Chelating agents are molecules with the ability to provide more than one bond to a metal ion, thereby augmenting the stability of the ion complex. Chelation represents a particular way of binding ions and molecules with metal ions. It involves the formation of multiple separate coordinate bonds between a polydentate ligand and single central atom. Usually, these ligands are organic compounds and are referred as sequestering agents, chelating agents, chelators or chelants. Chelating agents such as aminopolycarboxylate acids, organophosphonates, and glucoheptonates are widely used in various household, industrial and water treatment applications.
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Growth of the pulp & paper industry is expected to be one of the vital factors propelling the demand for chelating agents. Transparency Market Research, a leading U.S.-based Market Research firm, analyses the market for chelating agents and predicts a compounded annual growth rate of 3.2%, in terms of revenue for the period from 2013 to 2019. The report also discusses drivers, restraints and opportunities for the global market.
Factors such as increasing demand for chelating agents from cleaning and detergent industries, and growth of the global pulp & paper industry is expected to fuel the demand for chelating agents over the forecast period. Furthermore, rapid industrialization coupled with stringent government policies for clean and fresh water for various applications has also fueled the demand for chelating agents in the water treatment market. However, growing ecological risks from the use of certain non-biodegradable chelating agents such as EDTA is expected to hamper the growth of the market. Owing to this factor, new opportunities are opening for manufacturers and they are shifting their preference towards developing eco-friendly, innovative and safer chelating agents such as gluconates and citric acid.
Demand for chelating agents was highest from the pulp & paper owing to growing demand for paper and paper boards, in certain bleach applications. However, the agrochemicals industry is expected to witness the fastest growth with government initiatives such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Integrated Nutrient Management (INM) in order to mitigate health and environment issues arising out of nitrogen-based chemicals driving the demand for eco-friendly agrochemicals.
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Stringent regulations are driving companies across the globe to increase production of biodegradable chelating agents as they represent a safer alternative in comparison to widely used non-biodegradable organic compounds. Environmental concerns regarding the use of EDTA and NTA are expected to result in higher demand for safer chelating agents such as citric acids and gluconic acids. Demand for such alternate chelates is offsetting the reduced use of EDTA. These factors are anticipated to provide new opportunities for growth for the chelating agents market during the forecast period.
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