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Flocculants: Technologies and Global Markets

Flocculants: Technologies and Global Markets

  • March 2017
  • 242 pages
  • ID: 4766066
  • Format: PDF
  • By BCC Research


Table of Contents

Use this report to:
- Analyze the applications of flocculants and the market dynamics of each application and growth strategies of key players in the flocculants market.
- Understand drivers, restraints, opportunities, and innovation in the flocculants market.
- Identify key trends related to the technologies, applications, integration, and regions shaping and influencing the flocculants market.
- Explore current industry players, including manufacturers, materials and equipment, technology developers and future market participants.

- The global flocculants market should reach $6.8 billion by 2021 from $5.0 billion in 2016 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.2%, from 2016 to 2021.
- The water and wastewater treatment application is the largest market of the flocculants market. The market is expected to grow from $3.4 billion in 2016 to $4.5 billion in 2021 at a CAGR of 6.1% for the period 2016-2021.
- The others application of the flocculants market is expected to grow from $103.1 million in 2016 to $150.1 million in 2021 at a CAGR of 7.8% for the period 2016-2021.

Flocculation is a process of forming aggregates from suspension. Flocculants consist of anionic, nonionic and cationic polymers having different molecular weights. Flocculants are used to clarify and separate impurities from water. Flocculants are used primarily for treating water and wastewater.

In terms of revenue, the global flocculants market was valued at nearly $4.8 billion in 2015. It is expected to increase to about $6.8 billion by 2021, at a CAGR of 6.2% from 2016 to 2021. In terms of volume, the global flocculants market was valued at 1,401.2 kilotons in 2015. It is expected to increase to 1,844.2 kilotons by 2021, at a CAGR of 4.6% from 2016 to 2021.

The economics of the flocculants market is dependent on the price elasticity of demand for flocculants as compared to demand for other water-treatment chemicals. The price elasticity of demand for flocculants is relatively high due to the following three factors:

Flocculants are not considered to be a necessity in developing countries; in these countries, consumers are ready to switch to cheaper alternatives to flocculants.
Due to the standardized nature of flocculants, producers face difficulties in developing innovative flocculant-based products.
Low-cost substitutes of flocculants are present in the market.

Due to these factors, the price elasticity of demand for flocculants is quite high. By changing the price of flocculants by a small amount, the total quantity demanded can
change greatly. Among the major economic contributions of flocculants are decreased healthcare costs for noncommercial users because of drinking flocculated water supplies and decreased equipment maintenance costs for industrial settings that use water treated by flocculants.

Furthermore, the rising price of water has influenced industrial users to use recycled waters. Using waters recycled through flocculants decreases the operational costs of industrial users. For example, in a study published by the University of California in 2008, it was found that using recycled water can decrease operational costs of municipalities and industries significantly. Using cost-benefit analysis, it has been found that use of flocculants in water-recycling projects increases economic competitiveness for municipalities and industries in the long run.

Municipal water supplies contain impurities such as metal ions and salts, among others. Drinking such water can cause various diseases in humans and other animals. Water disposed by various industries also contains heavy amounts of metal ions, hydroxides, and salts, among other impurities. Due to the presence of these impurities, these water supplies not only lessen environmental sustainability, but also decrease the longevity of equipment used in industrial settings. In order to avoid such problems, flocculants are used in both municipal and industrial water-treatment and wastewater-treatment projects. Industries such as oil and gas, power generation, manufacturing, pulp and paper, refineries, and metal and mining consume higher amounts of flocculants as compared to municipalities. In terms of revenue and volume of consumption, industrial end users accounted for a 65.4% and 62.6% share of the flocculants market in 2015, respectively.

Flocculants have major applications in water-treatment and wastewater-treatment processes. In both municipal and industrial water-treatment projects, flocculants are widely used. Within the industrial segment, flocculants are used in the power-generation industry, manufacturing industry (chemical processing, pulp and paper, food and beverages, and pharmaceutical, among others), oil and gas industry, and mining and metal industry, among others.

