NEWS RELEASE                                   NOVEMBER 2011

$5.6 Billion for Chemicals for Air Pollution Control in 2012

Sales of chemicals to reduce air pollution from stationary sources will exceed $5.6 billion in 2012 and represent an 8 percent increase from 2011. This is the latest forecast in Air Pollution Management, a continually updated report by the McIlvaine Company.

Chemical Type

Sales ($ Millions)









Polymers/Flocculants/pH Adjusters


Odor Control Chemicals


Activated Carbon






Sales of activated carbon are now projected at $700 million. This is a lower adjustment from previous forecasts. The important Utility air toxic rules in the U.S. will have major impacts on sales but the time frame has been moved back until 2014-2016. Sales of sodium bicarbonate and trona are going to experience substantial growth as limitations on emissions of hydrogen chloride and sulfur trioxide come into effect in the U.S. Sodium hydroxide is widely used worldwide in acid gas scrubbers in chemical, incineration, and mining applications.

The biggest use of ammonia is for reduction of nitrogen oxides. The sales figure of $900 million for 2012 is just for stationary source emissions. There is an additional significant mobile market. Ammonia is also used as a scrubber reagent. A byproduct is ammonium sulfate. The sales price of the byproduct is now four times the price of the purchased ammonia, so there is an economic advantage to using this reagent. The problem is that a blue plume is generated and a wet electrostatic precipitator is often needed to eliminate the fine ammonium chloride or sulfide particles.

Most scrubber systems are equipped with wastewater treatment equipment. This involves the use of various chemicals including polymers flocculants, and pH adjusters. A variety of odor control chemicals including hydrogen peroxide, potassium permanganate, and others are used in scrubbers located in municipal wastewater treatment, chemical, food, and other manufacturing plants.

The market is growing at close to double digit rates. China is the largest purchaser of limestone for scrubbers and is the second largest purchaser of ammonia for NOx control. The U.S. remains the largest purchaser for the present but will lose this position by 2020.

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