The MEA ferric chloride market is slated to gain significant traction over the forecast spell, as a result of the rising health concern, coupled with the strong focus on reducing water scarcity across the region.

This high scarcity of water has resulted in a rapid surge in the adoption of water cleansing agents like iron chloride. Likewise, the limited presence of wastewater reserves and increasing population have influenced the market players in the MEA to embrace effective methods to treat wastewater to benefit water-dependent applications.

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There has been widespread public concern regarding the disposal of biomedical wastewater in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, due to the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater. As a result, several research studies have been conducted to reemphasize strategies for virus management in contaminated water to curb the potential secondary transmission to humans as well as the environment.

As per reliable reports, a free chlorine residual of over 0.2–0.5 mg l−1 in municipal wastewater will be sufficient to disinfect the virus. These aforementioned factors are projected to result in a plethora of product innovation activities over the coming years.

As per Global Market Insights, Inc. estimates, the MEA ferric chloride market is expected to register revenue of more than $300 million by 2026. Shifting preference towards wastewater reuse for irrigation is a major trend fostering industry expansion

The regional industry has been witnessing rapid demand for ferric chloride solutions for use as the flocking and coagulant agent to treat wastewater. High volume of wastewater from the agriculture industry has led to escalating product applications to remove organic matter from water. Furthermore, there has been shifting preference towards the reuse of wastewater for irrigation. These aforesaid factors, alongside the rising government regulations for wastewater treatment, are projected to foster the MEA ferric chloride market trends in the forthcoming years.

In terms of segmentation by form, the liquid segment is set to exhibit over 6.5% CAGR through 2026, which can be credited to its mounting usage as the surface removal agent of semiconductors of electronic devices. The segmental growth will also be boosted by the robust demand for smart and compact electronic devices from the consumers and the subsequent rise in the addition of ferric chloride for the etchant application.

With regards to the application spectrum, the MEA ferric chloride market from the industrial wastewater segment registered remuneration of around $14 million in 2020, which was attributable to the rapid industrialization in the UAE, Qatar, and other developing countries. In addition, the accelerating adoption of ferric chloride for water treatment in various industries to meet the sewage disposal standards will further expand the industry scope over the estimated timeframe.

On the basis of end-use, the pharmaceuticals segment recorded revenue worth nearly $2 million in 2020 and is poised to depict a CAGR of 5% through 2026. The segmental expansion is due to the widespread demand for iron-bearing medicines to treat anemia, which is a major health concern in the developing economies as well as among the low-income population.

Despite the use of coagulants as the 1st step to water treatment, the improper adoption of chemicals like iron chloride in the sanitary wastewater treatment programs, drinking water production, and industrial applications can be detrimental.

Several other disadvantages of using the chemical include the removal of alkalinity, hazardous nature, poor dewatering, and narrow effective pH band. Furthermore, it requires the adjustment of pH and addition of alkalinity to ensure effective functioning. It also suppresses alkalinity that needs post-treatment adjustment. These factors may create challenges to the steady growth of the MEA ferric chloride market in years ahead.

According to the Water Practice & Technology journal, a study was conducted to examine the feasibility of ferric chloride for use as an agent to control odour in wastewater treatment plants due to the emission of hydrogen sulphide. The chemical was found to be effective in removing phosphate, sulphide, and total suspended solids and resulted in a significant reduction in demand for biological oxygen, emerging as a cost-effective pre-treatment method to lower Sulphur-related odours in wastewater.

From a country-level perspective, the Qatar ferric chloride market was valued at over $2 million in 2020 and is expected to expand at a considerable rate over the foreseeable future, owing to the increasing number of infants and women with anemia due to low consumption of nutritional diet in the region.

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The competitive landscape of the MEA ferric chloride market comprises of companies such as Agua Chem Ltd, Chemifloc, Tessenderlo Group, Kemira, and Borsod Chem, among others. These industry participants are incorporating varied strategic initiatives such as M&A, new product launches, and R&D to sustain their market position.

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