The growing demand for water treatment and wastewater treatment in municipal and industrial settings globally has positively impacted the growth of the flocculants market. Moreover, stringent environment regulations imposed by regulatory institutions have motivated industrial players to use water-treatment chemicals. Furthermore, an increase in mining activities has fueled the demand for synthetic flocculants such as polyacrylamide and its derivatives. Moreover, product innovation related to polyacrylamide has created opportunity for producers to enter the synthetic flocculants market.

Furthermore, growing demand for different variants of flocculants in non-water-treatment applications such as surface chemistry, earth science, and brewing, among others, has boosted the growth of the market. In surface chemistry, flocculants are used to separate fine chemicals. During the forecast period, it is expected that nontraditional applications of flocculants will fuel market growth. Owing to these factors, the flocculants market is believed to have huge potential and is expected to experience significant growth during the forecast period.

Flocculants and different polyacrylamide-based water-treatment chemicals are sold in the market through both industrial and retail distribution channels. End users for the market include municipal and industrial (oil and gas, power generation, manufacturing, metal and mining, chemicals, refining, and so forth). The utilities sector can also be included under municipal water-treatment facilities. In terms of both value and volume, the demand for flocculants is greater in the industrial sector than in the municipal sector.

As of May 2016, increasing government investments in water-treatment projects, the shale gas boom, rising demand for emulsion-drilling flocculants, and rising demand for flocculation in surface-chemistry projects, among other factors, are driving the growth of the flocculants market. Due to a slump in the economy in most parts of the European region, industrial demand for flocculants is expected to remain moderate for the next two years. The downturn of the manufacturing sector in most of the countries in developed regions is estimated to negatively affect industrial demand for flocculants during the forecast period. On the other hand, growth in the mining sector in different
Scandinavian countries is estimated to drive the growth of mining applications of flocculants in the European region.

This report covers North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the Rest of the World (RoW). Present market sizes and market forecasts through 2021 are provided.

This report is an impact analysis of the global market for flocculants. The information in this report includes factors currently driving and restraining the growth of the market, as well as factors impacting the future of the industry.

The goals and objectives of the report include the following:
- To provide market size estimates and five-year forecasts for the period of 2016 to 2021.
- To understand drivers, restraints, opportunities, and innovation in the flocculants market. An objective of this study is also the identification of major regions and countries that will drive the future growth of the global flocculants market.
- To analyze the applications of flocculants and the market dynamics of each application.
- To identify segments with high growth potential, and also to understand future applications of given segments.
- To identify key trends related to the technologies, applications, integration, and regions shaping and influencing the flocculants market.
- To examine region-specific developments in the industry.
- To understand the major stakeholders in the market and the competitive landscape for market leaders.
- To analyze growth strategies of key players in the flocculants market.
- To analyze patents where relevant.

With the rise of concerns regarding health, safety, and water purity across the globe, the demand for different water-treatment chemicals has increased significantly. In developed countries, knowledge about water-treatment techniques such as aeration, granular activated carbon adsorption, and flocculation existed almost 80 years ago.

However, it took another few decades for industrial and municipal customers in developed countries to understand the importance of flocculants. In most of the developing countries a few decades ago, awareness regarding the importance of water treatment, wastewater treatment, and flocculation was low. Therefore, even in the early 2000s, North America was the largest market for water-treatment chemicals. With increasing awareness about the importance of water treatment and an increase in government investment in water-treatment projects, applications of water-treatment chemicals in different countries of the Asia-Pacific region have increased. For example, in 2012, Danang Water Supply One Member Ltd. Co. (DAWACO) of Vietnam received financial assistance worth $3.6 million from Asian Development Bank (ADB) in order to invest in process supervisory technology in wastewater management. Demand for flocculants in government water-treatment and wastewater-treatment projects has increased in Asia-Pacific countries in recent years.

Moreover, important stakeholders in the value chain are taking great interest in the flocculants market owing to different demand and supply factors, including the growing demand for flocculants in the mining industry, growing demand for flocculants in industrial as well as municipal water-treatment and wastewater-treatment facilities, and rising demand for natural flocculants for sludge treatment, among other applications. Economic recovery and growth in industrial investments for water-treatment projects in some of the Asia-Pacific countries are estimated to drive the growth of the flocculants market. Technology upgradation has also helped producers to increase their production output for flocculants. Owing to these supply-side, demand-side, market-driven, and industry-specific factors, the flocculants market has huge potential and is expected to experience significant growth during the forecast period.

