Global warming has become a universal concern today amid soaring temperatures and drastically varying climatic conditions. Rising prevalence of airborne diseases and chronic issues associated with harmful emissions have compelled governments as well as the general population to take cognizance of the rising emission levels and channelize efforts to curb harmful emissions. Developed countries have implemented stringent policies that regulate permissible emission levels and aim to improve air quality.
Flue gas refers to the gases released from a ‘flue’ — a pipe or channel from a furnace, boiler, or stem generators such as those in power plants — and comprises nitrogen, carbon dioxide, oxygen, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and sulfuret dioxide, among others. In several countries, the regulatory framework limits the level of pollutants such as sulfur oxides that can be released into the atmosphere. Flue gas desulfurization refers to the process of removing sulfur oxides from the flue. Coal-fired power plants are the largest source of power generation globally and account for ~37% of the world’s electricity, as per the International Energy Agency. They account for relatively higher emissions than any other energy generating source.
The Flue Gas Desulfurization (FGD) system market is expected to grow at a CAGR of around 5.5% during the forecast period, 2019–2026.
FGD is a technology used to remove sulfuric acid generated from the combustion gases produced during energy generation. Sulfur dioxide is an air pollutant recognized by the Clean Air Act. High SO2 emission causes environmental damage and health issues and also acidifies soil and water. Harmful gases are emitted from natural resources, and the discontinuation of combustion of conventional fuel, such as coal, oil, natural gas, is not possible. Therefore, the requirement of technologies that eliminate hazardous pollutants is a significant factor driving the flue gas desulfurization system market growth.
The system is implied in two technologies: throw away and regeneration. In throw away, the sulfur is discarded in water sludge, and in regeneration, the emitted sulfur is converted into elemental form to be used as feedstock in boilers. Rising demand for the reduction of greenhouse gases on account of growing concern over global climate change will positively impact the flue gas desulfurization system market. Developing industries and rising population are increasing the demand for renewable resources of energy production. Coal-fired power plants, the primary electricity generators across the globe, are implementing strict measures by installing FGD systems in the plants in order to prevent the emission of harmful gases governments. Rising demand for electricity and stringent government norms to regulate the emission will strengthen the industrial landscape. Ongoing research and development toward the improvisation of FGD technologies to increase absorption efficiency, lower energy consumption, and enhance cost-effectiveness will fuel the flue gas desulfurization system market size.
FGD systems find applications in chemical, power generation, cement, and various other industries. The reinforcement of laws to install air quality control machines and follow Zero Liquid Discharge, coupled with waste disposal management, will further encourage market growth. Key players are installing technologies with the least emission and that regenerate waste into useful products. The power industry is investing significantly in combating air pollution by collaborating with competitors to set up manufacturing facilities to deploy advanced technology.
The wet FGD system segment is set to grow due to the higher efficiency of these systems in sulfur dioxide removal and regeneration of the gases to produce by-products, mainly gypsum, which is further consumed by other industries. Even gas distribution, high-speed absorption, and reduction in GGH leakage are the characteristics fostering the wet FGD system market growth. Stringent government norms pertaining to coal-fired plants and other power generating industries will propel product adoption.
The dry FGD system segment is set to grow owing to easy installation and low-cost investment. The implication in heavy industries and convenient water disposal systems are the factors encouraging the market size. Other technologies, including the semi-dry system, have higher sorbent absorbing concentration and readily available reagents.
The cement FGD system segment is projected to grow over 5.45% by 2025. Rapid growth in urbanization and construction of infrastructure and renovation of existing buildings are the factors increasing the demand of cement made from clean chemicals, such as a blend of FGD gypsum-based semi-hydrates with clinkerless cement. 90% of sulfur production is reduced by installing FGD systems at cement manufacturing plants. The chemical FGD system market is expected to grow on account of rising demand for chemicals deployed in the industries to reduce emission and generate useful by-products.
The power generation FGD system market is growing rapidly on account of the rising demand for electricity across the globe coupled with the production of high-end by-products by the flue gas treatment process. Growing investment toward the construction of thermal power plants with clean technologies and the renovation of existing plants will further augment the business landscape.
The North America flue gas desulfurization system market is set to grow over a CAGR of 4% from 2019 to 2026, owing to the increasing demand for power generation and stringent government regulations pertaining to the maintenance of emission of harmful gases. Growing investment in infrastructure advancement and renovation of existing buildings will further augment the regional FGD system market growth. Rising focus toward the adoption of emission curbing technologies, along with the introduction of new standards, is driving the market growth.
The Europe flue gas desulfurization system market is growing swiftly on account of the initiatives taken by the European Commission toward the advancement of high performing FGD systems and existing regulations in developed nations for emission control boost product penetration. Russia and Germany are estimated to register the most significant growth due to shifting awareness toward emission control and the usage of clean technologies to produce energy.
Asia-Pacific’s flue gas desulfurization system market is estimated to witness potential growth owing to startling pollution levels and the resultant implementation of regulatory mandates in developing economies, including India, and China. The rising dependence of countries on coal-fired power plants for power generation is driving the flue gas desulfurization system market in the region. China holds the highest market share, owing to rapid industrialization and increasing energy requirements.
The Middle East and Africa flue gas desulfurization system market is estimated to grow due to rising oil and natural gas industries and increasing demand for fuel. The Latin America FGD market is slated to grow rapidly on account of the growing chemical industry in the region.
Babcock and Wilcox Company, Ducon Technologies Inc., Hamon Research-Cottrell, Marsulex Environmental Technologies, Siemens Energy, Hitachi Power System America Ltd., RAFAKO, Clyde Bergemann Power Group, and Thermax are among the key players operating in the global flue gas desulfurization system market.