The global water treatment chemicals market was valued at USD 31.14 billion in 2022. It is projected to reach USD 40.63 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 3% during the forecast period (2023-2031). Any procedure that enhances water quality to make it suitable for specific end-users is called water treatment. The final use could be for drinking, irrigation, maintaining river flow, water enjoyment, or a variety of other things, including being securely disposed of back into the environment. In order to make the water suitable for the intended end use, water treatment involves removing pollutants and unwanted components or reducing their concentration. Human health depends on this procedure, which also enables drinking and irrigation use benefits.
A crucial element in daily life is access to clean and safe water. Although water can dissolve almost anything, some materials are insoluble in it. These inorganic particles, such as clay, fine sand, dust, and rust, contribute to cloudiness by increasing the concentration of total suspended solids (TSS). The methods used to treat water to lower total dissolved solids (TSS) to levels acceptable to end-users vary with geography, application, and TSS level.
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Greater Need for Clean Water in Industrial and Municipal Sectors
Expanding urbanization has raised the requirement for municipal water treatment to meet the rising demand for drinking water and sanitation services. Water is essential for production, material processing, and cooling processes in various end-user sectors, including chemical, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, and metal. The worldwide population and economic development increase fuel the need for municipal and industrial wastewater treatment. These considerations drive the market for chemicals used in water treatment.
Additionally, due to rising water quality requirements and environmental concerns, which encourage the use of biocides in the industrial and home sectors, biocides and disinfectants are the types of water treatment chemicals predicted to see the highest increase in water treatment applications. The highest usage of biocides and disinfectants is anticipated in water treatment, as end consumers' demand for treated water is predicted to rise. Expanding power plants and heavy industries would also result in substantial economic growth for the water treatment sector.
Drawbacks of Chemical Water Treatment
Developing Disinfection By-products (DBPs) is a significant barrier for the market for water treatment chemicals. DBPs are created when oxidants interact with organic material. Chloroform (CHCl3), dichloromethyl hydroxy furanone (MX), potassium bromates (KBrO3), bromodichloromethane (DBCM), and bromochloromethane are a few of the DBPs (BDCM). These byproducts are toxic or carcinogenic to the kidneys. Chloroform damages the liver, which ultimately leads to cancer. Additionally, 14–16% of bladder cancer instances are brought on by cleaning byproducts. The preservation of residual disinfection during storage, the handling and transportation hazardous chemicals, and the technical expertise needed to operate and maintain sophisticated water treatment equipment are other challenges that could restrain market expansion.
Growing Investments and Rapid Expansion in the Industrial Sector
Significant investments have been made in end-user industries like oil and gas, food and beverage, paper and pulp, personal care and chemicals, and metal processing, among many others, as a result of the development of the global economy in both developed and developing nations. For instance, China's 40% share of global textile exports in 2019 was attributed to private sector investments, particularly in the textile sector. The need for water treatment has grown as a result of the development in investment and the number of industries. Treatment of industrial water aids in the control of problems such as microbial activity, corrosion, scaling, and residual wastewater discharge.
An expansion in end-user industries is driving the global market for chemicals used in water treatment. It is expected that investments will proceed in the manufacturing sector shortly. Investment in the energy industry is required to meet the rising population's need for electricity, which propels the market expansion for water treatment chemicals during the study period. The market for water treatment chemicals will benefit from investments made globally in the industrial sector.
The global water treatment chemicals market is segmented by type and end-user industry.
Based on type, the global market is bifurcated into coagulants, pH adjusters and softeners, flocculants, biocides and disinfectants, scale inhibitors and dispersants, corrosion inhibitors, and others.
The corrosion inhibitors segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.60% during the forecast period. Corrosion inhibitors are used to turn metal into soluble molecules during water treatment. It reacts with metallic surfaces, creating a layer that shields the surface. Passivity inhibitors (passivation), cathodic and anodic inhibitors, organic and inorganic inhibitors, precipitation-inducing inhibitors, and volatile corrosion inhibitors (VCI) are the five corrosion inhibitors utilized for water treatment. Additionally, these inhibitors are included in chemicals to decrease the chance of corrosion and increase service lifespan. Further, it enhances factory efficiency and lowers the likelihood of equipment failure. Chromates, molybdates, zinc, silicates, and phosphates are corrosion inhibitors used to treat water.
Increased usage of organic, inorganic, or a combination of both coagulants in water treatment to remove suspended solids from water is anticipated to drive market expansion. Aluminum-based and iron-based metal coagulants are the two most often utilized types. Aluminum sulfate, aluminum chloride, and sodium aluminate are coagulants based on aluminum. Ferric sulfate, ferrous sulfate, ferric chloride, and ferric chloride sulfate are the primary ingredients of iron-based coagulants. It is anticipated that there will be a rise in demand for organic coagulants during the forecast period to help reduce sludge production.
The pH scale measures the activity of free hydrogen in water. In order to separate dissolved waste from water during the treatment process, pH adjustment is a crucial step in wastewater treatment systems. The only chemicals examined to estimate the pH adjuster and softener market size are sodium hydroxide and lime. Alkaline water's pH is decreased by adding lime, but acidic water is neutralized by adding sodium hydroxides, which raises the pH without affecting the water's hardness. In order to prevent corrosion on equipment, these chemicals are placed directly into wells.
