Algaecides are biocides, which are used in eradicating or restricting the growth of algae or cyanobacteria. These compounds are used to treat various species of filamentous, branched, as well as planktonic algae. The mode of action of an algae can be selective as well as non-selective. The selectivity of an algaecide depends upon factors such as product formulation, water chemistry, quantity of application, and the species to be treated. Based on type, the algaecides market can be segmented into copper compounds, simazine compounds, other compounds containing sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate as its active component, and certain eco-friendly compounds such as hydrogen dioxide and peroxyacetic acid. Algaecides are used primarily to control algal growth in stagnant water as well as water bodies used for storage of large volumes of water such as lakes, reservoirs, ponds, stock tanks, and irrigation systems.
For better results, algaecides can be used only after the species or the type of algal growth has been identified. The mechanism of the mode of action of algaecides is still not well known for most compounds being used as algaecide. Certain algaecides can work by spraying the compound directly onto the algal mat, or can be sprayed or injected directly on the water column. They can even be applied in the form of pellets or crystals. The mode of application and the form of the compound is largely dependent on the level of infectivity and algal growth in the water body.
Prominent applications of algaecides include agriculture, aquaculture, recreational and sports sites, and surface water treatment. Algaecides are widely used in aquaculture, since it is essential to maintain a viable condition for the growth of farm fishes and protect them from any adverse effects which could affect the yield of aquaculture. There has been a rise in the use of algaecides for agricultural purposes during the last few years and is expected to increase in the near future as well due to the rise in better agricultural practices across the globe. Algaecides being used for agricultural purposes need to be registered and approved by governments so that the chances of its negative impacts are reduced.
Most of the algaecides have copper in their chemical composition. However, the ill effects associated with the use of copper compounds on aquatic life is a rising matter of concern among government bodies and environmentalists. Development of eco-friendly alternatives to be used as algaecides has been taking place due to the rising awareness related to the ill effects of copper compounds. Eco-friendly alternatives for copper compounds that are gaining momentum are hydrogen dioxide and peroxyacetic acid. The usage of algaecides is expected to increase in the next few years owing to the rising concern and awareness regarding the conservation of environment and ecosystem. Instances of algal growth has increased due to the rapid growth in urbanization and industrialization. The occurrence of algae is estimated to increase with the rise in industrial activities. This, in turn, is projected to fuel the market for algaecides in the near future.
In terms of demand, the market for algaecides is well developed in North America. The practice of aquaculture is well developed in countries such as Canada and the U.S. The rapid rate of industrialization is also a major factor driving the market for algaecides in the region. The algaecides market in Latin America is expected to expand due to the improvement in agricultural practices in countries such as Brazil and Mexico. Demand for algaecides in Europe and Asia Pacific is anticipated to increase in the next few years at a relatively steady pace. Emphasis on controlling pollution and the ill effects associated with uncontrolled algal growth are likely to drive the market for algaecides in Asia Pacific and Europe.
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Key players operating in the algaecides market include Aquatic Technologies, BASF SE, Lonza Group AG, SePRO Corporation, and The Dow Chemical Company.