering the total number of sites that could be treated with a bioremediation technology.

Advancing the enhanced bioremediation approach with use of nutrients and bioaugmentation agents for treatment of chlorinated hydrocarbons, PCB's, perchlorate and high explosives and phytoremediation approaches with metal sequestering or immobilization capabilities specific for treatment of heavy metals, are gaining interest.

"Customers discouraged by their previous failures of quick-fix technologies that falsely claimed to treat all contaminants in varying concentrations, are unable to make informed decisions," stated Frost & Sullivan Consulting Analyst Dr. Usha Srinivasan.

Market participants can stay ahead of competition by providing resource materials for customers to assist in choosing the right technology. An important factor in the education of customers is taking into consideration the full life cycle of a site while evaluating associated remediation costs.

Because although there may be some physical and chemical alternatives that seem cheaper, a consideration of the full life cycle cost of the site may prove on the contrary.

For example, new chemical treatment such as the "zero valent iron" technology is said to be a "cheaper" alternative to bioremediation of chlorinated compounds. Although per pound cost of iron may be cheaper, the duration of the treatment, number of treatments involved and the necessary engineering and monitoring costs involved could indicate otherwise.

"Although there exists a tremendous amount of research interest and new findings add to the understanding of this complex system, more of these ideas need to make it to the field from the bench-scale studies, spurring demand," adds Srinivasan.

Companies need to demonstrate predictability and consistency of their technologies, and offer multiple-phase integrated approaches rather than exclusive applications. Feasible, cost-effective and site-specific solutions that provide superior service will drive the bioremediation market.

Frost & Sullivan

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