NEWS RELEASE                                                                                           APRIL 2012

World FGD Market to Exceed $16 Billion This Year

The sales of equipment and chemicals to power plants for the purpose of flue gas desulfurization (FGD) will total more than $16 billion dollars this year. This is the latest finding in the McIlvaine publication World FGD Markets. (

Sales of Equipment and Chemicals to Power Plants


$ Millions

Dry   lime scrubbing including SDA and dry injection


Dry   lime repair parts including atomizers


Wet   calcium systems


Wet   calcium replacement and repair






Other   chemicals




The largest segment will be new wet calcium systems. These will mostly be systems using limestone as a reagent and making calcium sulfate (gypsum) for wall board consumption. A much smaller segment will use circulating dry scrubbing, spray dryer absorbers (SDA) or direct lime injection.

Over 90 percent of the installed base of systems dating back to 1968 are limestone systems. Due to the corrosive atmosphere, replacement needs are substantial. Some of these systems are also being upgraded to higher efficiency. As a result, over $3 billion will be spent in 2012 for parts and upgrades of existing wet calcium systems.

Limestone is by far the most popular reagent. However, its cost is considerably less than lime. As a result, the total revenues are only twice that of lime. Other chemicals are also being used. Ammonia is one reagent which results in a salable ammonium sulfate fertilizer. Amines are also being used in systems which produce sulfuric acid as a byproduct. There are a number of treatment chemicals used to purify FGD wastewater and prevent scaling and foaming in the scrubber systems. One approach chemically fixes the FGD sludge with the addition of lime.

China is the largest purchaser of new systems and the largest consumer of limestone. The U.S. has passed rules relative to air toxics which will encourage dry lime injection and will boost the market for this reagent. India has opted for seawater systems which do not use any major reagent. The alkalinity in the seawater is sufficient to capture the SO2. The seawater being discharged is slightly warmer and has marginally higher sulfates than the raw seawater. (This approach will also be used by vessels to scrub the SO2 created by the burning of bunker fuel. (However, the vessel and industrial FGD markets are not included in these forecasts.)

The markets in Western Europe, Taiwan and South Korea are mostly retrofit and repair as virtually all plants are fitted with FGD. Eastern Europe is investing heavily in FGD to meet membership requirements for the European Union.

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