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Sterilants Market Size, Share, Trends, Industry Analysis: Research During the Ongoing COVID-19 And Research Methodology by Forecast to 2031

Sterilization is one of the most important processes to be followed in industries and healthcare facilities. The rising incidence of infection transmission through surgical instruments or contaminated surface contact with the human skin surface or tissues has demanded effective and compatible sterilants or sporicidal agents in the sterilants market.

The growing demand for sterilized environments (in terms of sterilized surgical instruments and equipment) and surging demand for compatible sterilants has driven opportunities for manufacturers. Strategic acquisitions and collaborations by the manufacturers are leading to high growth of the sterilants market in the coming years. Also, the global COVID-19 pandemic has boosted the requirement of hygiene solutions, which amplifies the growth potential of the market.

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In its new study, ESOMAR-certified market research and consulting firm Future Market Insights (FMI) offers insights about key factors driving the demand for sterilants. The report tracks the global sales of sterilants in 20+ high-growth markets, along with analyzing the impact COVID-19 has had on sterilants in particular.

How Does Historical and Future Outlook for Sterilants Market Compare?

Sterilization is an essential step to be carried out by laboratories and industries to avoid contamination and incidence of microbial transmission in aseptic areas. Sterilizing heat-sensitive instruments and surgical equipment that are highly susceptible to high temperature can damage the instrument due to high temperature or occurrence of some chemical reaction between the chemical sterilants and the instrument. Thus, to avoid the damage and the occurrence of chemical reactions, the demand for cold sterilants that are compatible and effective with low toxicity factor has increased.

Consequently, the demand for sterilants is growing steadily owing to their strength and efficacy as compared to disinfectants.

According to FMI’s analysis, sterilants sales will grow from 2.0 Bn in 2020 to 3.2 Bn in 2031 at a 5.9% CAGR between 2021 and 2031. The COVID-19 pandemic has strengthened the sales of sterilants and high-level disinfectants. Government initiatives to create awareness among people about hygienic environments are another factor expected to drive the sterilants market.

What are the Opportunities in the Sterilants Market?

The pharmaceutical & biotechnology industries have more emphasis on maintenance of proper hygiene and providing an anti-bacterial environment in the manufacturing plant. Stringent regulations are followed by manufacturing plants focusing on the maintenance of hygiene and workplace safety, as even minor contamination during product manufacturing can lead to hazardous health issues.

In the U.S., investments in R&D in the pharmaceutical sector have continuously increased in recent years and constitute over 40% of the global R&D investment in the pharmaceutical industry. Therefore, it is expected that the demand for sterilants will increase along with the growth of pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries during the forecast period.

The growing healthcare sector also offers lucrative opportunities for manufacturers in the sterilants market. Governmental guidelines defined under the Affordable Care Act force hospital authorities to maintain cleanliness and hygiene services. According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report, one out of 20 patients acquires an infection during a hospital visit in the USA. 75,000 people died due to such infections in 2014. Therefore, hospitals and consumers are increasingly adopting sterilants and disinfectants to reduce contamination and infection in hospitals.

Thus, infection control actions are expected to drive the market of sterilants during the forecast period.

Furthermore, increased research and development efforts by the manufacturers and researchers to develop novel and effective aseptic solutions and expansion of their product portfolio are expected to lead to lucrative opportunities in the competitive sterilants market.

How Are Government Plans Expected To Affect Sterilants Demand?

Currently, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the rising demand for hygienic environments to avoid unnecessary exposure to infectious diseases or viruses in hospitals and clinics has driven the global demand for sterilants around the world. Government decisions to combat viral exposure have raised the approval rates for new products in the market.

For instance, in September 2020, EcoClear Products, Inc. received Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approval for SteriCide, a multi-use disinfectant, for use against emerging viral pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). EcoClear Products, Inc. is a leading cleaning solution and pest control company in the U.S.

What Are the Key Trends In the Sterilants Market?

Increasing market consolidation activities including strategic acquisitions and collaborations between local players and the leading key players are a key trend impacting the sterilants market. The growing demand for low-temperature sterilization over steam sterilization is an emerging trend in the global sterilants market. As all medical and scientific equipment is not able to resist the high temperature and humidity of the steam sterilization method, a suitable low-temperature sterilization method is required in the industrial sterilization field.

Several medical device companies are adopting low-temperature oxidative sterilization technology based on two of these low-temperature oxidative methods, including peracetic acid gas/plasma technology and hydrogen peroxide plasma sterilization, developed by Advanced Sterilization Products (ASP).

