Strict European legislation will resuscitate VOC control industry

Strict European legislation requiring the control of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is resuscitating the industry which manufactures VOC control equipment, says new market research.

Though the industry, worth $370 million in 1999, is currently facing major difficulties, and lacks the new technology to resolve them easily, certain sectors of the industry will be bolstered by the new European legislation, with total sales expected to climb to $460 million in 2006, says Frost and Sullivan.

Challenges facing the market include the fact that mitigation of VOCs at source by polluting companies is likely to decrease the potential for control equipment. This is combined with the expected stagnation of 50% of the total market which is already mature, predominantly in Germany, the Netherlands, Scandinavia and the Alpine region. On top of this, the two most recent technologies, condensation and biological treatment, appear to have only limited potential, and the underdeveloped 50% of the market has been inhibited by high capital and running costs of the equipment.

“R and D has been focused on cost reduction in the face of price resistance and falling prices across all markets and there is a prevailing lack of technological innovation, other than performance enhancement of existing technologies,” says the Frost and Sullivan report.

According to the research, the introduction of a low-priced, high performance VOC reduction system that meets the reduction requirements of small to medium size emitters, would inject vigour into the pace of growth of the market.

Thermal incineration comprises the largest proportion of the market, though the second largest sector, absorption systems, is set to take an increasing share due to continuous improvements in technology and costs. Catalytic oxidation equipment, the third largest sector, is also expected to increase its share in both the mature and underdeveloped portions of the market.

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