The Freedonia Group, an international business research company, released a statement late last month predicting an increase of 5.5 per cent in worldwide demand for water disinfection products by 2016. Such an increase would translate into a global demand valuing US$7.7 billion.

The statement outlines several changes driving the spike in worldwide demand. Concern over disinfection byproducts and the rising standards for water quality and wastewater treatment were two such changes. In particular, the pressure to treat water for reuse, and the resupply of water sources, necessitates newer and more sophisticated water treatment systems than are available in much of the world.

The gradual phasing out of elemental chlorine, to be replaced by a variety of chemical alternatives, will also contribute to a spike in disinfection product demand. Sodium hypochlorite and hypochlorite generators, ultraviolet equipment, and ozone equipment are all substitutes which have come to the forefront in chlorine’s stead. The paper lists environmental advantages, technological advances promoting wider use, and lower costs as three significant factors in these chlorine substitutes’ rise to prominence. Chlorine will, however, remain exceptionally important, particularly in the developing world.

It is not only the developing world that is spurring on these substantial changes in the water disinfection market. Many first-world municipalities, particularly in the United States, are beginning to phase out the use of chlorine gas in their water systems. As treatment alternatives continue to thrive, especially in the industrial market, where high-end chemicals and nonchemical disinfection is preferred, non-chlorine based treatment methods will be continuously more desirable, contributing to this 2016 demand forecast.

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