An ion exchange resin is a resin that acts as a medium for ion exchange. It is a small insoluble matrix, usually in the form of a tiny bead produced from organic polymer substrates. The surface of this resin bead is typically porous. This assists in trapping and releasing ions without any difficulty. Ion exchange resins are used in various applications in different purification, separation, and decontamination processes. Common applications include water purification and water softening. Ion exchange resins may also be used instead of zeolites in the said processes. They are also highly effective in the filtration process of bio-diesel. Furthermore, ion exchange resins are employed in end-use industries such as food & beverages, pharmaceuticals, and power generation.
Based on type, the ion exchange resins market can be divided into cationic resins, anionic resins, chelation resins, and adsorbent resins. The cationic resins segment held the prominent share of the global ion exchange resins market in 2015. It is anticipated to continue its dominance across during the forecast period. Application in water softening and demineralization in industries such as water treatment, nuclear, and chemical is the primary driver of the cationic resins segment. The chelation resins and adsorbent resins segments are estimated to expand at rapid pace during the forecast period. Chelation resins are used in agricultural and pharmaceutical applications, while adsorbent resins are employed in the food & beverage industry. These segments are projected to expand significantly owing to the increase in demand for processed food and growth in agricultural applications in countries in Asia Pacific such as China and India.
Based on end-use industry, the global ion exchange resins market can be segmented into power, water treatment, food & beverages, chemical, pharmaceutical, and others. The power segment constituted the key share of the ion exchange resins market in 2015. It is likely to continue its dominance during the forecast period. Ion exchange resins are extensively employed to demineralize feed water and condensate polishing inside water-steam circuits in the power industry. The power segment is expected to be followed by the water treatment and food & beverage segments, owing to the global industrialization coupled with scarcity of clean and fresh water. The pharmaceutical segment is anticipated to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period, as ion exchange resins are excellent drug delivery mediums. R&D departments of several manufacturing companies are conducting research on increasing the number of applications of ion exchange resins in the pharmaceutical segment. This is also estimated to drive the ion exchange resins market in the near future.
In terms of region, the global ion exchange resins market can be segregated into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, and Latin America. Asia Pacific held the prominent share of the global ion exchange resins market in 2015. The market in the region is expected to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period owing to the increase in demand for nuclear power and rise in urbanization. China, India, and South Korea are the key countries contributing to the growth of the ion exchange resins market in Asia Pacific. The region was followed by North America and Europe, respectively, in 2015. The ion exchange resins market in North America and Europe is expanding at a sluggish pace, as it has reached the stage of maturity. This is anticipated to hamper the demand for ion exchange resins in these regions. The ion exchange resins market in Latin America is estimated to expand at a significant pace during the forecast period owing to the growing demand for clean water.
Prominent players operating in the global ion exchange resins market are BASF SE, The Dow Chemical Company, Ion Exchange Ltd., Evoqua Water Technologies LLC, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, Finex Oy, Lanxess, and Thermax Limited.
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