The global ultraviolet (UV) disinfection equipment market was valued at USD 4.8 billion in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 13.64 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 12.3% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
Ultraviolet disinfection uses ultraviolet light with short wavelengths to kill bacteria by breaking up their nucleic acids and DNA. The procedure renders microorganisms inert and prevents them from performing crucial biological functions. Equipment that uses ultraviolet disinfection cleans the water by placing LEDs, lamps, or other light sources close to it. The UV disinfection equipment market comprises the parts of a UV disinfection system. Additionally, waste and water treatment, process water disinfection, air disinfection, surface disinfection, food and beverage disinfection, and other applications are all covered by this type of equipment, which is used by residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal end-users.
Healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) account for almost 100,000 fatalities each year in the United States and cost the country billions of dollars to treat. Therefore, healthcare organizations and hospital administrators are beginning to understand how practical and cost-effective it is to use UV light to clean hospitals with wall-mounted units or mobile UVC disinfection systems. In addition, UVC robots are gaining popularity in hospitals as they move around from room to room, cleaning patients. In bathrooms, wall-mounted devices can be programmed to activate when the door closes.
In hospitals, where people are more likely to get sick, UV disinfection lamps are also used in the heating and cooling systems to clean and disinfect the air. Additionally, MRSA, VRE, K pneumonia, and C difficile are among the superbugs that UV disinfection equipment is known to eradicate. It assists hospitals in reducing the spread of superbugs that remain dormant in hospital rooms and result in fresh illnesses. Hospitals and medical facilities are expected to employ UV disinfection equipment more frequently for various viruses and bacteria due to the predicted increase in hospitalizations by the growing senior population.
UV sterilization of water has many advantages over other sterilization methods, like chlorination, and can be used for a wide range of water disinfection tasks. UV light has been shown to kill many microorganisms, like bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and even some dangerous pathogens that chlorine cannot kill. UV disinfection water treatment systems eliminate protozoa such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia, which are resistant to chlorine. In addition, UV germicidal disinfection is proven to eradicate these parasites from water supplies and prevent widespread illnesses.
UV disinfection water treatment systems are found worldwide in many applications, including wastewater treatment plants, water reclamation, drinking water treatment, aquaculture, pool and spa, and ballast water treatment systems. Therefore, more UV disinfection equipment will be required for water and wastewater treatment to meet the growing demand for clean water.
Traditionally, chlorine gas was the most common method of wastewater disinfection. Chlorine gas is relatively inexpensive, although it is a highly toxic chemical. Shock chlorination is another popular treatment for disinfecting a well. The treatment commonly utilizes a sodium hypochlorite, strong chlorine bleach, solution within the water well and throughout the distribution piping. It improved liquid surface disinfectants that use hydrogen peroxide and a product that combines peracetic acid and hydrogen peroxide is both excellent alternatives to the disinfectants that are most commonly used today. These products are cheaper than UV systems. However, as UV disinfection equipment is gaining recognition as a safer and more cost-effective way to disinfect for commercial, industrial, and municipal applications, the factor is expected to have a low impact on market growth over the forecast period.
Surface disinfection in healthcare environments, food and beverage industries, and the domiciliary environment play a central role in infection inhibition and control strategies adopted in response to infectious disease outbreaks. The COVID-19 pandemic has called for the increased use of disinfectants worldwide in public facilities, transportation, hospitals, nursing homes, wastewater treatment facilities, and even typical households to mitigate the virus burden. UV light is proven to provide adequate surface sterilization, eliminating even drug-resistant superbugs and novel coronavirus with high efficacy. Thus, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased demand for disinfection and direction for all types of disinfection products, including UV disinfection equipment.
The global UV disinfection equipment market is segmented by component, deployment, application, and end-user.
By component, the global market is divided into reactor chambers, UV lamps, quartz sleeves, control units, and others.
The UV lamp segment is responsible for the largest market share and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 13.20% over the forecast period. UV lamps can clean surfaces without chemicals, which is essential in many sectors. Established water purifier OEMs have relied on low-pressure mercury lamps to provide proven UV disinfection for decades. However, since 2017, the Minamata Convention has been phasing out mercury in everyday products; manufacturing companies are likely to be financially responsible for the disposal costs of mercury used in their products. These potential regulatory barriers, consumer preference for nontoxic products, and the competitive pressure from startups provide a strong impetus for established water purifier OEMs to consider UV-C LEDs. One advantage of LEDs over low-pressure mercury lamps is that they contain no mercury. UV-C LEDs are anticipated to overtake other options as the most widely used technology for sectors that need sterilizing surfaces, air, and water due to their inherent advantages and limitless potential.
Magnesium, algae, calcium ions, and an iron coating accumulated due to poor equipment maintenance are the usual culprits for quartz sleeve fouling. Quartz sleeves are expected to last up to 8 years but are routinely replaced after five years, driving up demand for the product, according to the US EPA wastewater technology fact page.
By deployment, the global market is segmented into portable, wall-mounted, and others.
The wall-mounted segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.3% over the forecast period. Wall-mounted UV disinfection equipment holds the largest share of the market. Most end-users, such as food and beverage industries, bio-pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries, use wall-mounted UV disinfection equipment for sterilization. In addition, wall-mounted or stationary UV disinfection equipment is used in treating wastewater in the tertiary stage in wastewater disinfection sites to combat the problems of water scarcity and the rising cost of fresh water. Furthermore, wall-mounted UV disinfection equipment is also being deployed in hospitals and several commercial spaces. Recently, a business by the name of UVC Cleaning Systems unveiled wall-mountable stationary UV equipment.
