Water is one of the major and most affordable universal solvents in the world. It is abundantly available worldwide and has high heat capacity. This makes it an ideal medium for heat exchange in cooling and filtration systems. Water consists of dissolved salts and minerals such as salts and oxides of calcium, magnesium, silica, carbonates, and chlorides. It also contains biological impurities such as bacteria, which gets precipitated and sticks to the walls of the water cooling equipment surfaces when encountered with heat. Heat exchange is one of the major functions of water cooling equipments. Precipitation of dissolved salts in water takes place due to the heat exchange. The precipitated minerals can cause damage (corrosion, clogging and fouling) to cooling system equipment. As water get concentrated in cooling systems it dissolves ions which may exceed the solubility of some minerals and results in scale formation in pipes, dissolved oxygen and other nutrients in water also encourage bacterial growth that can foul system surfaces and also causes diseases if not treated. Corrosion, scaling, and fouling are the major problems encountered in cooling water systems. These require proper treatment and control methods to maintain the value of the process it serves. Chemical treatment of cooling water is an integral part of many industrial processes. It is considered an important preventive maintenance. Corrosion, scaling and fouling of water cooling equipment can be effectively controlled through the chemical treatment.

Major chemicals used to treat cooling water fall under polyphosphates, chromates, nitrites, surfactants, zeolites, orthophosphates, PH regulators, biocides, and bio dispersants categories. These chemicals are injected into water cooling systems in specified doses to prevent scaling, corrosion, and growth of bacteria in water. Thus, these protect the equipment from degradation. Many industries such as power, food & beverage, steel, mining & metallurgy, oil & gas, refinery & petrochemicals, textiles & dyes and, food & beverage employ cooling water treatment chemicals. Based on chemical type, the cooling water treatment chemicals can be segmented into steel and copper based corrosion inhibitors, organic and inorganic phosphates based scaling inhibitors, oxidizing biocides, non-oxidizing biocides, bio-dispersants and others.

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Corrosion and scaling accounts for major losses in cooling water systems. Various specialty chemicals are used as corrosion and scaling inhibitors. These include sodium hexa metaphosphate (SHMP), sodium tri polyphosphate (STPP), dilute phosphoric acid, monoammonium phosphate, diammonium phosphate, monopotassium phosphate, amino tri methylene phosphonate and ethylene diphosphonic acid. Biocides can be divided into non-oxidizing biocides (such as bronopol and isothiazoline) and oxidizing biocides such as (calcium hypochlorite, sodium hypochlorite, stabilized bromine, hypobromus acid, sodium bromide, and chlorine dioxide tablets).

Scale inhibitor chemicals, corrosion inhibitor chemicals, and biocides accounts for around 96% share of the global cooling water treatment chemicals market, of this, scale inhibitor and corrosion inhibitor chemicals holds more than 43% share. The cooling water chemical treatment market is expanding  primarily due to the introduction of stringent regulations on water conservation and wastewater management in industrial processes, legislations on water treatment methods, and alignment of water quality standards with the European Union (EU) directives.

Asia-Pacific is rapidly growing region of the cooling water treatment chemicals market. China, India, Thailand and Indonesia are potentially highly lucrative markets for cooling water treatment chemicals in the region. The outlook for the cooling water treatment chemicals market in Russia and Spain in Europe and the UAE in the Middle East also appears positive. Government norms are pushing the reduction of wastewater discharge and the need for fresh water for sustainable industrial development.

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BASF SE, Dow Chemical, Akzo Nobel, Ecolab Inc., GE Water and Process Technologies and Kemira OYJ are the major players operating in the cooling water treatment chemicals market. Dow Chemicals and Akzo Nobel are the key suppliers of cooling water treatment chemicals. These companies account for prominent share of the cooling water treatment chemicals market. Demand for cooling water treatment chemicals is anticipated to increase across the globe due to the rapid industrialization & urbanization, strict water conservation norms, and need for more efficient industrial water treatment for safe disposal. 

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