Industry Insights & Trends

Key Differences Between Industrial Air-Operated Pumps and Centrifugal Pumps, Pros and Cons & Industry Trends

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Four pros and cons of centrifugal pumps are eco-friendly design, efficiency, low maintenance, and the design of the motor; and external equipment damage, capability limitations, fluid medium damage, and pressure changes, respectively. Five pros and four cons of Air-operated Pumps are high water volume, versatile applications, eco-friendly, limited maintenance, and low cost; and winks, inefficient power, environmental (i.e. type of plant) concerns, and noise, respectively. In addition, three industry trends regarding these pumps include centrifugal pumps used in the oil and gas sector, water and wastewater treatment applications, and demand in Asia-Pacific. Details of each of these findings have been provided below.

Centrifugal Pumps

  • Each pro/con was chosen by analyzing expert reports from several sources and cross-referencing the findings to confirm their accuracy. Sources used include manufacturers, academic sources, and industry experts.

Pros

Cons

  • Highly susceptible to damage caused by vibrations and other factors of external equipment.
  • Limited capabilities when it comes to shearing mediums and suction.
  • Can be damaged by particles in the fluid it is pumping or by viscus fluids.
  • Flow rate can be affected by changes in pressure when not in the ideal conditions.

Air-Operated Pumps

  • Each pro/con was chosen by analyzing expert reports from several sources and cross-referencing the findings to confirm their accuracy. Sources used include manufacturers, academic sources, and industry experts.

Pros

Cons

  • Without external speed control, these pumps only operate up to 120psi due to the need to balance the compressed air with the water pressure. A common effect of this is called a wink, or a momentary change in the speed due to water pressure.
  • Power transmission is inefficient with only about 15% of the power used by an electrical motor.
  • Additional maintenance (and in turn cost) can be accrued depending on the environment, i.e., plant operations with oil or low temperatures.
  • These pumps can be very noisy.

Industry Trends

1. Centrifugal Pumps Used In Oil And Gas Sector

  • The main use of centrifugal pumps in 2019 was in the oil and gas sector “to pump oil and petroleum products, liquefied gases, and other fluids.” This trend will increase demand for centrifugal pumps and drives expected growth in the market between 2020 and 2025.
  • The main drivers of this trend are the growth of the oil and gas market globally based on consumer demand. This growth is seen by the increase in oil and gas infrastructure with 470 announced petrochemical plants by the end of 2018.
  • In 2020, there was a new development in demand regarding low sulphur fuel due to the IMO 2020 regulation. This increase in demand will likely continue this trend as major refineries will be forced to update their infrastructure which will require the use of these pumps.
  • Quotes:
    • Several downstream projects are lined up in many regions, especially in the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, to meet the demand from consumers. Thus, this is driving the EPC market in the oil and gas sector.”
    • The crude oil prices have recovered, but it is likely to remain stabilized and under USD 70 per barrel in 2019, which is likely to proliferate its consumption in the refinery and petrochemical sectors.”

2. Water and Wastewater Treatment Applications

  • Industrial pumps in general are needed in the water and wastewater treatment sectors. Demand is expected to increase for water and wastewater treatment pumps in developing countries.
  • The main driver of this trend is an increase in demand for clean water and water treatment which has, in turn, lead governments to increase regulations, specifically in the municipal and industrial sectors.
  • In addition, only 28%-38% of lower income countries treat industrial waste-water compared to 70% treated by high-income countries. Other drivers include “environmental impact of wastewater and water scarcity, stricter government regulation, and declining cost of water treatment plants.”
  • Quotes:
    • Around two-thirds of the world’s population live in areas that experience water scarcity for at least a month, annually. Around 50% of people facing this level of water scarcity live in India and China. Therefore, the demand for treatment of wastewater produced, as a result of the human and industrial sector water usage, is expected to grow to improve the efficiency of water usage and meet the water demands.”
    • The modular design of the wastewater treatment plant has reduced the initial heavy investment challenge and allows an economical solution. These plants can readily be expanded as the wastewater flow, as capacity requirement of treatment plant increases. Due to this, new trends in the water treatment industry, relatively in smaller industries, have started installing water treatment plants.”

3. Demand In Asia Pacific

  • Demand for industrial pumps, specifically centrifugal pumps, is expected to increase between 2020 and 2025 in Asia-Pacific.
  • The main driver of this trend is the growth in demand and market share of Asian countries, most notably, China and India. China is expected to account for 26.5% of Asia’s refining expansion capacity by 2025 and India is expected to increase their capacity from 80.7 million metric tons annually to 150 million metric tons annually in the next 10 years.
  • Quotes:
    • South-east Asia is witnessing the commissioning of several refinery projects, including the expansion of existing ones and developing new ones to reduce the dependency on imports.”
    • The oil & gas industries, apart from being a source for the majority of primary energy consumption, also aids in providing raw materials for various industries such as petrochemical, solvents, fertilizers, and many others. With the growing population and rapid urbanization, the demand for these is likely to increase, promulgating the refiners to set up new plants or undergo expansion.”
GLENN TREVOR
Glenn is the Lead Operations Research Analyst at Simple Manifestation with experience in research, statistical data analysis and interview techniques. A holder of degree in Economics. A true specialist in quantitative and qualitative research.

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