Algaecide Market: Overview, Trends, Segmentation, Region-wise Outlook and Key Players
An algaecide (also known as an algicide) is a biocide employed specifically for the extermination and prevention of algae growth. It falls under the category of pesticides. Pesticides and biocides are often interchanged and mistaken for “plant protection products”, when in reality, all biocides are also pesticides, but not vice versa.
Biocides comprise one or more active components and may have other non-active co-formulants that act as inhibitors for the growth of organisms they are designed to combat. Their efficiency is evident from their desired viscosity, pH, odor, color, and other properties. Consumers of biocides may be professional and/or non-professional. These factors also apply to algaecides, since they are a form of biocides that are regularly used in agriculture, forestry, medicines, and for industrial purposes.
Common examples of algaecides include copper sulfate, chelated copper formulations, endothall, QAC, sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate formulations, and peroxyacetic acid & hydrogen dioxide.
England follows the trend of keeping Barley straws (a type of algaecide) inside mesh bags and letting it float on the surface of water gardens and fish ponds in order to reduce algal growth without causing any harm to the aquatic life present. The United States environmental protection agency (EPA) is yet to approve of the usage of Barley straws as pesticides, as tests carried out in ponds by universities of the United States and England have produced mixed results regarding their effectiveness.
In 2008, global demand for biocides used in consumer goods and industrial purposes was estimated at US$ 6.4 billion.
Since biocides are designed to kill living organisms, they run a significant risk of affecting human health and welfare. Algaecides are chemicals that can be used in the form of powders, aerosols, or liquids and pose threats of infection, inflammatory responses, and other injuries if not handled carefully. Hence, it is advisable to handle them with great care and make use of appropriate protective clothing and equipment.
The use of biocides can and may also have adverse effects on the natural environment, which is why there are various legislations monitoring their production and employment. Manufacturers are required to be registered with the government or private associations. For instance, the U.S. environmental protection agency (USEPA) oversees the use of algaecides in and around regional aquatic habitats, while PAN International is a conglomerate network of organizations spread across Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and North America, with regional centers.
Based on the algaecide’s physical state, this market can be divided into the powder, aerosols, solid, liquid, and other categories. In terms of grade, the divisions are reagent grade, technical grade, analytical grade, bio-tech grade, and others.
By product, the market can be split into the copper sulfate, chelated copper formulations, endothall, QAC, sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate formulations, peroxyacetic acid & hydrogen dioxide, and other varieties. Applications include surface water treatment, aqua farming, agriculture, sports & recreational centers, and others.
In 2015, the algaecide market was dominated by North America which constituted a major share in the market. A critical, widespread, and expensive environmental problem in North America is nutrient pollution. Regulatory framework is present in the region which lays a strong emphasis on controlling this problem, especially in the U.S., which is a major propellant of algaecides in the region.
Key players operating in the algaecide market include BASF SE, The Dow Chemical Company, Nufarm Limited, Lonza Group AG, UPL Limited, SePRO Corporation, Waterco Limited, BioSafe Systems LLC, Airmax, Inc., and Oreq Corporation.
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