At least 2 billion people around the world use water contaminated with feces for drinking. The consumption of contaminated drinking water can transmit diseases such as cholera, diarrhea, typhoid, dysentery, and polio. Further, for industrial purposes, such as product manufacturing, only microbe-free water is supposed to be used. These two factors are driving the demand for biocides, which are used to disinfect water as well as equipment used for the production, transportation, and storage of water.
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Biocides act as anti-fouling agents and disinfectants that impair the growth of harmful microorganisms including protozoa, bacteria, and viruses. To maintain the microbiological quality of water, by eliminating the pathogenic microorganisms, biocides are widely used at water disinfection installations before and during its distribution. The demand for treated water is rising due to the growing population, which requires water for domestic consumption. Therefore, to cater to the rising requirement for treated water for industrial, commercial, and domestic purposes, biocides are witnessing a surge in demand, especially in developing countries.
Biocides contain active substances which intend to destroy, deter, or control the growth of harmful microorganisms by biological or chemical means. Depending on their properties, these can act as pesticides, disinfectants, or preservatives. A P&S Intelligence study predicted the biocides market to exhibit a 4.4% CAGR, reaching 1,376.6 kilotons sales volume, in the coming years. Biocides are of many types, namely phenolic, halogenated, nitrogenous, metallic, organic acid, inorganic acid, alcohol, aldehyde, ozone, and organosulfur. The highest demand in the past was for halogenated biocides due to their wide application in the industrial and residential water treatment. Further, halogenated biocides, which include sodium hypochlorite, chlorine, and bromine, are used in municipal sewage treatment, cooling towers, and disinfecting swimming pools. They are expected to remain in the highest demand among other biocides in the coming time as well.
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Biocides are used in various applications, such as human hygiene, water treatment, household, industrial, and institutional (HI&I) cleaning, preservation, agriculture, and aquaculture. In the past, biocides were in the highest demand for water treatment purposes, as the surging need for potable water in various countries, such as Indonesia, the U.S., and China, resulted in the development of new water treatment plants. Further, many industries, such as oil & gas and power generation, are dependent on treated water for conducting their operations. Therefore, even in the coming years, the demand for biocides would continue to be the highest for the water treatment application to fulfill the demand for treated water for industrial as well as residential purposes.
With increasing concerns regarding the safety of the environment, recent researches in the biocide domain have been focused on the development of eco-friendly biocides. This is being done by integrating green chemistry into product design, which aims at the degradation of green biocides into non-toxic constituents after carrying out the intended task. This would take care of the bioaccumulating effect and leave no harmful impact on the environment. Additionally, the production of green biocides is expected to be incentivized by the adoption of biocide blends and integration of novel manufacturing technologies for the development of low-dose, high-performance products, and encapsulation for product formulation. This would provide a massive opportunity to biocide manufacturers for expanding their product portfolio and maximize profits.
This post was originally published on Trading Herald