Expanding at a CAGR over 5% during the forecast period (2016-2024), the global biocides market is projected to reach nearly USD 12980.8 million by 2024. Factors fuelling the industry are increasing awareness and stringent environmental regulations. Industrialization and urbanization in emerging nations contributes to industrial growth. Health awareness and the need for potable water will positively influence the industry. The need for potable water arises from industrial and domestic applications. Demand for biocides in water treatment owes to a rapidly growing global population.
Biocides are either natural or synthetic compounds that are used as antimicrobial, antifouling & disinfecting agents, and pesticides. Halogens like acrolein, amines, bromine & chlorine, copper salts, iodine, metals, organosulfur, and quaternary ammonium salts are the major raw materials used to make this product. The VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) content in biocides is either very low or nearly zero. This makes them a preferred choice over chemical alternatives, which contain high VOC and can be hazardous.
Biocides, in the U.S. are regulated by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The FIFRA manages and controls the distribution, sale and use of these pesticides. Strict regulations regarding product authorization and the use of active substances like mutagens, reprotoxic, and carcinogenic substances can inhibit market growth. Regulatory norms implemented by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) could also pose certain challenges. These regulatory bodies look into aspects such as product composition & use.
The global market is divided into applications, products, and regions. Biocides are extensively used in applications, such as food & beverages, painting & coatings, personal care, water treatment, and wood preservation, among others. ‘Others’ includes oil & gas, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning), fuels, and boilers. Water treatment dominated the applications segment with over 23% of the global revenue in 2014. The water treatment biocides market was estimated at nearly USD 2 billion in 2014. Regulations focus mainly on industrial water treatment to reduce the ill effects of microbial activity, scaling, corrosion, and waste water disposal.
The food & beverages segment, in terms of revenue held a share of more than 16% of the total market in 2014. This segment is fueled by the growing need to control microbial activity in foods & drinks. The extensive use of preservatives in ready-to-eat foods could also positively affect the market. Growth in this segment is also attributed to changing lifestyles and demand from growing economies like India and China.
Demand for biocides in personal care may increase at a CAGR of nearly 5.5% over the next eight years. When used in personal care products, biocides reduce bacterial and fungal activities and enhance the shelf-life of these products. Personal care products include moisturizing creams, shampoos, liquid soaps, and shower gels.
The oil & gas segment is expected to witness substantial growth over the forecast period. Demand for biocides within this segment can be credited to its bacterial growth curbing properties. Awareness about the harmful effects of germs-filled air on the respiratory system will drive the demand by 2024.
Products include nitrogen, phenolic, metallic compound, halogen compound, organosulfurs, organic acids, and others. With a revenue exceeding USD 2 billion, the halogen segment dominated the market with a 25% share in 2014. These compounds are used extensively in waste water treatment in municipal & industrial projects. Growth will be sluggish because of environmental concerns regarding chlorine & iodine use.
Metallic compounds are used in paints & coatings, food & beverages, and in wood preservation. They are also used as disinfectants in water treatment plants and in cooling towers. This product held a share of over 18% and generated a revenue exceeding USD 1.5 billion in 2014. The segment is projected to expand moderately from 2016 to 2024.
Furthermore, metallic compounds are also used as substitutes to halogens in water treatment. Stringent environmental norms will support the growth of the segment in the coming years. Silver-based biocides are vastly used as antibacterial agents in consumer products. This is because they exhibit high thermal stability and ensure health & environmental safety.
Organosulfurs control microbial activities in oil refineries as they contain antifungal and antibacterial properties. This product held a share surpassing 11% in 2014. This product inhibits the growth of microorganisms on metal & plastic surfaces. In addition to this, the demand for plastics in the automotive industry and in construction may boost the need for organosulfurs.
Nitrogen products could grow at a CAGR of about 6% till 2024. Their use as preservatives in healthcare, pharmaceutical, and food processing industries is likely to augment demand.
Regions in the global biocides market are Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa (MEA). With a revenue surpassing USD 3.2 billion, North America held a share of over 40% in the global market in 2014. The United States held more than 75% of the market share in the region. Financial support from the U.S. government for infrastructural development in the recent past, has propelled the demand for paints & coatings. This in turn will increase the demand for biocides in the forthcoming years.
Asia Pacific may grow significantly at a CAGR of more than 6% over the forecast period. Greater healthcare expenditure due to technological advancements and cheaper medical facilities can drive the phenolic biocides market. India and China will register high growth rates during this period. China will continue to dominate the Asia Pacific market till 2024.
The MEA region is driven by Saudi Arabia. This region will report an average CAGR and will hold a small share in the total revenue in the forecast period. Governments of Bahrain, UAE, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia encourage infrastructural development in their countries. This will rev up the demand for paints & coatings in the years to come.
The global biocides market is dominated by four leading companies accounting for more than 55% of the total demand. The companies are Dow Microbial Control, Troy Corporation, Arch Chemicals, and ISP. Arch Chemicals dominated the market holding a share of over 15% in 2014. In 2011, Lanxess AG acquired Syngenta to expand its production capacity. The company further acquired Verichem Incorporated, in 2010. Dow also awarded Fluor Corporation an EPC (engineering, procurement, and construction) contract in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in May 2014.
Research Support Specialist, USA