Worldwide Energy Demand is Creating a Need for Better Air Pollution Control Equipment


Air pollution control equipment is used to capture and remove all the nasty particles from the air stream emitted from industrial plants. But increased air pollution has led to increased demand for air pollution control equipment globally, inspiring a cumulative average growth rate of 6.47 percent from 2015-2019 in the Global Air Pollution Control Market.

Air pollution

The major equipment/systems used to control pollution from industrial plants are:

  • FGDs: Used for removing SO2 from flue gases produced by incineration, power, and chemical plants.
  • Electrostatic precipitators: Used to remove particulate and acid mist from industrial exhaust gas streams.
  • Fabric filters: Help remove dust particulates from air or gases released from industrial plants.
  • NOx control: Used to reduce NOx emissions from industrial plants.
  • Scrubbers: Different air pollution control equipment used to remove pollutant gases from industrial plants.
  • Adsorbers: A material used to remove harmful gases from industrial plants.

Increased Demand for Power Resulting in More Air Pollution

Power demand worldwide is projected to increase by 44 percent from 2006 to 2030. In 2010, demand for electricity was 480-490 quadrillion BTU, which is expected to increase to 530-540 quadrillion BTU by 2015.

Thermal power generation is the most widely used method of power generation. However, combustion of fossil fuels to produce electricity produces harmful exhaust gases.

In an attempt to offset some of the harmful effects of these emissions, several government have formulated stringent regulations and guidelines on environmental conservation. For instance, the US government has established the Clean Air Act, which lists 188 different harmful toxic air pollutants. The act directs the EPA to establish technology-based standards for units that emit toxic air pollutants. Enterprises need to obtain a Clean Air Act operating permit and comply with all the applicable standards.

As similar initiatives pop up all over the world, many industries are working to comply with new emissions standards and rules, which is leading to wide adoption of air pollution control equipment.

Costs, Efficacy of Equipment Standing in the Way of Stronger Market Growth

However, air pollution control equipment doesn’t come cheap, and high installation and maintenance costs continue to plague the market and act as a barrier to wider uptake.

In addition, the equipment isn’t necessarily effective across the board. For instance, electrostatic precipitators can only be operated through DC, but most modern plants run on AC, which means that a lot of electrical equipment is required to convert plants in order to use electrostatic precipitators.

And the problems don’t stop there—fabric filters don’t function very well when they come in contact with high acid or alkaline atmospheres, and there is a definite lack of chemically resistant FGDs. Alloys that can suitably withstand corrosion and high temperatures contain many chemicals and are either rare or expensive.

Despite these problems, new technological innovations are aiming to provide air pollution control equipment that is more reliable, efficient and requires less power. Additionally, increased demand for air pollution control equipment has attracted many local and regional vendors to the market.

These vendors provide equipment at a lower price than larger international vendors, enabling smaller plants to install or adopt air pollution control systems in their facilities, which will ultimately contribute to market growth over the projected period.