The Market for Biocides

The outlook for 2014 in the Paint and Coatings industry has seen an increase in demand for biocides. The increased market demand for biocides is not only being seen in the national biocide market, but also in the global biocide market of the Paint and Coatings Industry. The market increase for biocides is being caused by many forces and factors, such as environmental regulations and the increased need for environmentally friendly products.


Image Credit: AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Increased environmental regulations and environmentally conscious customers have lead to more products that are water based being demanded over products that are oil based. The requirement by customers for more water based products is a driving force in the increased demand for biocides in the Industry. Therefore, more biocides are needed for water based products because they are more susceptible to microbiological growth than oil based products.

Biocides protect against the forming of microbiological growth on water based products, such as paint and coatings, polymers, emulsions and solutions, which lead to product spoilage and contamination. Biocides are used at low levels. In our polymers it is less than 0.5%. Biocides are a necessary addition to coatings formulations as these products are continuously vulnerable to attack from harmful microorganisms. Biocides are also needed to keep microbial growth from forming on manufactured products that are going to be bulk stored.

Customers in the Industry require more products that have low-to-zero Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) which are more environmentally friendly and release less harmful toxins into the atmosphere. Biocides are needed for paint and coatings to prevent the growth of microbes that lead to the reduction of indoor air quality for the end user before and after application of the paint and/or coating to a substrate. Paint and coatings without biocides during formulation can lead the product to allow microbial growth that creates a toxic environment for end users.

Customers have health concerns over the use of biocides in water based products, but the fact is there will always be risk when using a product that is created to destroy microbiological growth. When using any type of chemical proper precaution measures should always be taken. The handler of biocides must always follow safety regulations when handling biocides. In their neat form it is important not to get them on your skin, so you must use protective gloves and an apron to avoid contact.

As environmental regulations evolve so do technologies in the Paint and Coatings Industry. Increased green technologies and biocide technologies are being innovated because of the industry trend for raw materials and products that contain low-to-zero VOCs. Although there are less residual monomers or hazardous components in products that could aid in keeping bacteria from growing it has been more difficult for biocide manufacturing companies to develop products that can kill bacteria.

As the demand increases for less harmful raw materials and products so does the cost to formulate and manufacture products. It is important for water based product manufacturers to include biocides to limit the negative cost to the company’s bottom line. Companies want to limit the waste to maximize profit while meeting customer’s demands and the ever evolving ecological change in the Industry.