Water soluble polymers consists a wide variety of mineral polymers that are either of natural or synthetic origin, and are mainly used for facilitating the separation process of materials in suspension in an aqueous medium. They have wide applications in chemical processes such as thickening, dispersion, gelling, flocculation, coagulation, and rheology modification. The growing number of wastewater treatment processes in various industrial activities world over is a key factor propelling the application of water soluble polymers in various industries.
A burgeoning shale oil production to address a growing demand for natural gas in various parts of the world has spurred the demand for these polymers in a variety of applications in the petroleum industry. In addition, a number of emerging specialized applications of water soluble polymers, such as in the pharmaceutical industry, is further likely to accentuate the market. The global water soluble polymers market is projected to rise at a CAGR of 5.9% from 2013 to 2019. Expanding at this pace, the market is projected to reach US$29.63 billion by the end of the forecast period.
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Application of Synthetic Water Soluble Polymers to Reign Supreme
On the basis of the raw material used in making water soluble polymers, the market is segmented into synthetic, natural, and semi-synthetic materials. Of these, the synthetic segment is projected to be the dominant segment and accounts for more than 50% of the market in 2012. Synthetic polymers coagulants and flocculants have gained traction across various effluent water treatment processes. They are extensively used to dewater sludge in treating various types of wastewater.
On the other hand, natural-based water soluble proteins, particularly casein and gelatin, is expected to provide lucrative avenues for market players. This is attributed to the high cost of the materials and hence are suitable for high-value markets. The advent of lower-priced synthetic substitutes may hinder their industrial uses to an extent.
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Asia Pacific to Provide Abundant Growth Avenues
Based on geography, the market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Rest of the World. Of these, Asia Pacific led the global market in 2012 accounting for 40% of the total volume. The regional market is poised to lead throughout the forecast period and is projected to rise at the leading CAGR during the forecast period. This regional market is trailed by the Europe market and is forecast to remain so until 2019. Both, Europe and North America are considered mature markets for water soluble polymers.
On the other hand, North America and the Rest of the World segment combined accounted for a substantial share of the global market.