Sediment & Centrifuge Equip. on Upswing

March 9, 2006

The world market for sedimentation and centrifugation equipment will rise from $5 billion annually in 2005 to $6 billion annually by 2010, according to a report by McIlvaine Company

The world market for sedimentation and centrifugation equipment will rise from $5 billion annually in 2005 to $6 billion annually by 2010, according to a report by McIlvaine Company ( The study, titled Sedimentation & Centrifugation World Markets, attributes the anticipated growth primarily to the increased demand in the water and energy sectors.

In the water sector, equipment such as clarifers, dissolved-air flotation, centrifuges, and hydrocyclones are used for preliminary treatment of drinking water, wastewater purification, and sludge dewatering. The market for these products is expected to boom in Asia where most of the citizens still lack clean water.

In Asia hundreds of millions of people are moving into the cities from rural areas. Instead of untreated well water, there is the need for filtered surface water. Instead of night soil for use in agriculture, there is the need for dewatered sewage sludge. According to McIlvaine, decanter centrifuges are used in preference to belt filters for larger sewage sludge dewatering plants, and European suppliers of centrifuges have successfully expanded into this market in Asia.

Further, McIlvaine says clarifiers and dissolved-air flotation units are employed at many new municipal water treatment facilities, and desalination plants need clarifiers and hydrocyclones for pre-treatment of seawater.

Meanwhile, in the energy sector, the report predicts double-digit niche growth segments, as hundreds of ethanol plants are now in planning and construction throughout the world. Most will use decanter centrifuges for dewatering of residues used for animal feed. The opportunity for separation equipment sales will increase if grasses rather than corn become the primary feedstock. According to McIlvaine, the technology for making ethanol from grasses is more complex, but the cost of growing grasses is considerably less than corn. The United States and Brazil, which are currently the leading producers of Ethanol, are expected to drive equipment demand in this area. Over 100 ethanol plants are now in planning or construction in the United States.

In addition, the reports says over $50 billion per year will be invested in new coal-fired power plants over the next two decades, resulting in nearly $100 million per year invested in a variety of sedimentation and centrifugation equipment. These plants will require large amounts of surface water for cooling, according to McIlvaine. Clarifiers will be needed to remove sediment and provide pretreatment. Hydrocyclones and clarifiers will be needed to concentrate the gypsum formed by the capture of SO2 in limestone scrubbers. Basket centrifuges will compete with belt filters for the dewatering of the gypsum.

China is expected to be the leading purchaser of sedimentation and centrifugation equipment over the next decade. Activity in municipal water and wastewater is expected to be high. According to McIlvaine, China will be building more coal-fired power plants than any other country.

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