In recent years, the production of sodium hypochlorite for water treatment and purification has become a growing market, especially in African countries where many areas still do not have sufficient infrastructure to supply drinking water to the population. or to local industries.
According to a recent report from Straits Research, Water Electrolysis Market, the global water electrolysis market was valued at $468 million in 2022. It is estimated to reach $7,162 million by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 35.4% over the period 2023-2031.
The electrolysis process is used in a wide variety of industries, such as food, metallurgy, and power plants, among others. The growing industrialization of many countries, especially in Africa and Asia, is being one of the drivers of the global market for water treatment by electrolysis, to produce sodium hypochlorite and other derivatives for different applications. However, according to the study, the fastest growing market is North America, while Europe remains the largest market for the moment.
What are the main factors driving the water electrolysis market?
The driving factors of this market vary by country and even region. For example, in Africa and Asia, the increase in population density, especially in urban and suburban areas, has caused the sanitation and water purification infrastructures to be insufficient, which is why alternatives for drinking water supply are required.
Another key factor in Africa is the growing industrialization from various countries and regions. According to the Africa Development Bank Group, Africa has the potential to become the next global destination for industrial development, as it has a young workforce, abundant natural resources, and rapidly growing domestic markets. In fact, the continent’s development strategies, such as the Sustainable Development Goals to Agenda 2063or the African Union’s Action Plan for the Accelerated Industrial Development of Africa, clearly identify industrial development as the basis for inclusive growth, decent job creation and many other development goals.
Other factors that favor the water electrolysis market worldwide are the growing use of hydrogen in the petrochemical industry, for oil refining, and the increase in demand for ecological chemical products for the production of fertilizers in the agrochemical sector. These elements are derived compounds that are obtained from the electrolysis process of water.
Current technologies for the electrolysis of water
The technologies currently applied to water electrolysis are the alkaline electrolyzer, the proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzer, the solid oxide electrolyzer cell (SOEC) and the anion exchange membrane electrolyzer (AEM).
Within these, the alkaline electrolyzers segment is the one with the highest market share, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 34.2% during the 2023-2031 period.
In the case of electrolysis to produce derivatives such as sodium hypochlorite, a compound that is used for the disinfection of water for its purification, in addition to a wide range of industrial applications, electrolysis is applied to a saline solution or brine: in an electrolysis cell the salt is introduced with water (basically sodium chloride ), and thanks to the electric current, chlorine and soda are produced, which react immediately to form sodium hypochlorite.
In summary, the electrolysis water treatment market presents better growth prospects year after year, whether for the purification of water for human consumption, or for the treatment of water for industrial uses, in addition to other industrial applications of the derived elements. of the electrolysis process.