Global Market in Municipal and Industrial WasteWater Sludge Treatment and Odor Control


This market research report analyzes the global market and developments in municipal and industrial wastewater sludge treatment equipment and wastewater/sludge-based odor control equipment.  Sludge treatment describes the processes used to manage and dispose of the solid or semi-solid products produced during municipal sewage treatment and industrial wastewater treatment.  Despite representing only about 1% of total wastewater flows, sludge handling accounts for up to 50% of total treatment plant operating costs.  Some industry participants estimate that the sludge treatment market represents more than 20% of the total water equipment market.

Because of safety and nuisance issues, odor control has come to play an increasingly important role in the treatment and disposal of sludge and biosolids that accumulate during wastewater plant processes.

As noted in the Global Atlas of Excreta, Wastewater Sludge, and Biosolids Management: Moving Forward the Sustainable and Welcome Uses of a Global Resource, a 2008 study by the Greater Moncton Sewerage Commission and the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat), several major premises apply to wastewater, sludge, and biosolids.

  • The creation of wastewater in human communities is inevitable.
  • History shows a common progression toward global improvement of wastewater treatment and wastewater sludge management.
  • The progression appears to be inevitable.
  • Once such systems are established and they are protecting humans from the immediate threat from waste-borne pathogens, focus inevitably shifts toward the effects of wastewater on other human communities downstream and on the natural environment and other organisms.
  • Eventually, as wastewater treatment systems are able to reduce all forms of wastewater contamination by 90% or greater, the volume of wastewater solids, sewage sludge, becomes significant and requires careful management. In much of Europe, North America, Japan and other developed urban areas around the world, sludge management has become a major focus.  In many places, it is the most debated challenge in the sanitation field.
  • At the same time developed countries address the challenges of sludge management, approximately 2.6 billion people lack access to basic sanitation. Inevitably, the progress made by less-developed communities in coming years to improve human health and safety will lead to the generation of more wastewater sludge that requires management.
  • The continuing refinement of best management practices for excreta, wastewater, sludge and biosolids must eventually provide sustainable solutions that work in a diversity of locations and situations around the globe, are energy- and cost-efficient, minimize transfers of potentially hazardous constituents to the environment, mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and ensure healthy, natural ecosystems.

Access to sanitation varies widely around the world.  In sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia and Central and South America, wastewater treatment systems, if they exist, are minimal or function poorly.  In these regions, basic sanitation is the primary need.

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In Eastern Europe, Turkey, the Russian Federation, Mexico, South America and other areas, wastewater treatment is more advanced, but wastewater sludge and biosolids management has not been practiced previously.  As sludge volumes from a rising number of treatment facilities grows, a more complex regulatory framework and improved sludge handling technologies will be required.

In North America, Europe, Australia and certain Asian countries, there is more focus on improving the management of wastewater sludge and biosolids.  In these regions, wastewater typically is treated at the secondary or tertiary level and both biosolids technologies and regulatory systems are complex.

In all world regions where advanced wastewater treatment results in increasing volumes of sludge, water quality professionals, engineers, scientists, agricultural experts and government regulators are applying and refining processes to improve efficiencies, reduce the potential negative impacts and maximize the beneficial reuse aspects of sludge treatment and biosolids handling.


This BCC Research report provides an in-depth analysis of the global sludge treatment and odor control equipment market, including systems for sludge digestion, sludge dewatering, sludge drying and physical, chemical and biological odor control technologies.

Overviews of each segment are presented.  These include current issues affecting the industry, equipment types, legislation relevant to the markets and end user requirements.  Market sizes for each segment are estimated for the years 2005 to 2012.  Growth forecasts, as compound annual growth rates, are made to 2017. Valuations are calculated in current U.S. dollars.


Wastewater and sludge are produced continually, and pollutants present in the wastes never completely disappear.  With each passing year, global volumes of sludge increase and potentially contain heavy metals, organic industrial chemicals, agricultural chemicals, oil and grease and miscellaneous hazardous pollutants, such as medical wastes.  Sometimes, it emits a disagreeable odor that requires abatement.

Harmful and toxic residues in sludge can be reduced via sludge treatment equipment and, increasingly, these systems enable the beneficial reuse of sludge in a safe and economically way.  Various types of treatment equipment also allow odors associated with wastewater solids to be controlled.

This report is intended for those who desire an analysis of the global sludge treatment and odor control equipment markets.  The document seeks to quantify the various markets, forecast market trends, trace significant developments and profile companies that are active in the various market sectors.  The report contains information and conclusions that are unique, insightful and have a forward-thinking knowledge of the subject that should be of interest to manufacturers, suppliers and local, state and government entities.

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The report examines the market for three categories of sludge treatment equipment and three categories of odor control equipment.  These are

  • Sludge digestion.
  • Sludge dewatering.
  • Sludge drying.
  • Physical odor control equipment.
  • Chemical odor control equipment.
  • Biological odor control equipment.

The study also provides information on

  • The emerging and alternative technologies in these markets.
  • Industry structure.
  • Five-year projections of market activity.
  • Pricing trends and technological trends.
  • Research and development activity.
  • Governmental legislation.
  • Competitive structure and company profiles.
  • Developed and developing countries.


This comprehensive report on sludge treatment and odor control equipment aims to provide detailed information to those interested in investment, expansion or acquisition into the market.  Venture capitalists, executive planners, senior marketing personnel, research analysts and suppliers to the sludge treatment and odor control industry and end users who want to discover and exploit current or projected market niches should find this report useful.

Readers who wish to gain an understanding of the sludge treatment and odor control market, regulations affecting these markets, market trends and competitive structures within these markets will find this study worthwhile.


Both primary and secondary research methodologies were used in preparing this report.  Research for this technical/marketing report began with an analysis of available technical and business literature related to sludge treatment. Conversations with industry experts and company representatives provide the backbone for the analysis.

Both primary and secondary research methods were used in this research study. Internet, literature and patent searches were undertaken, and key industry participants were queried.  Growth rates for each market were calculated based on expected revenues from sales of process equipment during the forecast period. Values and forecasts are given in current U.S. dollars.  Construction, engineering and design costs are excluded in market size calculations.

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