Global flocculants market is expected to grow owing to increasing application in surface and physical chemistry, construction and engineering industries. Flocculants assist in particle clump formation, thereby effectively treating waste water by separating harmful particle within it. Increasing demand for water treatment and stringent regulations regarding waste water disposal are driving the development of this technology. Chemical industries are strictly regulated to dispose waste water appropriately by meeting certain parameters, which is leading to rising demand in this sector. These are utilized in various industries as well, including oil & gas, food & beverage and power generation. Flocculation for algae removal plays a major role in power generation applications. Increasing oilfield explorations and developments in the oil and gas industry are driving rising flocculation applications for separation of liquids and solid particles. Flocculants offer numerous advantages in industrial and water treatment applications such as major costs savings, enhanced particle suspension rates, improved clarity of aqueous phase, greater filtration on filters and dryings beds, higher through-put rates on production equipment, smaller size of tanks, thickeners and centrifuges required and simpler operations. Flocculants are also extremely useful in waste treatment for tanneries, pesticides, pigments and dyes along with other effluents with highly suspended solids.
Cationic flocculants are also increasingly being utilized in the food and beverage industry for treating waste water. In mining and excavation applications, they are used for removing red mud from minerals during the treatment process. Rising demand for specific formulations in emerging economies is expected to provide opportunities for the industry. However, development of alternative water treatment technologies and increasing need for eco-friendly products formula may challenge industry growth over the forecast period.
Market segmentation on the basis of product type includes inorganic, synthetic organic and those derived from natural products. Inorganic flocculants are further segmented into activated silica, colloidal clays such as bentonite and metallic hydroxides such alum & ferric hydroxide. Synthetic flocculants are generally made from poly-acrylamides. Other important synthetic types include polyethylene-imines, polyamines, polyamides-amines, polyethylene-oxide and sulfonated compounds. Flocculants derived from naturally occurring products are segmented into three categories including starch derivatives. Demand for this type has decreased in water treatment applications; however they remain important in the paper & pulp industry. Second sub segment, polysaccharides are mostly used in acid medium. Flocculants derived from alginates are mainly used in water treatment. Vinegar, gelatin and aluminium sulfate are few common products available commercially. Commercial end users include municipalities, paper & pulp, oil & gas, metal & mining, food & beverages and others. Municipalities dominate the industry followed by paper & pulp applications.
Asia Pacific is expected to witness immense growth owing to rising demand from expanding chemical industries. High industrial output along with rapid economic growth in this region is anticipated to drive product demand in diverse industries such as oil & gas, metal, and food & beverages. Availability of cheap labor is attracting most multinational companies to invest and develop plant units in emerging countries such as China and India. North America is the second largest market and is expected to witness moderate to high growth owing to increasing demand from oil and gas industries. Europe may witness stagnant growth on account of stringent regulations implemented by federal bodies such as European Union and European Environment Agency (EEA). However, innovative bio flocculants developments are expected to overcome these challenges in developed regions. Middle East is the largest region with highest number of water treatment plants, thus presenting lucrative opportunities for growth in this region.
Major companies are shifting their production plants to developing countries to tap potential markets in Asia Pacific and South America. Severn Trent Services, 3F Chimica Americas, Hubbart - Hall Inc and CRW Finishing Inc are major players in the global industry.
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