NEWS RELEASE                                   DECEMBER 2010

$40 Billion Market for Air Pollution Control Products in 2011

Just under $42 billion will be invested in equipment to reduce air pollution next year. Fifty five percent of that investment will be in Asia. This forecast appears in the McIlvaine Air Pollution Management report.

2011 World Air Pollution Control Market ($ Billions)

Product Type



% Asia

Fabric Filter




FGD (Power)




Scrubber/adsorber (non power)








NOx Control




Electrostatic precipitator












The expansion of basic industries such as mining, chemical, steel and refining in Asia will result in major purchases of fabric filters, scrubbers, electrostatic precipitators and continuous emissions monitors (CEMS).    The expansion of general manufacturing will result in additional investments in thermal oxidizers and adsorbers.

Coal-fired power plants account for more air pollution control purchases than the other industries combined.   The flue gas desulfurization system purchases for power plants of $7.1 billion will be larger than the combined scrubber, adsorber, and biofilter purchases by other industries ($6.2 billion).  Ninety percent of the $8.3 billion to be spent on NOx control will be spent by electricity generators. China will be the leading purchaser as it equips its new coal plants with selective catalytic reduction systems.

Coal-fired power plants will also purchase 90 percent of the $6.9 billion of electrostatic precipitator equipment and parts in 2011.  China will be both the leading purchaser and supplier.  It will purchase more electrostatic precipitators than the rest of the world combined.  It is already the world’s largest operator of precipitators.

Asia will purchase 58 percent of the fabric filters and bags in 2011.  One reason is the high concentration of cement and steel plants in Asia.  China produces more than half of the world’s cement.  Steel plants use fabric filters to capture the furnace emissions.  While Europe and the U.S. have operated continuous emissions monitors on stacks for decades, much of developing Asia is in the process of installing these monitors.

Asia is also the leading purchaser of air pollution control equipment for high technology manufacturing such as solar panels, semiconductors, memory storage and flat panel displays. These plants use thermal oxidizers to eliminate toxic organic emissions. They use carbon adsorbers and scrubbers to capture acid gases and volatile organic compounds.

Asia is also a leader in the use of air pollution control devices to reduce odors. Japan has the highest odor control investment as a percentage of total investment. Wastewater treatment plant operators throughout Asia are reacting to neighborhood odor complaints with investments in scrubbers and adsorbers.

Asia is still a net importer of air pollution control technology.  Japan is a major exporter.  China is rapidly transforming from a net importer to an exporter.  India and many other countries rely on technology exported from Europe and the U.S.  Leading suppliers of equipment and technology are:

Electrostatic precipitators: 

  • # 1  China
  • # 2 U.S.  (but with European headquarters in one case)

FGD systems:

  • # 1 Japan
  • # 2 U.S.

Fabric filters:

  • # 1 U.S.
  • # 2 Europe

NOx Control Catalysts:

  • # 1 Japan
  • # 2 U.S.

Scrubbers, adsorbers, biofilters

(Many small manufacturers throughout the world)

Thermal & Catalytic Oxidizers:

  • # 1 U.S.
  • # 2 Europe

The industry has become truly global.  Many of the international suppliers of filter media and bags have invested in manufacturing facilities in China and other Asian countries. They are then exporting from these Asian facilities as well as supplying local needs. One German catalyst manufacturer shut down its European plant and built a new facility in China. One of the world’s largest catalyst suppliers is a joint venture of Japanese and an American company.  A major U.S. licensor of wet FGD technology to Chinese partners has now licensed dry FGD technology from China for the U.S. market.

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