Report: Chemicals Remain the Favorite Method of Water Treatment


Issues such as pollution and depletion of water resources have come under intense scrutiny in recent years, prompting numerous stringent regulations to protect and recycle water. This has resulted in chemicals remaining the favorite method of water treatment in North America's industrial-water-treatment chemicals market.

On Oct. 8, Frost & Sullivan released "North American Industrial Water Treatment Chemicals Market, which reveals that the market earned $2.3 billion in 2006 and estimates revenues to reach $2.8 billion in 2013.

"The Clean Water Act gave EPA the authority to implement pollution control programs by setting strict standards for wastewater discharged from industries," said Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst K. Deepan Kannan. "This is expected to minimize the effect of effluent discharge on the environment, while increasing the need for industrial water treatment chemicals."

Despite the availability of more advanced treatment technologies, water treatment chemicals stand out for their cost efficiency, Frost & Sullivan stated. Sophisticated technologies such as ion exchange, reverse osmosis, ultra filtration and ultraviolet-treatment systems require huge capital for purchase and installation, while chemicals are more economical.

"There also is a vast difference between the operation costs involved in technologies and chemicals," Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Krithika Tyagarajan stated. "As usage of chemicals for treatment of water incurs lesser financial burden, it seems to be the most preferred method."

To maintain their price advantage, chemicals manufacturers will have to stave off stiff competition from foreign participants from low-cost countries such as China. Some of the main Chinese imports to the United States include activated carbons, coagulants, flocculants and ion-exchange resins, Frost & Sullivan stated. The availability of these low-priced products places immense pressure on domestic manufacturers to slash their prices, thereby narrowing their margins.

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