Environmental regulations are tightening, consumer demand is growing, and water treatment chemicals are promising
At present, the global water shortage is increasing, and the water treatment regulations implemented by various countries are becoming stricter. This poses a challenge to water treatment chemical producers as well as good market opportunities. Water treatment industry giants have said that this year's water treatment chemicals business can be expected.
Freshwater market opportunities
For water treatment chemicals producers, the tighter the supply of freshwater resources, the greater the market opportunity for water treatment chemicals. Bettina Blottko, head of the LANXESS liquid purification technology business unit, said that due to insufficient freshwater resources, the demand for wastewater purification and desalination is increasing, and water purification technology is particularly important in meeting the needs of wastewater treatment and desalination.
In addition to the growing urban population that has increased demand for drinking water, there are also markets for water treatment chemicals in growth industries such as chemicals, food, electronics and batteries. According to Blottko's data, overall sales of the ion exchange resin market for water treatment chemicals are expected to increase at a rate of 5% per year by 2022. The demand for membranes for water treatment will increase at a higher rate, and the market for permeable membranes will grow at a rate of 11% per year.
Jennifer Bailey, global marketing director for Solenis' pulp and paper water business, also said the company is very optimistic about the future of the water treatment industry. In the global heavy industry sector, especially in areas with scarce water resources or poor water quality, demand for water reuse and water use is increasing.
Kemira spokesman Tero Huovinen said that water treatment chemicals will continue to grow steadily, which is not affected by economic fluctuations. Water shortages are a threat and an opportunity.
Environmental protection becomes a contributing factor
Environmental regulations have always had a major impact on the water treatment chemicals industry, especially in terms of technology. Recently, the implementation of stricter environmental regulations in developing countries in Asia is both a challenge and an opportunity for water treatment chemicals producers.
LANXESS said that due to the introduction of stricter environmental regulations, it is expected that the water treatment technology market will grow faster in the next five years. Population growth and industrial production growth in Asian developing countries will drive growth in the water treatment market and will also integrate market suppliers. In the long run, environmental regulations will promote the survival of the fittest in the ion exchange resin industry.
Kemira said that more stringent environmental regulations in the future will benefit the water treatment industry. The limits for different pollutants in the current EU urban wastewater treatment regulations are not critical and the maximum limits for biological oxygen demand, chemical oxygen demand, total suspended solids and phosphorus should be tightened. Kemira called on the EU and institutions around the world to further enforce strict environmental regulations.
Digital new technology brings benefits
For the water treatment industry, digital new technologies such as artificial intelligence and IoT technology are also having a major impact on the industry, and there are many benefits. Digital technology can improve the quality of water quality monitoring and the cost-effectiveness of water treatment. Huovinen said: "Digital and advanced monitoring technologies can achieve 20% to 30% increase in process efficiency in water treatment plants. Using these new technologies without increasing processing costs, visibility of key process parameters can be improved."
Blottko said that efficient processing and recycling methods are critical to meeting future water needs. Smart technology and tailor-made products can help develop sustainable solutions that provide more efficient water management for industry and agriculture. Through digital technology, LANXESS has established a highly efficient wastewater treatment method that combines ion exchange resin with reverse osmosis membranes. Nearly zero wastewater discharge is achieved after application in a textile printing and dyeing plant in India.