Nanotechnology in Environmental Applications: The Global Market

Published - Jul 2009| Analyst - Frank Boehm| Code - NAN039B
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Report Highlights

  • The global market for nanotechnology in environmental applications generated $1.1 billion in 2008 and an estimated $2.0 billion in 2009. This is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 61.8% to reach $21.8 billion in 2014.
  • The environmental protection segment has the largest market share, worth $661.4 million in 2008. This is expected to increase to more than $1.0 billion in 2009 and $10.3 billion in 2014, for a CAGR of 58.1%. 
  • Environmental enhancement is currently the second-largest market segment, generating $189.4 million in 2008 and an estimated $463.5 million in 2009. This should reach $2.8 billion in 2014, for a CAGR of 43.6%.


This report will focus on and survey global markets for present and future potential nanotechnology products developed for environmental applications through 2014. Factors involved in driving product demand within this vast untapped market will be explored in conjunction with trends, potential sales, and forecasts for various market sectors. Investigations will be conducted to elucidate current research efforts, as well as the characterization and quantification of developing environmental nanotechnologies already poised to enter the marketplace. In addition, manufacturers involved with the production of these nanotechnologies, along with their anticipated product volumes will be analyzed to demonstrate how these advances might impact specific environmental market segments.   
Expansive potential markets for environmental nanotechnology (“E-nano”) products already exist for a wide array of urgently needed environmental remedial applications, some of which appear to have requirements that are approaching critical levels. Indeed, it can be considered as essential that innovative and robust nanotechnology-based remedial technologies be developed as rapidly as possible in order to assure our continued well-being, if not our very survival long-term.
Conventional environmental remedial solutions seem to be relatively ineffectual in the face of currently extensive and expanding pollutant loads that permeate the air, water, and soil environments. This has been repeatedly evidenced by the limited successes seen in response to addressing recent large-scale cleanup challenges. Nanotechnologies dedicated to environmental cleanup may evolve to levels of sophistication and efficiency such that contaminant-affected areas might very well be “engineered” back to their original integrity; so as to “reset” the conditions for the restoration of their delicate balance.
The scope of this research report will envelop four primary high-demand areas for nanotechnological components, products and systems for application to the environment. These are organized according to levels of perceived critical importance. In a strategic sense they might all be implemented simultaneously, in that dedicated nanotechnologies emanating from each area may support and enhance the others. This report will be divided into four primary sections, which will be discussed in more detail in the Summary. These sections investigate nanotechnologies for the following applications:
  • Environmental remediation
  • Environmental protection
  • Environmental maintenance
  • Environmental enhancement
All revenue figures are in U.S. dollars.
The methodology involved in the compilation of this report included extensive literature searches, assimilation and distillation of environmentally related nanotechnology research. Where clarification or additional information was required to further elucidate specific technologies, individual researchers were contacted. Companies were consulted when a more in-depth description of their processes, products and perceived markets was warranted.
Relative to the sections of the report that explore potential nanotechnologies for environment policies, laws, and safety concerns, hundreds of emails were sent out internationally to survey individuals involved in these areas. This strategy was employed to gain a clearer picture and cross-disciplinary understanding of these domains, and to glean various perceptions of environmentally applied Nanotechnologies via respondent opinions, comments and perspectives. These individuals included international government environment officials, scientists and research experts, politicians, environmental lawyers and lawmakers, business leaders, as well as individuals from several prominent international environmental groups.  
The market values expressed within this report include those attributed to the dedicated research involved for specific items, as well as the valuation of finished products. Nanotechnology may be perceived as a fundamentally enabling and value-adding platform with the potential capacity for encompassing virtually every business/market sector. Therefore, when describing various facets of nanotechnology in the environmental applications market, the author feels that a distinction should not be made between the worth of particular products and/or processes, and those of the integrated nanomaterials that serve to improve their quality and performance.
