Market growth for sedimentation equipment will rise to $6 bn in 2010

Paul Boughton

The world market for sedimentation and centrifugation equipment will rise from $5 billion/yr in 2005 to $6 billion/yr by 2010.

In the continually updated online reportSedimentation and Centrifugation World Marketsthe McIlvaine Company attributes the growth primarily to the increased demand in the water and energy sectors.

In the water sector equipment such as clarifersdissolved air flotationcentrifugesand hydrocyclones are used for preliminary treatment of drinking waterwastewater purificationand sludge dewatering. The booming market in Asiawhere most of the citizens still lack clean waterwill account for significant growth.

In Asia hundreds of millions of people are moving into the cities from rural areas. Instead of untreated well waterthere is the need for filtered surface water. Instead of night soil for use in agriculturethere is the need for dewatered sewage sludge. Decanter centrifuges are used in preference to belt filters for larger sewage sludge dewatering plants.

European suppliers of centrifuges have successfully expanded into this Asian market and through direct sales or licensees dominate this region.

Clarifiers and dissolved air flotation units are employed at many new municipal water treatment facilities. Desalination plants need clarifiers and hydrocyclones for pre-treatment of the seawater.

In the energy sector there are double-digit niche growth segments. Hundreds of ethanol plants are now in planning and construction throughout the world.

Most will use decanter centrifuges for dewatering of residues which are used for animal feed. The opportunity for separation equipment sales will increase if grasses rather than corn become the primary feed stock.

The technology for making ethanol from grasses is more complex but the cost of growing grasses is considerably less than corn. The US and Brazil are already the leading suppliers and will maintain this lead. Over 100 ethanol plants are now in planning or construction in the US.

The world will be investing over $50 billion per year in new coal-fired power plants over the next two decades. This will result in nearly $100 million per year invested in a variety of sedimentation and centrifugation equipment. These plants will require large amounts of surface water for cooling. Clarifiers will be needed to remove sediment and provide pre-treatment.

Hydro cyclones and clarifiers will be needed to concentrate the gypsum formed by the capture of SO2 in limestone scrubbers. Basket centrifuges will compete with belt filters for the dewatering of the gypsum.

China will be the leading purchaser of sedimentation and centrifugation equipment over the next decade. Activity in municipal water and wastewater will be high as will expansion of mining and heavy manufacturing. China will be building more coal-fired power plants than any other country.

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