Portable UV-C disinfection is advantageous for any commercial structure, including motels, banks, and offices. They are currently being used by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to maintain the highest level of safety for the transport system. Several businesses produce and market portable UV room disinfection systems, including market leaders Xenex, UVDI, and Spectra254. The majority are made to be rolled into a space, utilized, and then rolled out.
By application, the global market is segmented into water and wastewater disinfection, process water disinfection, air disinfection, surface disinfection, food and beverage disinfection, and others.
The water and wastewater disinfection segment owns the highest market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.4% over the forecast period. The market for UV disinfection equipment is also increasing because the government is getting stricter about ensuring that water and wastewater are treated in a way that is safe and good for the environment. Moreover, UV Disinfection equipment does not need to handle potentially dangerous chemicals such as chlorine; it also offers low power consumption and is environmentally friendly. As a result of its benefits and the increasing scarcity of such equipment, the use of UV disinfection equipment in the water and wastewater segments is rapidly increasing.
Surface disinfection in healthcare facilities, biopharmaceutical industries, and the food and beverage industry is rising owing to the high focus on providing innovative medical-grade air purifiers, such as UV systems. Remarkably, the global health-threatening crisis from the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of ultraviolet (UV) disinfection equipment for contaminated surfaces as the significant media for disease transmission.
By end-user, the global market is divided into municipal, residential, commercial, and industries.
The municipal segment is the highest contributor to the market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 13.2% over the forecast period. The final treatment step in municipal wastewater treatment is the disinfection process. Protecting public health and the environment is essential so that wastewater is cleaned. Since people are becoming more aware of the long-term effects of chemical wastewater disinfection on public health and the environment, the industry has turned to safer alternatives like UV. Furthermore, UV is a reliable, secure, and sustainable method of wastewater disinfection. Due to its capacity to inactivate protozoa that pose a concern to public health, most notably Giardia and Cryptosporidium, UV disinfection offers a significant benefit over chlorine-based disinfection. Moreover, these regulatory drivers accelerated the development and adoption of UV light for wastewater treatment.
In recent years, industrial operations and urbanization in developing countries have resulted in environmental damage because industrial wastewater effluents were improperly or insufficiently handled. All bacteria are, therefore, susceptible to chemical-free UV disinfection, driving up the demand for UV disinfection in the treatment of industrial effluent.
By region, the global UV disinfection equipment market is divided into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Rest of the World (RoW).
Asia-Pacific is the most significant shareholder in the global ultraviolet (UV) disinfection equipment market and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 13.3% during the forecast period. Among the Asia-Pacific countries, China is the most significant contributor to the ultraviolet disinfection equipment market in the region. China is a fast-growing economy with energy, aluminum, armaments, cement, chemicals, coal, fertilizers, food processing, iron, machine-building, and mining and ore processing as the main sectors, with the energy sector holding approximately 33% of the Asia-Pacific market. These sectors involve either water as an input or wastewater as a byproduct. The need for UV disinfection equipment is significant in metropolitan regions of India, similar to China, and awareness is increasing in semi-urban areas.
Moreover, the rising prevalence of airborne diseases has led to awareness among urban citizens in India. Owing to the abovementioned factors, a country like India will likely unfold attractive business opportunities in the ultraviolet disinfection equipment market over the coming years. Besides, countries such as Japan and South Korea have well-developed and mature markets, contributing to more significant revenue from these countries. The growing healthcare infrastructure in countries such as China and India and rising water purification standards will further propel the market growth of UV disinfection equipment.
North America is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 12.8% over the forecast period. The presence of countries such as the US, Canada, and Mexico drives the North American region. The demand for UV disinfection equipment from the end-user industries is expected to surge during the COVID-19 outbreak. In the US, healthcare organizations and hospital administrators are becoming aware of the practical and economic advantages of deploying wall-mounted UVC robots or UV light to disinfect facilities. In addition, the demand for UV disinfection equipment in water and sewage treatment facilities is rising due to population trends and associated per capita water consumption in Canada. Moreover, investment in healthcare infrastructure is increasing the competitiveness of Mexican UV disinfection equipment. The Mexican State has also implemented a series of actions to improve the water treatment process, which in turn favors the growth of the overall North American UV disinfection equipment market.
In Europe, UV disinfection equipment has been used commercially in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, beverage, and electronics industries for many years. In Germany, the increasing need for safe drinking water and wastewater treatment in the industrial segment is the factor that drives the growth of the UV disinfection market. Further, stringent government regulation in countries such as the UK, Spain, Italy, and France that focuses on disposing of wastewater from industries contributes to the growth of water and wastewater applications. The ultraviolet disinfection equipment market is expected to witness a spike in Europe's healthcare and chemical sectors for air treatment applications.
The Rest of the world comprises the Middle East and Africa and the Central and South America region. Central and South American countries are witnessing growing urbanization and changing lifestyles owing to industrialization, which will further drive the growth of the ultraviolet disinfection equipment market. The Middle East and Africa UV disinfection equipment market are driven by factors like rising investment in healthcare infrastructure, increasing demand for sterilized equipment, a growing number of pharmaceutical companies, strict regulations in using medical equipment, an increasing number of hospital-acquired diseases, the rise of growth in food and beverages industry.
The key players in the global UV disinfection equipment market are
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