The rationale here is that many products and processes that have been, or will be, enhanced and functionalized via nanotechnology might be less, or not at all, likely to be considered for purchase were it not for their value-added “nanoness” factor. The markets for these goods themselves may be generated, to a significant degree, by virtue of the nanomaterials, nanoscale engineering, and/or nanodevices that they contain, and the added benefits that they convey. Hence, a blended value for these markets seems appropriate.     
Information sources used in this report included online literature searches, journal-published scientific papers, editorials, news articles, and government as well as global environmental agency databases, reports and briefings. Numerous books and magazines were consulted for relevant technological information, or for background sections. Researchers considered as experts in their respective fields and nanomaterials companies were also consulted.
Frank Boehm has been involved with intensive research in nanotechnology and nanomedicine since approximately 1996. He has conceptualized and designed many nanomedical components, devices, and systems, and has also generated potential nanodevice deployment and retrieval strategies. Over the years he has managed to interest several international nanotechnology and nanomedicine researchers in potential collaboration on these projects. The author has investigated and written extensively in regard to nanomedical device concepts, designs, and envisaged nanodevice functionality. He has also written a research report for the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology on the topic of DNA-based manufacturing, and is in the process of generating a book on the topic of nanomedical component, device and systems design for CRC Press.
Cumulative work to date has provided the author with a unique perspective and focused background with which to approach nanotechnologies as applied to the environment. There are myriad, frequently overlapping, and complex pathways that nanotechnologies are most likely to follow toward their anticipated beneficial application in many facets of the environment. It is hoped that this report will assist in some measure to present and further elucidate these nanotechnologies in order to facilitate and expedite their prudent and safe development and deployment for the benefit of our world and all its diverse inhabitants.
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This report provides informative material of a professional nature. It does not constitute managerial, legal, or accounting advice nor should it serve as a corporate, company, or investment policy guide, or an endorsement of any given product or company. The information is intended to be as accurate as possible at the time it was written. The author assumes no responsibility for any losses or damages that might result because of reliance on this material.
As with any new technology, especially one like nanotechnology, which is widely anticipated to be disruptive and fundamentally enabling, it is also rather difficult to estimate quantitatively how new nano-enhanced products and processes aimed at the environmental sector will fare in the marketplace. Many of the promising nanotechnologies touched on below, which show promise for a myriad of beneficial environmental applications, are currently under development. For now, they reside under scientific scrutiny in academic and corporate laboratories around the world.
A number of these nanotechnologies are close to commercialization. However, many more will remain queued for release pending further development that addresses issues such as cost effective fabrication, functional verification, appropriate packaging, and mounting of a reasonable assurance of safety to human health and the environment. All E-nano market estimates presented via the tables within this research report are derived from current and projected environmental and nanotechnology markets and facets thereof. Perceived demand for reactive nanomaterials, projected to constitute the first wave of environmental applications, is based on certain criteria such as their levels of development and maturity, specific functionality, available quantity, and potential for overlap, (e.g. nanofibers may be used for both air and water filtration).

Environmental nanotechnologies included in the tables below are shown to be either under development (UD) or in production (IP) for the particular application. All figures shown (especially for 2008 and 2009) include estimated research funding aimed at their development. All estimates will undoubtedly be subject to vagaries in demand and to the uncertainties inherent to the markets themselves and therefore should be construed as quite fluid.

Table of Contents & Pricing

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Published - May-2006| Analyst - Frank Boehm| Code - NAN039A

Report Highlights

  • Conventional remedial methods have yielded mixed and marginal results; they are likely to give way to far more robust and effective nanotechnologies, once commercialized. These factors form the basis of the inflated estimate of $2,385.9 million for 2010, an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 192.2%.
  • The Maintenance sector of the nanotechnology market is projected to reach $1,690.0 million by 2010.
  • The Protection nanotechnologies market reached $166.2 million in 2005 and is projected to grow at an AAGR of 53.0% to reach $1,393.7 million by 2010.

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