The chelate industry has seen an accelerated growth over the years owing to their increasing demand in various end use industries such as pulp and paper, agrochemicals, etc. The growth of these end-use industries is expected to propel demand further over the period. Rapidly increasing urbanization, accelerated population coupled with steady industrialization are projected to impact the demand positively.
The global chelating agents market is driven by its huge demand in the flourishing paper & pulp and detergent industry. The paper & pulp industry chelating agent are used to improve quality of the paper that leads to cutting down the cost of production. In 2015, this application segment accounted for over USD 1 billion and will have a healthy growth rate in the coming years. Other applications considered are water treatment for softening of water, agrochemicals for proper growth of plant, household & industrial cleaning, consumer products, and others.
Need for Green Chelate
Considerable effort has gone into designing greener, more biodegradable alternatives, but as the reactivity of the alternatives is not the same as that of the original chelating agents, chemists have had to use their skill to find new, greener designs that are as effective without harming the environment they were called as Green Chelates also known as biodegradable chelating agents. These agents reach >60% biodegradability within 28 days of discharge in the ecosystem. The development of a cost-effective and operationally efficient alternative for the two most frequently used chelating agents, NTA and EDTA, has been an important breakthrough for the industry as they have good toxicological and ecological profile.
The global green chelates or natural chelating agents market was worth USD 1.76 billion in 2016 and is projected to reach USD 2.45 billion by 2021, registering a CAGR of 5.74% between 2016 and 2021.
Europe is the largest market for green chelates, registering a moderate CAGR, in terms of value, between 2016 and 2021, followed by Asia Pacific region, whereas, North America region is considered as the fast moving market. In Europe the growth is majorly driven by the increase in green chelates/natural chelating agents demand in various application segments such as cleaning, water treatment, agriculture, personal care, and food & beverage due to the implementation of stringent environmental regulations and growing acceptance in the FMCG industry.
The ever increasing demand for green chelates from end-use point of view, its unique properties and eco-friendliness are the major drivers of this market. Some of the other market drivers that are contributing to the growth of the global green chelating agents market are as follows:
- Stringent environment protection laws for conserving water resources.
Environmental policies contribute for the wellbeing of the society and create long-term sustainability. Most of the traditional chelating agents used are poorly biodegradable due to which it creates an adverse effect on the environment i.e. affecting the water bodies. Such environmental concerns being raised have led to the formation of stringent regulations in many countries. These biodegradable, non-toxic, and non-polluting properties of green chelating agents make them stand out distinctly among other types of chelating agents available in the market.
- Minimizing the biological risk
A biohazard is a biological agent with the potential to cause harm in humans. Chelating agents are an imperative part of industrial, household, water treatment, and personal care products. As most of the ingredients used are not completely biodegradable they often end up in water bodies, resulting in bioaccumulation. Phosphates cause eutrophication in water which leads to biohazards such as algal blooms in water bodies, thus affecting aquatic life. Therefore, most of the players are now replacing the conventional chelating agents with sustainable green chelating agents that have minimal environmental impact.
- Increase in the awareness of Green chelates
The main driver behind the market upsurge is the growing consumer awareness about the environment as everyone wants to breathe clean air, and to be protected against the harmful things for our well-being. Awareness to protect the environment is increasing among the major players, due to which there is a profound shift for the usage of chemicals from traditional methods to a more sustainable method.
- Green Agronomics
The uniform growth in the agrochemical industry is attributable to the ever rising demand for food. Furthermore, the economic development has increased in emerging countries such as Brazil, Russia, India, and China due to increase in the disposable income of its citizens thus bringing changes in the lifestyle and elevating the consumption of high-quality foods. The use of agrochemicals is also increasing due to the growing demand and the continuous loss of arable land, due to which agrochemical manufacturers use green chelating agents to formulate effective micronutrients for crops and enhance their uptake.
- Ethical and environmental responsibility
As we know that chelating agents are poorly biodegradable in nature they create a detrimental effect on the industry and also raise the concerns about their environmental effects. Hence shifting towards a more sustainable method that is using green chelates over the traditional chelating agents would serve the social responsibility of companies for the environment.
Though there is an ever rising demand for the green chelates around the emerging markets, on the other hand the market faces some challenges as well. While green manufacturing can significantly reduce the carbon footprint, it can be difficult for companies to do it cost-effectively. Many of these companies don’t think anything of the environment, which allows them to keep their operating costs low, as going green causes increase in the prices of raw materials. For which they require high capital and hence not all companies can afford the capital required, due to which they prefer to stick to their traditional ways.
Another challenge is the R&D; it could be used to identify areas where more research is needed to spur innovation and to find out about the newer product applications from the end user point, which again requires high cost and long timescales. Apart from this, defining and communicating opportunities that could significantly improve the ability to effectively implement green chemistry and engineering in chemical manufacturing is lacking due to which the chemical manufacturers don’t recognize any success in the same.
As the green chelates are expensive, this could lead to resistance for usage in commodity products as prices of finished products could increase. And in a developing country like India it would affect the most, as the cost for daily household products like soaps and detergents, personal care etc. increases people would hesitate to buy them. And if we need to start introducing Green Chelates in life style products their usage in every day products would be justified only when there is increase in volumes and reduction in costs. Hence though the idea of green chelates is highly appreciated by everyone, one should never ignore the challenges it faces as well as its scope for future.
About AVA Chemicals
AVA Chemicals has been formulating and providing premium grade chemicals to the national and international clients. Their products are used across a wide spectrum of industries like Agrochemicals, Electroplating, Floriculture, Horticulture, Laboratory Re-agents, Pharmaceuticals, Photography, Oilfield Chemicals, Soaps and Detergents and Textiles and many more.
A company’s foundation is always built on their values; AVA chemicals conduct their business in a socially responsible and ethical manner, which distinguish them from the others. We believe in touching millions of lives of people by providing the finest of speciality chemicals to the companies who manufacture products used in day-to-day life and also protecting the environment.
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