The market of water soluble polymers was partially hindered, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. The outbreak impacted the water soluble polymers industry through the supply chain disruption. One of the primary recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) is to wash hands thoroughly regularly to prevent the spread of the disease, as washing hands with soap and water are one of the most effective ways to remove the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), which means that utilities must provide clean and safe water to prevent the disease from spreading. Thus, there was a sudden rise in demand for water soluble polymers from the water treatment sector to provide safe and clean water resources to the public. However, the water soluble polymers manufacturing facilities were forced to shut down for 4-5 months, due to the closure of non-essential businesses, owing to which the inventory and stock of the market were partially limited and production output decreased, which impacted the water soluble polymers market revenue in 2020.
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Water Soluble Polymers Market Segment Analysis By Type
The polyacrylamide segment held the largest share in the water soluble polymers market in 2020 and is growing at a CAGR of 6.3% during 2021-2026. Polyacrylamide and its sodium salts are widely used as a thickening agent, binder, super absorbent, soil conditioner, filtering aid, a flocculating agent, crosslinker, suspending agent, lubricant, and oil recovery agent. Wastewater treatment is one of its most common applications. It causes suspended particles to agglomerate and precipitate when added to the wastewater. It can be utilized in all liquid-solid separation procedures, including primary sewage treatment, in municipal and industrial wastewater treatment. Polyacrylamide is also used to treat water from mineral mining operations. Oil extraction and recovery is another popular application. When water is injected into the well, polyacrylamide assists in pushing oil locked in reservoirs towards the pump by increasing the viscosity of the injected water. Thus, owing to all these advantages associated with polyacrylamide its demand is escalating in various end-use industries, which is increasing its demand.
Water Soluble Polymers Market Segment Analysis By Function
The flocculating segment held a significant share in the water soluble polymers market in 2020 and is growing at a CAGR of 4.8% during 2021-2026. Flocculating agents are additives that cause suspended materials to form flocs, which are aggregates. Large volumes of used water can be processed quickly through flocculation, which minimizes the environmental impact in the sense of land needed for used water storage facilities. Water soluble polymers such as quaternary ammonium compounds, polyacrylamide, polyacrylic acid, hydroxyethylcellulose, and tetrachloroethylene are often used as flocculating in applications such as water treatment, municipal and industrial waste treatment, and more. Flocculants are often used in these applications to improve the sedimentation or filterability of small particles as flocculation expedites sedimentation and ensures efficient solid/liquid separation, owing to this there is an upsurge in its consumption, which is driving its market growth.
Water Soluble Polymers Market Segment Analysis By End-Use Industry
The water treatment segment held the largest share in the water soluble polymers market in 2020 and is growing at a CAGR of 5.5% during 2021-2026. Groundwater and surface water contain both dissolved and suspended particles and water soluble polymers such as quaternary ammonium compounds, polyacrylamide, polyacrylic acid, hydroxyethylcellulose, and tetrachloroethylene are used to separate the portion of the suspended solids from the water. Water soluble polymers are often used as flocculants to promote the clumping of destabilized particles, which are obtained after being treated with coagulants. The water soluble polymers-based coagulants neutralize the charge on colloidal particles responsible for keeping them apart. These substances cause colloids and other suspended particles to agglomerate and fall out of the liquid, promoting flocculation. Thus, water-soluble polymer flocculants are important constituents of solid-liquid separation units, for the treatment of process?affected effluents, owing to which water soluble polymers are being extensively utilized in the water treatment sector.
Water Soluble Polymers Market Segment Analysis By Geography
Asia-Pacific region held the largest share in the water soluble polymers market in 2020 up to 33.6%, owing to the increasing water treatment activities, which is accelerating the demand for water soluble polymers such as quaternary ammonium compounds, polyacrylamide, polyacrylic acid, hydroxyethylcellulose, and tetrachloroethylene in the region. Asia-Pacific governments are also striving to expand water reuse. For example, Suwon City, Korea will build a wastewater treatment facility by 2025 to purify 325,000m3 of wastewater per day and supply industrial water to companies in Suwon and nearby. According to NITI Aayog, by 2030, Indias water demand is projected to be twice the available supply. According to research by the Ministry of Water Resources’ National Commission for Integrated Water Resource Development, the water needs in a high-use scenario by 2050 are anticipated to be a milder 1,180 BCM, whereas current availability is 695 BCM. According to Singapores National Water Agency, by 2060, Singapore’s total water demand could almost double, with the non-domestic sector accounting for about 70%. And to meet this increasing future water demand, it is anticipated that water treatment will bolster in Asia-Pacific countries, propelling the water soluble polymers industry in the Asia-Pacific region.
