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In a new report from Reportlinker.com, "World Water Disinfection Products Market," analysts say that the universal need for safe water is driving disinfection product demand. Analysts also predict thst the worldwide demand for water disinfection products is projected to grow more than 7 percent annually through 2014. Growth will be driven by a combination of factors, including recovery from the recent global economic downturn. But across the board, demand for water disinfection products will be boosted by the ubiquitous need for safe, clean water. UV, ozone and other nonchemical technologies are expected to register the fastest advances, although gains for chlorine and other chemicals will be appreciable -- especially in developing areas.
Although the need for water is universal, the problems confronted in meeting that need vary widely around the world. In many of the world's most affluent countries, access to water is rarely an issue. However, even in Western Europe, wastewater treatment rates and standards continue to improve as part of an effort to reuse more water and to minimize the effects of wastewater discharges on the environment. In other developed countries, traditional disinfection methods themselves have created challenges for water treatment operators. Regulations developed in the U.S. and elsewhere to reduce the threats posed by disinfection byproducts have changed treatment techniques, and created opportunities for products such as chloramines, UV and ozone.
In the world's least developed countries, growth for disinfection products will be tied mainly to ongoing efforts to expand access to safe water and basic sanitation facilities. Numerous countries have dramatically improved access to water (Vietnam, Georgia, Ghana) and sanitation (Angola, Cambodia, Mali). Even so, almost 40 percent of the world's population lacks access to even the most rudimentary sanitation systems. And up to a billion people are without a nearby supply of safe water. Disinfection products -- including both chemicals and equipment -- will be instrumental in reducing these numbers, and with them, the number of unnecessary deaths caused by waterborne diseases.
In terms of the volume of water disinfected in the world, the repoprt says that chlorine is still king, and will remain so. Its low cost and unmatched efficacy make it the right choice for high-volume disinfection applications -- especially when a disinfectant residual is needed. Chlorine derivatives are sometimes preferred because they are easier to handle in certain settings, such as in smaller water systems or in swimming pools and spas. Going forward, though, newer nonchemical technologies are expected to register faster growth, in part because many of these approaches are greener alternatives to products such as chlorine gas or bleach. Ozone offers the favorable attributes of degrading into safe compounds. UV treatment is usually employed in dual disinfection systems that reduce overall chemical usage while still delivering water that is safe and within regulatory compliance. Research also continues on a number of other novel treatment techniques, such as the use of modified titanium dioxide in a photocatalytic disinfection process.