This study is intended to discuss the present and upcoming market trends of flocculants. Determining the future growth potential of the market is also part of the scope of the study. Furthermore, assessment of the product life cycle of flocculants, identification of capacity utilization trends, and analysis of raw materials are also within the purview of this study.

Under types of flocculants, this report has included mineral flocculants (e.g., activated silica, bentonite, and metallic hydroxides with a polymeric structure), natural flocculants (e.g., starch derivatives, Moringa oleifera polysaccharides, and alginates, or seaweed), and synthetic flocculants (e.g., polyacrylamides, polyethylene-imines, polyamides-amines, polyamines, and polyethylene-oxide). Apart from these flocculants, no other types of flocculants are considered under the scope of the report. With regard to ionization of flocculants, this report has included nonionic flocculants (having very minuscule zeta potential or no zeta potential), cationic flocculants (positively charged), and anionic flocculants (negatively charged).

Applications of flocculants in water and wastewater treatment, surface chemistry, earth science, brewing (different applications in the food and beverages industry are also considered), and other areas (e.g., jar test and biological applications) are considered under the scope of the report. Apart from these applications, no other applications have been considered within the report.

With regard to end users, flocculants used in municipal, oil and gas, power-generation, manufacturing (including pharmaceutical, automobile, semiconductor and electronics, and heavy industries), metal and mining, and other industries (pulp and paper, and refining) have been considered in the report. Apart from these end users, no other end users have been considered in the report.

Estimated values used are based on manufacturers’ total revenues. For calculating volume, metric tons are used as the base unit. Therefore, volume is presented in kilotons. One kiloton is equivalent to 1,000,000 kilograms (kg).

For this report, rigorous primary as well as secondary research has been conducted in order to track the market in an accurate manner. Key data-estimation techniques such as top-down and bottom-up models were developed to determine volume-wise as well as value-wise trends and to estimate the global flocculants market. Key players in the flocculants market have been identified through review of secondary sources such as industry white papers, annual reports, published reports by credible agencies, financial reports, and published interviews of key opinion leaders (KOLs) from leading companies. During the primary interviews, KOLs also suggested some other flocculants producers that were not included in the initial scope of the study.

BCC Research has further refined the company profile section by adding these producers. Generally, KOLs include chief executive officers (CEOs), general managers, vice presidents, sales directors, market executives, research and development (R&D) directors, product managers, procurement managers, export managers, and so forth. During the research process, all of the major stakeholders across the value chain for flocculants were contacted for conducting primary interviews.

In the first phase of the study, revenue and volume for the flocculants market were determined by reviewing annual sales reports, analyzing related industry reports, tracking global import and export trends, and monitoring financial parameters related to the market. In the second phase of the study, BCC Research conducted primary interviews with KOLs from leading players in the market to verify the initial estimations gathered through secondary sources. Based on primary interviews, some of the initial findings were kept intact and other initial findings were refined. Final value and volume forecasts for the flocculants market were derived through a series of primary interviews with KOLs.

For some segments in the flocculants market, there was no secondary hard data available. In these cases, price trends, inflation rates, industrial production indices,
purchasing managers’ indices (PMIs), and so forth were used to estimate data. During primary interviews, these estimations were verified by KOLs.

This report will be of interest to the following:
- Producers.
- Government municipal agencies.
- End users (brewing industry, food and beverages industry, mining industry, power-generation sector, refineries, and the pulp and paper industry).
- Suppliers.
- Raw-material providers.
- Investors (private equity, venture capital, etc.).


The various sources used to collect useful information required for the extensive commercial and technical study of the flocculants market include the following:
Primary sources.
Selected experts from related industries.
Preferred suppliers.

Secondary sources.
Research papers.
White papers.
Databases such as OneSource, Factiva, Bloomberg, Sec filings, and Reuters.
Stock exchanges such as TMX, NASDAQ, ASX, and LSE.

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