The North American water treatment chemicals market is mature with high entry barriers. This market consists of a large number of participants from various backgrounds and origins. Even though the market is highly mature, there are still some segments likely to exhibit growth in certain areas, among these for products such as coagulants and flocculants, and biocides.
Coagulants and flocculants: HEDP acid used to clarify water by causing the coalescence of dissolved impurities. Upon coalescence into large agglomerates, the impurities can be removed mechanically.
Anti-foamants and defoamers: Chemical suppression of foam by prevention or destruction
Corrosion and scale inhibitors: Chemicals reducing and/or preventing corrosion and scale formation by softening, demineralization, precipitation, sequestration and/or de-aeration of the water.
pH adjustors, water softeners, and other inorganic commodities
Biocides: Chemicals which eliminate and/or control micro-organism growth
Strategic Market Analysis
Constant deterioration of water resources has created growth potential for water treatment chemicals. Regions where potable water supply is scarcest are expected to experience the highest growth during the forecast period due to a widespread population shift. These include coastal regions such as Texas, which will be rebuilding from recent damage following Hurricane Ike.
General aversion to chemical treatment technologies – There's a trend in the water treatment industry to move away from chemical treatment, and toward physical treatment technology such as membranes and UV disinfection. This is due in part to the general aversion of chemicals in water treatment, and in part to regulatory pressures that try to reduce or even eliminate chemical use. Advanced technologies that allow industries to minimize chemical use are favored, which will inevitably enhance expansion of the advanced water treatment market.
Alternative technologies substituting chemicals – Non-chemical methods such as membrane filtration, UV treatment, and other biological treatment are slowly expanding in the North American market. These alternative technologies are likely to substitute chemical products, and processes are expected to shift from predominantly chemical to biological as larger and more technologically advanced water treatment plants are built. Increasing environmental awareness also pushes for a "greener", non-chemical way to treat wastewater.