Industrial absorbents are porous materials which absorb liquid or gas into spaces within and throughout the material. Industrial absorbents are used for spill control, containment, and remediation and recovery of liquids such as oil, water, and chemicals. Industrial absorbent materials are either oleophilic, hydrophilic, or hydrophobic.
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The use of absorbents spans many industries, including oil & gas, chemical, food processing, and pharmaceuticals, among others. The industrial absorbents market size is estimated to grow from USD 3.7 billion in 2018 to USD 4.7 billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 5.1%.
The major factors driving the industrial absorbents market include growing environmental concerns and regulations regarding oil and chemical spills. However, the availability of cost-effective substitutes of industrial absorbents and reducing large oil spill on sea incidents are the major challenges for the industrial absorbents market.
The synthetic segment is expected to be the fastest-growing material type segment in the industrial absorbents market. Synthetic industrial absorbents have high absorption capacities in comparison to natural organic and natural inorganic, which makes them a highly adopted material for industrial applications. Non-flammability and excellent water repellency properties make synthetic absorbents more suitable for applications in oil-only and HAZMAT spill control products.
The industrial absorbents market has been segmented on the basis of type into universal, oil-only, and HAZMAT/chemical. Among these, the oil-only segment is expected to register the highest growth during the forecast period.
Oil-only absorbent products are designed to selectively absorb petroleum hydrocarbons and other oil-based liquids only. Growing demand for oil-based liquid spill control products from emerging regions such as Asia Pacific and Middle East & Africa is expected to drive the growth of the oil-only segment in the industrial absorbents market during the forecast period.
Based on end-use industry, oil & gas is expected to be the fastest-growing end-use industry in the industrial absorbents market during the forecast period. There is an increasing demand for spill control products from downstream, midstream, and upstream manufacturers in the western regions. This demand is attributed to the imposition of regulations by environmental bodies such as EPA to prevent and remediate oil and chemical spills.
In addition, large-scale oil & gas exploration and production in countries such as the US, China, and Canada, among others, has led to increasing occurrence of spills during transportation and storage of oil & gas products. The Asia Pacific industrial absorbents market is expected to have the highest growth rate during the forecast period due to the rising awareness and pressure to reinforce strict environmental regulations for spill response & control and pollution caused by the end-use industries.
The industrial absorbents market in Asia Pacific is driven by the demand from countries such as China, Japan, India, and South Korea owing to the rapid industrialization and rising occurrences of small liquid spills across the end-use industries.