Polymer Absorbents & Adsorbents, Including SAPs and Polymer Gels

Published - Jun 2008| Analyst - Margareth Gagliardi| Code - PLS046A
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Report Highlights

  • The global market for polymer sorbents will increase from $3.8 million in 2007 to an estimated $4.2 million in 2008 and $7.0 million in 2013, for a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.0%.
  • Consumer/personal hygiene applications are expected to generate global revenues of $3 billion in 2008, representing 95% of the market for polymer absorbents.
  • The Asia Pacific region has the largest share of revenues for polymer adsorbents, increasing from $462.9 million in 2007 to an estimated $516.3 million in 2008.


The goals of BCC Research in conducting this study are to: 
  • Supply a detailed review of polymeric adsorbents and absorbents, including a description of materials and processes utilized for their manufacturing
  • Identify the latest technological developments
  • Outline the various applications
  • Evaluate the worldwide market for these products
 BCC will also provide an industry growth forecast for polymeric adsorbents and absorbents covering a 5-year period from 2008 through 2013. BCC is particularly interested in assessing the current status of this industry and evaluating market trends and research activities and their impact on industry growth. 
The origins of polymer sorbents (absorbents and adsorbents) can be traced back to the mid-1800s, when the first polymer crosslinking reactions were discovered and investigated. Since then, natural, synthetic, and semisynthetic polymer sorbents have been introduced in many industrial and non-industrial sectors, becoming a multi-billion dollar industry.   
In particular, this study covers synthetic and semisynthetic polymer absorbents and adsorbents whose growth began gaining traction after World War II, reaching critical mass during the 1970s when superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) started being commercialized.  
During the last 35 years, synthetic and semisynthetic polymer absorbents have been introduced in very large markets such as the consumer market (in particular, for manufacturing baby and toddler diapers, and adult hygiene products), the food industry, the environmental sector, life sciences, agriculture, sensors and instrumentation, and the chemical and petrochemical sectors.
These materials are also currently being evaluated for application in high-tech sectors, such as energy (e.g., for fabrication of lithium-ion batteries and dye-sensitized solar cells) and electronics (e.g., for manufacturing photonic crystals). 
Consequently, there is a need for a detailed analysis of current and future applications for these products, while illustrating their types and most typical compositions.    
An additional reason for doing this study is to establish a market overview of the polymer sorbent industry by quantifying sales of these materials based on their types and fields of application. 
There is also a need to evaluate the current status and future market trends of polymer absorbents and adsorbents from a global standpoint. As use of these products expands, information on regional production, sales, and type of suppliers becomes more valuable.
An equally important reason for performing this study is to offer a review of the fabrication processes used for manufacturing these products, to identify current technical issues, and to illustrate the latest technological developments and how they will affect market expansion. 
This study will be of primary interest to all companies directly involved in the fabrication and selling of polymer absorbents and adsorbents, to the users of these products, suppliers of raw materials (more specifically, providers of monomers to the plastics industry), and producers of process equipment for the industry segments indicated below. 
In particular, the report will be of interest to manufacturers producing superabsorbent polymers, resins, personal hygiene products, water purification and recovery systems, spill clean-up products, media and reagents for analytical testing, ion exchange systems, and purification systems for medical, pharmaceutical, and biotech applications.  
Overall, this study applies to industry segments such as consumer, life sciences, environmental preservation and remediation, sensors and instrumentation, food industry, chemical and petrochemical, agriculture (including horticulture and gardening), energy, and electronics.
The study is mainly directed towards executives, directors, operations managers, sales and marketing managers, and strategic planners working within the above industries. Universities and research facilities may also find this study to be a good source of technical information regarding polymeric adsorbent and absorbent technology, materials, and applications, which can be used as a baseline for new or expanded R&D activities.
This study provides a description of various types of polymer sorbents, their formulationsand fabrication methods,and identifies current and potential applications for these products. BCC Research determines the current market status of polymeric adsorbents and absorbents, defines trends, and presents forecasts of growth over the next 5 years. Technological issues, including the latest process developments, are also discussed.  
BCC Research analyzes the polymeric adsorbent and absorbent industry on a worldwide basis from the standpoint of both manufacturing and consumption. In addition, the study examines commercial and public research activities in major regions of the world. Research objectives and areas ofinterest related to manufacturing and applications of polymeric adsorbents and absorbents are also outlined.   
More specifically, BCC’s market analysis is divided into five parts.
In the first part, a historical and technical review of polymeric adsorbents and absorbents is provided, including an outline of different types and their typical fabrication methods. In this section, current and potential applications for these materials are also identified, and divided by sector (i.e., consumer, life sciences, chemical/petrochemical, environmental, agriculture, food industry, sensors/ instrumentation, energy, and electronics/electrical). 
The second part of the report entails a global market analysis of polymeric adsorbents and absorbents. Current technical issues are described, followed by a review of recent relevant technological developments and patent abstracts. Global revenues (sales data in millions of dollars) are presented by material type, application, and region, with actual data referring to the years 2006, 2007 and estimated data for the year 2008. 
This section is completed by a presentation of market growth trends, based on industry growth, technological trends, and regional trends. Projected revenues for polymeric adsorbents and absorbents are reported, with forecast CAGR (compound annual growth rate) for the period 2008 through 2013. 
In the third part, covering global industry structure, the report provides a complete list of suppliers of polymeric adsorbents and absorbents with a description of their products. The analysis includes a description of the geographical distribution of these firms, and an evaluation of production versus consumption for these materials, always from a geographical standpoint. Detailed company profiles of the top industry players and market share for the five leading companies are also provided.
In the fourth part of this study, an analysis of industry competitiveness is performed. This analysis encompasses a review of global research and development activities, with profiles of the most important R&D players divided by region, and an outline of the most critical factors contributing to industry competitiveness. 
The fifth and final section includes extensive global patent analysis, with a summary of patents related to polymeric adsorbents and absorbents, their composition, fabrication methods, and applications, issued during the period 2005 through 2008. Patent analysis is performed by region, country, assignee, patent category, application, and material type.
Both primary and secondary research sources were used in preparing this research report. 
The technology section is based on information derived from technical literature, professional journals, author’s field experience, and online sources.
Global market analysis was performed by analyzing 49 suppliers of polymer sorbents, accounting for at least 95% of the global market for these products. Data for each company were obtained by thoroughly analyzing SEC filings, internet web sites, annual reports, industry directories, industry magazines and catalogs, government sources, and other public sources. 
Additional data were obtained from the direct contribution of primary sources, including: company executives, managers, engineers and other technical personnel representing manufacturers of polymer absorbents and adsorbents; representatives of academia and trade associations; and industry market analysts.  
Secondary sources of information include:
  • EDGAR —U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Filings
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
  • European Patent Office
  • Company web sites
  • Company annual reports
  • Thomas Registers
  • Moody’s Directory
  • S & P Industry Survey
  • Dun & Bradstreet Business Directory
  • Foreign Chamber of Commerce Directories
  • Foreign Stock Exchange Listings
In addition to utilizing the above primary and secondary sources, market growth trends and forecasts were compiled by gaining additional insights from relevant financial and market information, relevant BCC reports, and the author’s own in-depth analysis of all the information.  

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