Biocides are protective substances used to inhibit the growth of bacteria and other pernicious organisms, including fungi. Biocides come in a variety of forms, such as halogen or metallic compounds, organic acids and organosulfurs. Each plays an integral role in the paint and coatings, water treatment, wood preservation, and food and beverage industries.
A report published earlier this year by Global Market Insights – titled Biocides Market Size By Application (Food & beverage, Water treatment, Wood Preservation, Paints & Coatings, Personal care, Boilers, HVAC, Fuels, Oil & Gas), By Product (Metallic Compounds, Halogen Compounds, Organic acids, Organosulfurs, Nitrogen, Phenolic), Industry Analysis Report, Regional Outlook, Application Potential, Price Trends, Competitive Market Share & Forecast, 2015 – 2022 – found that growth in water and waste water treatment applications from industrial and residential sectors is likely to drive biocides market size growth through 2022. The biocides market as a whole is expected to be valued at over $12 billion USD by then, with estimated gains at more than 5.1 percent, according to researchers at Global Market Insights.
“According to estimates, Asia Pacific and Latin America have low per-capita consumption owing to non-availability of clean water for domestic & industrial applications. These regions provide huge growth opportunities for industry participants in order to maintain hygienic environment along with potable water availability for residents.”
Specific to the paints and coatings industries, an increase in the applicability of biocides can be attributed to antimicrobial, antifungal and antibacterial properties coupled with construction industry growth. These two factors are likely to drive biocides demand. Researchers found that liquid and dry coatings foster microbial growth either before or after application. They are added to paints and coating to restrict growth of unwanted fungus, algae and bacteria which spoil the paint.
Growing environmental and regulatory concerns with regards to use of halogenated compounds such as bromine and chlorine are expected to hamper growth and affect biocides market price trend, the report states. EU introduced and implemented the Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR, Regulation (EU) 528/2012) regarding placing and biocides market use. This regulation is aimed at improving functioning of the product market in the union and at the same time ensuring protection for humans and the environment.
“North America, driven by the U.S. biocides market share, dominated demand with valuation exceeding $3.2 billion in 2014. The U.S. accounted for over 75 percent of the revenue share in North America. The US government has allotted significant amount of funds to infrastructural development in recent past which is likely to increase paints and coatings demand in the region and thereby promoting biocides growth,” researchers found.
“Asia Pacific, dominated by China biocides market share, accounted for over 28 percent of the revenue share and is likely to grow at higher rates up to 2022. Growth of end-use industries such as construction, healthcare, pharmaceuticals and food & beverages is likely to drive demand over the forecast period. The Middle East and Africa, mainly driven by Saudi Arabia, occupies a small portion of the total revenue share and is likely to grow at above average growth rates up to 2022. This region is likely to grow owing to increasing paints & coatings demand due to increasing construction spending by regional governments of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE and Qatar.”
A growing industry
David Tierney, global marketing director for Building Products at Lonza, found that the global biocides market grew by 3-4 percent annually in the last two years.
“Due to the market trend towards water-based formulations and tighter control on other raw materials there is a growing need for effective preservation systems,” Tierney said.
“Exceptional growth” in the biocides market is not uncommon in today’s economy, and Sonia Poropat, corporate development strategist at Ultra Fresh, said that her company expects the trend to continue.
“Consumers are becoming increasingly savvy about the positive benefits of material preservation as it relates to sustainability,” she said. “Manufacturers and brands looking for a point of differentiation are advertising antimicrobial properties as a means of promoting environmental responsibility.”
Beth McDaniel, owner and chief of administration at Reactive Surfaces, said that the biocide market segments focused on hygienic surfaces has seen a rapid growth over the past year, in large part due to the pervasive threat of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). According to the Center for Disease Control, HAIs account for more than 700,000 infections each year, of which about 75,000 die per year. Hospital surfaces as well as insertable medical devices, such as catheters, account for some of the worst infection-spreading culprits. Further, there’s the threat of superbugs resulting from antiobiotic resistance. Thus, there is the urgent need for anti-microbial coatings in the burgeoning health industry, McDaniel said.
“However, there has been growing concern over mounting exposure to toxic chemicals. Major hospital systems, lead by Kaiser Permanente, have recently banned certain antimicrobials from hospitals and clinics, stating that their decision is based on concerns of toxicity to patients, environmental persistence, and in certain cases lack of efficacy.
“This trend is part of a global concern for toxicity of traditional biocides. For instance, the biocide triclosan, the active ingredient in the product Microban was recently deemed by the European Union to be toxic and bio-accumulative and will be phased-out for hygienic uses and replaced by more suitable alternatives. The industry is in dire need of good alternatives,” she said.
In response to these concerns, McDaniel pointed out, interest has been growing growth in bio-based, anti-microbial technologies. “Naturally-occurring, non-toxic biocides have been shown to be broad-spectrum, effective against a variety of pathogens, including bacteria and their spores, fungi, algae, and certain viruses. Further, these novel coating additives can work in combination with other bio-based additives to provide synergy and multi-functionality,” she said.
Environmental and other considerations
Poropat said that there is a silver lining to European regulations, which have limited or restricted use of certain biocides that used to dominate select industries.
“This has opened up the market to additional players and spawned innovative treatments using new and existing actives,” she said. “New formulations must be environmentally friendly while providing effective broad spectrum performance and durability.”
Regulations are the main driver for biocide selection, said Tierney. “As a result, the range of available active chemistry is becoming extremely restricted. Under these circumstances compatibility with target formulations is a key issue to achieve long term protection,” he said.
Formulators have an abundance of considerations when choosing a biocide or fungicide. According to McDaniel, end-use consumers and regulators will ultimately play a part in guiding which solutions are available and in-demand.
“At present, traditional biocides that have been approved by regulatory agencies can still be purchased and used, however, due to growing concerns about the health and environmental risks associated with traditional organic biocides, nanosilver, triclosan and quaternary silanes, there’s a definite trend reducing their widespread usage,” she said.
As such, McDaniels believes that formulators should start to think about non-toxic and non-eco-toxic formulations. “The effectiveness of the anti-microbial coating, as well as its likelihood of developing antibiotic resistance are important considerations,” she added.
In addition to the importance of working with a biocide supplier that offers a broad selection of actives and formulations, Poropat added, companies should consider the after sales services they will receive once they become a customer such as in-the field technical support, continued research and development, international regulatory expertise and ongoing quality control of finished goods to ensure product performance.
Some of the latest products to become available in this market are as follows. For more information, please contact the company directly.
Lonza: Lonza launched Proxel LS Preservative, a new MIT free in can biocide, at this year’s American Coatings Show. This product is an innovative blend of BIT with a pyrithione salt, which addresses the formulators regulatory and performance criteria.
Reactive Surfaces: Reactive Surfaces has developed sŌp, a multi-functional, enzymatic, self-cleaning additive powered by a peptide surfactant for enhanced enzymatic activity. The result is a microscopic layer of soap on a surface that consistently cleans the surface of grease and oils, making for a more hygienic surface.
Ultra Fresh: Ultra-Fresh DW-56 is an aqueous dispersion engineered for use as a highly effective, broad spectrum, antimicrobial agent. Containing a blend of two actives, Ultra-Fresh DW-56 prevents odor generation, discoloration and product degradation caused by bacteria, fungi and algae. Ultra-Fresh DW-56 is formulated to provide excellent antimicrobial properties in a wide range of applications including water-based emulsions, coatings, adhesives, grout, mortar, mastics and latex.