Water Soluble Polymers Market Drivers
Expanding Oil & Gas Exploration Activities Sector
Water-soluble polymers such as quaternary ammonium compounds, polyacrylamide, polyacrylic acid, hydroxyethylcellulose, and tetrachloroethylene are widely employed as oilfield fluids throughout the drilling, completion, workover, improved oil recovery, and production phases of oil and gas wells. And the oil & gas exploration activities are increasing globally. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects crude oil production to increase in 2022 by 0.4 million b/d because of increased drilling activities in the USA. The Indian Government is planning to invest US$2.8 billion in upstream oil and gas production to double natural gas production to 60 bcm and drill more than 120 exploration wells by 2022. Shell has given Velesto, a Malaysian drilling business, an offshore drilling contract for activities off the coast of Malaysia. The jack-up unit will drill seven firm wells under the contract for work in 2021-2022, with a projected start date of August 15, 2021, to October 15, 2021. Such oil & gas exploration activities are set to increase the demand for water soluble polymers in the oil & gas sector, and further drive the water soluble polymers market growth during the forecast period.
Growing Prevalence of Cancer Patients
Water soluble polymers such as quaternary ammonium compounds, polyacrylamide, polyacrylic acid, hydroxyethylcellulose, tetrachloroethylene are often used in the medical & healthcare sector for therapeutic, biomedical/prosthetic, and pharmaceutical applications. Water-soluble polymers offer the potential to increase drug circulation time, improve drug solubility, prolong drug residence time in a tumor, and reduce toxicity in cancer patients. Medicines that are covalently linked to water-soluble polymers via reversible links target tumor tissue more efficiently than drugs that are used alone. Thus, water soluble polymers are often used during the treatment of cancer patients. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, and cancer deaths are expected to continue to rise worldwide, reaching 13.1 million by 2030. Thus, the increasing demand for curing materials to reduce cancer death rates will further increase the growth of the oncology market in the Rest of Europe during the forecast period. Thus, with the increasing cancer cases worldwide, it is anticipated that the demand for water soluble polymers will substantially rise to reduce the cancer death rates, which will drive the market of water soluble polymers.
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Water Soluble Polymers Market Challenges
Price Fluctuation of Water Soluble Polymers
Prices of water soluble polymers namely polyacrylamide rely directly on the cost of the raw materials, including acrylic acid and acrylonitrile. These raw materials are derived from crude oil and thus the price of water soluble polymers is highly susceptible to the prices of its crude oil-derived feedstock. The price of crude oil has been volatile during the previous few years. For instance, the price of crude oil has decreased from US$98.95/bbl in 2014 to US$52.39/bbl in 2015 and increased from US$43.73/bbl in 2016 to US$71.31/bbl in 2018 and then decreased to US$64.21/bbl in 2019, according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy. And because of this uncertainty in crude oil prices, the price of water soluble polymers such as quaternary ammonium compounds, polyacrylamide, polyacrylic acid, hydroxyethylcellulose, and tetrachloroethylene also fluctuates, which is a significant challenge for the water soluble polymers market during the forecast period.
Water Soluble Polymers Market Landscape
Technology launches, acquisitions, and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the water soluble polymers market. Water soluble polymers market top companies are Arkema SA, Ashland Inc., DuPont, LG Chem, The Dow Chemical Company, Nitta Gelatin Inc., BASF SE, SNF SAS, and Kuraray Group.
In January 2020, BASF’s water-soluble polyacrylate production plant in Ludwigshafen, Germany, has been made more flexible and capacity has been marginally increased. Customers in the household and commercial cleaning product industries, as well as the chemical and formulator industries, can now benefit from the enhanced plant’s improved capacity in specialized chemicals.
Asia-Pacific dominates the water soluble polymers market, owing to the increasing government initiatives, which are bolstering the growth of the water treatment sector in the region. For instance, the Indian government announced to allocate Rs 3.6 trillion (US$50 billion) to the Jal Jeevan Mission, the governments ambitious program to provide piped water to all households in the country by 2024.
The rising demand for bio-based acrylamide, as well as its growing use in the pharmaceutical business, will most certainly provide manufacturers with several chances in the future.
The developing cleaning industry, along with the rising demand for personal care and hygiene products, is likely to provide profitable prospects for water soluble polymers market players.
Furthermore, enhanced oil recovery of crude oil has gained huge adoption in the petroleum industry, which is further increasing the demand for water soluble polymers.
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