The leading pharmaceutical players in the global market are adopting outsourcing models to expand their market footprint and thus generate a high rate of interest in the global sterilants market. Strategic long-term agreements and partnerships with local suppliers help manufacturers lower their operational costs. Furthermore, sterilants manufacturer companies can benefit from better pricing by outsourcing.

Overall run time and transportation and logistics costs are reduced by a great extent, which may benefit the key players in gaining high revenue share in the market. For instance, In June 2018, Cantel Medical Corporation acquired Stericyle Inc.’s Controlled Environmental Solutions business, a leading provider of testing and certification, environmental monitoring and decontamination services for cleanrooms and other controlled environments to ensure safety, regulatory compliance and quality control.

What are the Factors Shaping Sterilants Market?

The rising incidence of healthcare-associated infections due to the cross-contamination of the surgical instruments or equipment along with the growing preference for an aseptic environment are expected to propel the sterilants market in the coming years. Rising demand for cold sterilants to avoid damage to heat-sensitive instruments is also likely to drive market growth. Manufacturers have increased their focus on research and development efforts to launch new and effective formulations to leverage the market growth and government initiatives to support hygiene solutions are expected to boost the sterilants market growth during the forecast period.

What are the Key Factors Restraining Sterilants Market?

Regulatory complexity is the major factor expected to hamper market growth. The utilization of high-level disinfectants or sterilants should be within the legal concentration range. For example, glutaraldehyde is normally used in the concentration range of 2 to 3%, but due to its high toxicity, the United States Environmental Protection Agency has limited its use.

Further, being a toxic chemical, disposal of sterilants is another big challenge, as they are harmful to the environment. Numerous legal regulations implied by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on waste disposal of disinfectants are forcing Forms to decrease the consumption of these chemicals. Due to the health and environmental hazards associated with chemical sterilants, numerous alternatives have been adopted by market players, which is expected to hamper the global sterilants market’s growth in the coming years.

Moreover, direct contact of high concentrations of sterilants with the skin is corrosive. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, acute or chronic exposure to various sterilants may cause cancer, adverse reproductive effects, respiratory irritation, headaches, nausea, shortness of breath, mutagenic changes, neurotoxicity, sensitization and many other adverse effects.

What was the Impact of COVID-19 on the Sterilants Market?

The coronavirus pandemic hit various areas of developing countries. The profile of the sterilants market has encountered a significant impact during a pandemic outbreak. Pandemic-related lockdowns and disruptions in the supply chain schedule significantly impacted the stocks of the sterilants market due to a shortage of the products. Government initiatives and approvals and introduction of effective sterilants to combat the current pandemic situation helped drive the market. For instance, in April 2020, Solvay SA received EPA approval for PROXITANE® AHC for use against SARS-CoV-2 – the virus strain that causes COVID-19.

Country-wise Insights

Why is the Demand for Sterilants High in the U.S.?

In the U.S., the healthcare system is well known for its high expenses and well-developed infrastructure. The U.S. government and regulatory bodies are implementing various cost-effective plans to reduce their healthcare burden. Moreover, heavy consumption of sterilants in the country, pushed by high demand for sterility and hygiene maintenance due to the COVID-19 pandemic and to avoid infection exposure, the country has witnessed a huge growth rate over the past few months.

The country experienced the toughest hit of the COVID-19 infection, with a large number of COVID cases diagnosed and the highest proportionate death rate recorded globally. As a result, Americans spent liberally on sterility measures, which resulted in growth in consumption of the same. Furthermore, the presence of leading players like 3M Company, Steris Plc., Cantel Medical Corporation, Thor Group and many others in the region also helped drive the market in the region.

Rising Disposable Income in China to Create a Surge

Increasing disposable income could project a significant impact on economic development in the emerging countries which results in the affordability of proper healthcare treatment. China’s per capita disposable income reached (about 4,961 U.S. dollars) in 2020, which has doubled the level in 2010.

The potential for rising disposable income with high healthcare insurance is expected to contribute to increasing affordability of healthcare services intended to prevent infective diseases. The market in China is expected to witness significant growth at a CAGR of around 6.2%.

Will Expansion of Research Industry Drive India Sterilants Market?

The strong emergence of biopharmaceutical and pharmaceutical companies with growing research efforts is expected to offer opportunities in the sterilants market. However, India has the highest consumption of sterilants as compared to other South Asian countries. Sterilants demand is expected to increase, as most products in the pipeline are likely to reach the end stage and be commercialized by the end of the decade.

In developing countries, it is easier to recruit patients for clinical trials. R&D costs in India are substantially less as compared to those in developed countries, and it is possible to innovate and develop effective products at competitive rates. India accounted for more than 45% of the South Asia sterilants market.