The use of flocculants, which are varying-weight anionic, non-ionic, and cationic polymers that improve the effectiveness of settling, clarifying, filtering, and centrifugation processes, is expected to raise demand for flocculants for water treatment in the years to come. Flocculation gathers particles into masses to filter or settle out of solutions. The practice of removing suspended particles from home and industrial wastewater is prevalent. Mineral flocculants, natural flocculants, and synthetic flocculants are the three main groups of flocculants. Kemira Oyj and BASF SE are the two leading companies producing flocculants for water treatment.
Chemicals and microorganisms, known as biocides and disinfectants, are used to kill or control hazardous organisms through chemical or biological means. Both industrial and treated water are treated with biocides. Biocides can be categorized into two groups based on how they are used: oxidizing agents (such as chlorine, chlorine dioxide, chloroisocyanurates, hypochlorite, and ozone) and non-oxidizing agents (acrolein, amines, chlorinated phenolic, copper salts, organo-Sulphur compounds, and quaternary ammonium salts). There are two methods of disinfection: chemical disinfection and physical disinfection. Chlorine, chlorine dioxide, hypochlorite, and bromine chloride are the most widely used chemical disinfectants.
Scale inhibitors are negatively charged, surface-active polymers used in both boiling and cooling water systems to treat water. In the oil and gas industry's production, stimulation, and transport processes, scale inhibitors are used to stop the deposition or formation of scale. Scale inhibitors frequently use phosphate esters, phosphoric acid, and low molecular weight polyacrylic acid solutions. Dispersants lessen water hardness and prevent the growth of scale. They also modify and buffer the water that is circulated.
Based on the end-user industry, the global market is bifurcated into industrial, municipal, and others.
The industrial segment owns the highest market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.25% during the forecast period. In order to maximize diverse water-based industrial processes like heating, refrigeration, rinsing, refining, and cleaning, industrial water treatment is crucial. Scaling, microbial operation, corrosion, and residual water discharge are every industry's four main problem areas. Water treatment in manufacturing ensures the efficient operation of industrial processes and reduces operational expenses. Enterprises must process pre-use raw or untreated water to meet quality standards and process requirements.
Collection, screening, chemical addition, coagulation and flocculation, sedimentation and clarifying, filtration, disinfection, storage, and distribution are some of the processes in the municipal water treatment process. Treatment of drinking water, wastewater, and other types of water, like pool and bottled water, are all included in municipal and other water treatment. Pressure on the water supplies available to meet the overall demand has increased due to increased industrialization, fast urbanization, and a continual drop in water availability per person. The growing issue of water scarcity could be addressed by conserving surface and groundwater resources. Additionally, preventing the degradation of water quality will be an essential step in the direction of water management and conservation strategy.
The global water treatment chemicals market is bifurcated into four regions, namely North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
Asia-Pacific Dominates the Global Market
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Asia-Pacific is the most significant global water treatment chemicals market shareholder and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.55% during the forecast period. Asia-Pacific dominates the industrial water treatment chemicals market. The key nations in the Asia-Pacific region reporting the trend of water treatment chemicals include China, Japan, India, Australia, South Korea, and the rest of the region. China dominates the Asia-Pacific region's market for water treatment chemicals. China is home to a rapidly growing economy thanks to end-user industries, including power, the chemical industry, mining, food processing, and others. These industries need water as an input or produce wastewater as a byproduct. As a result, the intake and output water must undergo chemical treatment, which is expected to drive market growth over the forecast period.
North America is expected to boost at a CAGR of 5.20% during the forecast period. An increase in demand for water and wastewater treatment from the industrial and municipal sectors in the North American region during the forecast period drives the expansion of the water treatment chemicals market. The lack of pure water and contamination are the main reasons drinking water treatment is expanding in this region. In the United States and Canada, chlorine is the most often utilized chemical for safe drinking water treatment in homes. Under the Clean Water Act (CWA), which stimulates the market for water treatment chemicals, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates drinking water and wastewater. Additionally, the market for North American water treatment chemicals is driven by environmental regulations addressing water reuse and recycling in this area. Further, a rise in the need for wastewater treatment from the power sector is anticipated to propel the expansion of the water treatment chemicals market.
Europe is expected to grow significantly over the forecast period. The market for water treatment chemicals is primarily driven by increased urbanization and climatic change. The Drinking Water Directive governs the quality of potable water, the Urban Waste Water Directive regulates the discharge of municipal and industrial wastewater, and the Water Framework Directive governs the management of water resources throughout the European Union. It is anticipated that these water policies will increase demand for water treatment chemicals.
LAMEA has one of the fastest growing, developing economies due to the booming oil and gas and construction industries. Brazil, South Africa, and Saudi Arabia, which have emerged as this region's potential markets for water treatment chemicals, are mostly to blame for the expansion of this region. Brazil, South Africa, and Saudi Arabia have the most significant market shares for water treatment chemicals in Latin America and the Middle East. Along with the region's water deficit and growing population, several forthcoming residential and industrial sector projects are anticipated to increase demand for wastewater treatment chemicals in the region.
The global water treatment chemicals market's major key players are Akzo Nobel N.V., SNF Floerger, Baker Hughes Company, BASF SE, The Dow Chemical Company, Ecolab, Kemira Oyj, Lonza, Group Ag, Solenis International LLC, and Suez SA.