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World sales of water and wastewater treatment chemicals were over $17 billion last year and will reach $22 billion in 2010. Nevertheless, the market is splintered with tens of thousands of companies supplying a wide range of products. These are the conclusions reached by the McIlvaine Company in its online Water and Wastewater Treatment Chemicals World Markets.
The largest supplier, Nalco, achieved only a 7% market share worldwide. GE Water, the next largest, only garnered 3.5% of the market.
Top Water and wastewater treatment chemical sales 2004 ($ millions)
GE Water 640
Buckman Labs 250
Ashland: Drew Industrial 200
Calgon Carbon 200
Ciba Specialty Chemicals 200
Twenty companies achieved sales in this segment in 2004 of over $100 million. This means sales average is less than $1 million/yr.
The industry is composed of companies who by and large buy commodity chemicals in bulk and then blend and package these chemicals along with service.
“Corrosion inhibitor” is the biggest single product category, representing 18% of the total. Other products, in order of sales revenue, are organic flocculants, inorganic flocculants, scale inhibitors, oxidizers and biocides, pH adjusters, odor control, ion exchange, activated carbon, chelates and defoamers.
Municipal wastewater plants are the largest purchasers (17% of the total) followed in order by power generators, municipal water treatment plants, refineries, pulp and paper mills, oil and gas producers, food processors, metal working companies, chemical producers, electronics manufacturers and mines.