The market for acrylamide is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 4% during the forecast period. Increasing demand for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) process is expected to stimulate the acrylamide market growth as polyacrylamide has major application in this process.
- Stringent water regulations in Europe will drive the acrylamide market as one of the major application of acrylamide is in water treatment.
- Growing investments in water treatment in countries like China is expected to create major opportunities for market growth.
- Asia-Pacific accounted for the major market share followed by North America and Europe.
Key Market Trends
Water Treatment Application to Dominate the Market
- Acrylamide is a linear polymer that includes monomer units with functional groups of amide, which adsorb onto the surface of particles. These particles are bridged together by the long polymer chain. This process is called flocculation and is widely used in the wastewater treatment method.
- When aqueous acrylamide or polyacrylamide (PAM) solutions are mixed with sewage, they form larger flocs, which can improve sedimentation rates in clarifiers, floatation rates in dissolved air flotation (DAF) systems, and water removal in sludge thickening equipment. Polyacrylamide is widely used in domestic sewage treatment, pulp and paper making, chemicals, petrochemicals, textiles, oil sands, and mining industries.
- The water treatment industry has been witnessing strong growth, widely fuelled by the increased industrial demand for water. As water is utilized in huge quantities in numerous industries, such as power, steel, mining and metallurgy, petrochemicals, oil and gas, food and beverage, and textile and dyes, the governments across the world are implementing regulations related to wastewater treatment on these industries, before releasing the water back into the environment.
- In sewage treatment, the non-ionic polyacrylamide is preferably used over its alternatives, if the sewage system is acidic in nature. Furthermore, with the inorganic flocculant poly-aluminum or aluminum sulfate, it provides better performance in the water treatment.
- Cationic polyacrylamide is highly soluble in water and has an excellent flocculation effect. It is used in variety of applications, including urban sewage treatment, paper making, metallurgical, petrochemical, food processing, dyeing, miner dressing, and industrial wastewater treatment. Moreover, cationic PAM is commonly used for the wastewater treatment in the food and beverage industries, including alcohol factory, sugar factory, monosodium glutamate factory, beverage factory, and others.
- The Northeast Water Purification Plant (NEWPP) Expansion Phase 2 in Texas, United States, Bull Run Filtration Project in Oregon, United States, Reconstruction Project of Linville Water Treatment Plant in Southeast Queensland, Australia, etc., are some of the upcoming projects that may impact the demand for polymer.
- Moreover, the market witnessed an increasing demand for PAM from nuclear power plants, due to the increasing demand for treated water from these plants. There are numerous water treatment plants that may be installed in new power plants, which are scheduled to be built by 2023.
- Hence, with such projects expected to come on-stream, the demand for acrylamide is expected to increase for water treatment applications during the forecast period.
China to Dominate the Asia-Pacific Region
- Presently, China is facing the problem of water pollution, which is one of the most severe environmental challenges. According to statistics from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), around 32.5% of China’s seven major river systems and 29.2% of the major basins did not meet the prevailing water quality standards (grade III and below), in the past. This was majorly due to the long history of unfettered emission of untreated/under-treated industrial, agriculture and domestic wastewater into various water bodies.
- Owing to this severe condition, the government, in its 13th Five-year Plan, published the Water Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan, aiming to halt the heavily polluting sectors from contaminating water sources.
- Focus was also laid on municipal and industrial wastewater treatment, owing to which, China aimed to spend around RMB 559 billion on its water treatment industry, through its 13th Five-year Plan. Additionally, the country continues to add new plants and projects, which is expected to boost the demand for water treatment chemicals, thereby increasing the demand for flocculants in the country.
- In the oil and gas industry, acrylamide usage is comparatively limited compared to other countries, owing to the limited enhanced oil recovery and fracking activities in the country. However, Chinese energy giants are making progress by unlocking natural gas from shale rock formations.
- Furthermore, the number of new development wells drilled in China reached 15,177 in the recent past, representing an increase of 4.8% over the previous year’s value. This trend is expected to continue in the coming years, owing to the shale gas development in the country.
- This is expected to provide huge growth opportunity to the acrylamide market through the years to come.
Acrylamide market is consolidated with a few players occupying the majority of the market share. SNF group currently accounted for the major market share and is also the largest producer of acrylamide in the world. Companies like CNPC, BASF SE, Mitsui Chemical Inc., Beijing Hengju Chemical Group Corporation, Ashland have also accounted for large market shares.
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