NEWS RELEASE                                                                                                                     MAY 2013

$30 Billion Water/Wastewater Treatment Chemicals Market by 2017

The market for chemicals used to treat water and wastewater will rise to just under $30 billion per year over the next five years. This is the prediction just incorporated in the McIlvaine report Water and Wastewater Treatment Chemicals: World Market.

Water/Wastewater Treatment Chemicals Market

$ Millions


















 Oil & Gas


 Other Industries






 Pulp & Paper








The biggest growth sector and largest market will be in the power industry. A number of treatment chemicals are required to treat the boiler feedwater which is being converted to steam. Asian countries are building many new supercritical coal-fired power plants. The treatment chemical requirements are more complex than with the older sub-critical boilers. Power plants use more surface water than all other industries combined. Regulations to reduce surface water use are forcing the power plants to recirculate and cool the cooling water. In order to do so, a number of chemicals must be utilized.

The oil and gas sector is increasing its chemical purchases as it moves from conventional to unconventional sources. Shale gas requires hydrofracturing. The water used in the fracturing process typically includes thirty different chemicals. The tar sands processes require a much bigger investment in treatment chemicals than would conventional oil extraction.

Refineries are required to produce more environmentally compatible fuels. At the same time, they are processing dirtier raw oil. The combination is leading to substantially more treatment chemical purchases.

By 2017, water and wastewater utilities around the world will be spending $11 billion for treatment chemicals. Much of the increase will come from Asian countries. There is a big expansion of drinking water and sewage infrastructure to match the migration of more than one billion people from rural to urban environments in the region.

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