The global firefighting foam market size was valued at USD 959.3 million in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 1,307.4 million by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 3.5% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
Suppression foam is the same as firefighting foam. It is a mixture of air, water, and foam concentrate that, when sprayed on a fire, forms a layer over the fire's source, cuts off the oxygen supply, and prevents the fire from having any further chances to spread. Depending on the intensity of the fire, different amounts and concentrations of foam are used. For instance, foams for class A or class B fires are made using 1%, 3%, and 6% concentrates. The demand for firefighting foam has increased as a result of an increase in fire-related incidents in the oil and gas industry and an increase in property loss from fire accidents, which in turn is fueling the demand for the global firefighting foam market. In addition, rising demand from end-user industries like oil and gas, aviation, marine, and mining is anticipated to fuel market expansion globally.
Demand from numerous end-use industries, including oil and gas, marine, mining, chemical processing, transportation, pharmaceuticals, airports, and refineries, has a significant impact on the market for firefighting foam. In recent years, fire outbreaks and incidents have increased, particularly in the oil and gas sector. A Chesapeake Energy Corporation oil well in Texas erupted on February 3, 2020, while being operated and maintained as part of a workover. On December 5, 2019, an additional explosion and fire at a compressor station for an oil and gas field in Wyoming seriously injured three people. On October 28, 2019, an explosion at a Shaanxi Yanchang Petroleum Group oil drilling facility in China resulted in eight fatalities and five critical injuries.
Similarly, a large fire outbreak at an ONGC facility in Mumbai on September 3, 2019, resulted in the deaths of four people. These are a few recent events that affected the oil and gas sector and caused significant financial and human resource losses for the company. In addition, firefighting foam is one of the quick and effective measures required in such situations to contain the spread of the fire. As a result, the growth of the firefighting foam market is positively impacted by the rise in fire outbreaks in the oil and gas sector.
The number of fire outbreaks and accidents has significantly increased over the past five years, which has prompted numerous companies to adopt preventative measures. Given the working conditions of the unit or facility, governments, and organizations are also requiring several safety measures to be followed by industries susceptible to fire outbreaks. In addition, companies are required to keep the necessary quantity of firefighting foams on hand and are encouraged to participate in simulated fire drills and disaster management training. The market for firefighting foam is expanding due to these laws and regulations.
Perfluoroalkyl compounds (PFAS), like perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), are water soluble and persist in the environment for a longer period. They are abundantly present close to industrial areas. PFAS harms the entire ecosystem, including people, animals, and plants. They interfere with the body's natural hormones, raise cholesterol levels, affect the immune system, have adverse developmental effects in infants, lower a woman's chance of getting pregnant, increase a woman's blood pressure during pregnancy, lower infant birth weights, and have similar effects in animals as well as humans. In addition, PFAS are emitted into the air when firefighting foam is used to extinguish a fire. The PFAS released during fire suppression eventually reaches various water bodies and contaminates many drinking water sources, including ponds, lakes, groundwater, and wells.
Furthermore, large-scale legal actions against businesses producing firefighting foams with fluorine have resulted from public awareness of drinking water contamination. Further, several governments have made it illegal to use these materials in producing firefighting foams and have issued directives to stop using them altogether. With a few exceptions, nations like Japan, the U.S., Australia, China, Germany, and South Korea have banned the import, export, production, and use of PFAS altogether. As a result, the market's expansion is hampered by the strict rules and regulations governing fluorine-based firefighting foam.
Firefighting foams without fluorine are biodegradable and have the least adverse environmental effects. Foams without fluorine are synthetic-based and made of mixed surfactants. Additionally, fluorine-free firefighting foams are made using a mixture of polysaccharides. The U.S. Department of Defense's Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program and Environmental Security Technology Certification Program are funding research and development of fluorine-free substitutes for AFFF and AR-AFFF. In addition, fluorine-free firefighting foams are primarily used for training and fire drills and are offered by numerous companies, including Orchidee Fire, National Foam, Dafo Fomtec AB, and others. Improvements in these foams have a lot of potentials to expand the industry.
The global firefighting foam market is segmented by type and end-user industry.
Based on type, the global firefighting foam market is divided into aqueous film forming foam (AFFF), alcohol resistant aqueous film forming foam (AR-AFFF), protein foam, and synthetic detergent foam (high and mid-expansion foam).
The aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) segment dominates the global market and is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 3.8% over the forecast period. Aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) is created by manufacturing foaming concentrates from synthetic materials. Synthetic foaming agents are examples of hydrocarbon surfactants, solvents, fluorochemical surfactants, trace amounts of salts, and foam stabilizers for slow drainage and fire resistance. An aqueous coating forms on top of the liquid and drains away from the foam when AFFF is sprayed into combustible liquid. It functions best when employed in a pre-mixed state and with dry chemical extinguishing agents.
In addition, a fire suppressant called AFFF is used to extinguish fires caused by flammable liquids like fuel. They are smaller and lighter. Due to its versatility in class A and B fire scenarios, AFFF is in higher demand, which helps the firefighting foam market grow. Additionally, using foam offers quick and efficient sealing over the flammable liquid, offering quicker results in comparison, contributing to the growth of the firefighting foam market.
Based on the end-user industry, the global firefighting foam market is divided into oil and gas, aviation, marine, and mining.
The oil and gas segment owns the highest market share and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 3.8% over the forecast period. In terms of revenue, the oil and gas sector is regarded as the largest. Upstream, midstream, and downstream are the three divisions into which the activities in this sector are divided. Various activities, including exploration, drilling, refinement, conversion/processing, storage, transmission, and distribution, are carried out from raw materials to finished goods. Several flammable gases, chemicals, and materials are used to extract and process oil and gas.
The key players in the industry must pay close attention to fire prevention and the actions to be taken in a fire outbreak. A small error can start a fire that spreads quickly and causes enormous damage. Foams are typically used in this business because of the nature of the work, which makes them susceptible to fire outbreaks. Due to the stringent rules and regulations that oil and gas companies must follow regarding fire safety, the market for firefighting foam is expanding.
Asia-Pacific Dominates the Global Market
Based on region, the global firefighting foam market is divided into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
Asia-Pacific is the most significant global firefighting foam market shareholder and is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 3.8% during the forecast period. The firefighting foam market analysis includes China, Japan, India, Australia, South Korea, and the rest of Asia-Pacific. Most of the regional countries are developed and in development. Due to demand from developing nations like China, India, Australia, and South Korea, the Asia-Pacific region is a growing market for firefighting foam. The use of fluorine-based firefighting foam is governed by laws in China, South Korea, Australia, and Japan, which also have restrictions on the production, importation, exportation, and use of such foams. In addition, the increased awareness of drinking water contamination and negative environmental effects in those nations has resulted in strict rules and regulations that impede the expansion of the industry. The demand for fluorine-based firefighting foams in the region is fueled by the fact that nations like Thailand and India do not have any restrictions on their use. Further, research and development (R&D) efforts for substitutes for fluorine-based firefighting foams present a lucrative opportunity for industry expansion.
Europe is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 3.6% over the forecast period. Germany, France, the UK, Italy, Spain, and the rest of Europe are included in the analysis of the firefighting foam market in Europe. Companies like Solberg, Orchidee Fire, Genius Group, 3F Company, and others that are heavily involved in the firefighting foam industry are present, which positively affects market growth. The demand in the region is also fueled by a number of safety regulations that demand fire safety precautions for fire hazards. Oil and gas, aerospace, automotive, services, manufacturing, industrial, energy, and electronics are just a few industries that make up the European economy. The existence of significant firefighting foam producers fuels the market's expansion. Additionally, businesses like Orchidee Fire, which creates fluorine-free firefighting foam, open up numerous opportunities in the area. However, many European nations have outlawed the use and application of foams that contain environmentally harmful PFOS and PFAS, which has stunted the market's expansion.
The markets for firefighting foam in the United States, Canada, and Mexico are examined. Due to the presence of major market players from the United States and Canada, the region accounts for a sizeable portion of the firefighting foam market. Due to the contamination of drinking water sources and adverse effects on human health, PFOS and PFAS-containing firefighting foams are prohibited under several laws and regulations in North America. For instance, starting in July 2020, Washington will be the first state to forbid the sale of firefighting foams containing PFOS and PFAS. Additionally, the US is funding research and development for fluorine-free foams.
Brazil, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and the rest of LAMEA are all included in the LAMEA firefighting foam market analysis. The mining industry is widely present in LAMEA. The region is heavily reliant on the oil and gas and mining industries. In addition to mining, the area has service, manufacturing, energy, and transportation industries. The use of firefighting foams based on PFOS and PFAS is not prohibited in the area. Also, the oil and gas industry's extensive use of these foams is a significant factor in the region's demand for them.
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