Boosted by environmentally compatible products and better performing, multifunctional chemicals
US demand for industrial and institutional (I&I) cleaning chemicals is projected to increase by 4% a year to $9.3bn in 2008, according to Industrial & Institutional Cleaning Chemicals, a new study from market research firm The Freedonia Group.
The rise in value will be boosted by the increasing market presence of environmentally compatible products and better performing, multifunctional cleaning chemicals. However, volume gains will be restrained by a greater use of concentrated cleaners and reduced usage rates for such high volume raw materials as caustic soda, soda ash and commodity solvents.
Disinfectants and sanitisers will record the fastest growth among I&I cleaning chemical types through 2008. Gains will be driven by heightened safety and health concerns regarding the spread of infectious diseases and risks associated with foodborne pathogens and other contaminants.
The report predicts that these same trends will promote gains for hand cleansers, which are increasingly formulated with antibacterial agents such as triclosan or isopropanol. However, prospects for products containing antimicrobial additives could be adversely affected if indiscriminate use of disinfectants is proven to be a contributing factor in the proliferation of drug-resistant strains of bacteria.
General purpose cleaners and floor care products will continue to account for the largest market shares, accounting for more than 40% of overall demand in 2008. However, growth in both of these product categories is projected to lag behind the overall pace for I&I cleaning chemicals, due to intense competition for market share in a crowded field of competitors.
At the raw material level, environmental and regulatory considerations are the principal factors driving technological development and changes in the cleaning chemical product mix. Consequently, products that present the greatest challenges in terms of environmental and workplace safety, such as chlorine, alkalis and some solvent types, will register below average growth. But surfactants and other less controversial constituents will lead raw material gains.