Category-wise Insights

Why has Ethylene Oxide Gained Popularity In The Sterilants Market?

Ethylene oxide (EO) sterilants are the most common industrial sterilants used for medical device sterilization. It is used in ‘cold’ sterilization technique and offers high compatibility with most materials used in the manufacture of medical devices, such as plastics, polymers, metals and glass. Its lethality is driven by a chemical reaction (alkylation) with the DNA of bacteria, viruses, molds, yeasts and even insects. Thus owing to its advantage and compatibility ethylene oxide has the highest revenue share of US$ 521.4 Mn in 2020 and is expected to rise to annual revenue of US$ 891.3 Mn by 2031 with 5.0% CAGR between 2021 and 2031.

What is the preferred form of Sterilants and who is the Leading End User?

The liquid sterilant form accounted for the highest share among the other forms owing to its compatibility for thermolabile products.

The hospitals segment accounted for the highest share in the sterilants market. The overall demand for sterilants in hospitals is largely driven by the increasing prevalence of human associated infections (HAIs), growing number of surgical procedures and increasing number of hospitals worldwide.

The rising geriatric population is one of the key contributor to the sterilants market growth for hospitals. As the geriatric population is more susceptible to chronic diseases.

Competitive Landscape

Many leading players are focusing on various market consolidation activities such as mergers, acquisitions, supply distribution partnerships, and launching new products, leading to high competitiveness in the market. Key manufacturers are keen to expand the market footprint of their key products and provide solutions to end users. For instance, many leading manufacturers nowadays provide customized solutions based on various end-user requirement.

The current pandemic outbreak and the growing global need for multifunctional sterilizing products have led the leading market players to offering effective sterilants to meet the customer’s demand.

For instance, in 2020, in response to the pandemic situation, Lanxess launched a high-level disinfectant named Rely+On Virkon. The product will be highly effective on hard surfaces and equipment, which will help to reduce the contamination of surfaces.

Thus, the ongoing innovative product offerings by market players will maintain the supply and demand, assisting the overall market growth during the forecast period.

Some of the leading companies operating in the market are:

  • 3M Company
  • Steris Plc.
  • Cantel Medical Corporation
  • Evonik Industries AG
  • Arkema S.A.
  • Thor Group
  • Metrex Research, LLC
  • Ecolab Inc.
  • Solvay SA
  • Contec, Inc.
  • OZU Corporation
  • Cetylite, Inc.
  • Veltek Associates, Inc.
  • Whiteley Corporation
  • Gul Biyoloji Laboratuvari

*The list is not exhaustive, and only for representational purposes. Full competitive intelligence with SWOT analysis available in the report.

Scope of the Report

Attribute Details
Forecast Period 2021-2031
Historical Data Available for 2016-2020
Market Analysis USD Million for Value
Key Regions Covered North America, Latin America, Europe, South Asia, East Asia, Oceania, Middle East & Africa
Key Companies Covered
  • 3M Company
  • Steris Plc.
  • Cantel Medical Corporation
  • Evonik Industries AG
  • Arkema S.A.
  • Thor Group
  • Metrex Research, LLC
  • Ecolab Inc.
  • Solvay SA
  • Contec, Inc.
  • OZU Corporation
  • Cetylite, Inc.
  • Veltek Associates, Inc.
  • Whiteley Corporation
  • Gul Biyoloji Laboratuvari
Key Countries Covered US, Canada, Germany, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Belize, Puerto Rico, Germany, Italy, France, U.K., Spain, Russia,  Poland, Romania, Netherlands, Belgium, China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, Northern Africa, and South Africa
Key Segments Covered Product,  Form,  End-user and Region
Report Coverage Market Forecast, Competition Intelligence, DROT Analysis, Market Dynamics and Challenges, Strategic Growth Initiatives
Customization & Pricing Available upon Request

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Sterilants Market by Category


  • Ethylene Oxide (EtO)
  • Glutaraldehyde
  • Hydrogen Peroxide Gas Plasma (HPGP)
  • Vaporized Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Immersion and Vapor Phase Peracetic Acid
  • Others


  • Liquid
  • Spray


  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Ambulatory Surgical Centers
  • Diagnostic Laboratories
  • Reference Laboratories
  • Rehabilitation Centers
  • Long Term Care Centers
  • Critical Care Centers
  • Pharmaceutical & Biotechnology Companies
  • Academics and Research Institutes
  • Homecare Settings

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  • North America
  • Latin America
  • Europe
  • East Asia
  • South Asia
  • Oceania
  • Middle East and Africa (MEA)

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Last Updated: 14-Mar-2022