Market Shares Keep Changing in $381 Billion Fluid/Gas Treatment Market


The proposed acquisition of Charter by Colfax is additional recognition of a very big market which includes both liquid and gas treatment.

Colfax is involved with pumps and the liquid treatment market. Charter, through its Howden group, is one of the world s largest manufacturers of industrial fans to move gases. Presently, Colfax ranks twenty in pump sales with revenues of just under $500 million. It is not in the top one hundred in the broader fluid treatment category. If this acquisition is completed, the company will be in the top one hundred. These rankings are continually revised in Fluid/Gas Treatment and Control: World Markets published online by the McIlvaine Company.

Air/gas treatment represents $80 billion of the $381 billion total.

There are a number of other divestitures and acquisitions changing the fluid/gas treatment rankings. ITT will create a separate water company and Tyco will separate into three companies. In both cases the fluid treatment ends up in one of the entities so the rankings do not change.

The recent acquisition of the Norit membrane business by Pentair strengthened its position as number five with fluid/gas treatment sales of $2.8 billion. The acquisition also provides a significant additional presence in the industrial filtration business.

Not too many equipment companies are in both the air and liquid business. One exception is Siemens who acquired an air pollution control company (Wheelabrator) and a liquid treatment company (USFilter). GE has BHA in the air pollution control business and GE Water which is the assimilation of various acquisitions including Betz, Ionics, Zenon and Osmonics.

Many filter media companies are in both air and liquid markets. Ahlstrom, W.L. Gore, Lydall, Hollingsworth & Vose and Freudenberg are some of the larger participants. Materials companies are also active in both areas. Industeel is a major supplier of corrosion resistant steel to both the air and water industries. Dow Chemical is active in filtration equipment but also in the high performance plastics used in water piping. It also supplies treatment chemicals. Albemarle has moved into the air segment with the acquisition of Sorbent Technologies. Calgon Carbon was primarily in water treatment, but the big new market for mercury removal from gas streams has created a sizable market. Lhoist is a major supplier of calcium products for the treatment of both air and water. LaFarge, Graymont and Mississippi Lime are also participants. FMC and Solvay are pursuing growing markets in air treatment chemicals.

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