Industrial, medical uses drive demand for chemical sensors

By Control Engineering Staff February 28, 2006

Cleveland, OH —U.S. demand for chemical sensors is expected to grow 7.4% a year to $4.2 billion by 2009, a study by Freedonia Group indicates. Demand for biosensors in the medical and diagnostics market will dominate and drive gains. Development of new products and markets brought about by the use of nanomaterials, and microfabrication and high-tech manufacturing techniques also will influence the field, says the market research firm.

The study points to a combination of factors affecting the market, including sustained economic expansion and falling prices for high-performance and novel sensor types. The fastest advances are expected in sensors that are the focus of newer technologies, says the report. Examples include optical sensors and biosensors, although nearly all products in this area are expected to benefit from improving performance, lower costs, and the development of new marketing opportunities.

The best opportunities continue to be found in medical/diagnostics, says Freedonia, with a growth of more than 8% per year expected, due largely to the general aging of the populace. Fastest growth can be anticipated in emerging sensor technologies, such as optical and biosensors. Demand for optical sensors, including infrared, fiber optic, laser, and photoionization, is being influenced by the development of lower cost, durable devices capable of competing in cost-conscious and rugged industrial environments.

The motor vehicle market also will record favorable gains, as emerging applications, such as cabin air quality, have a positive impact on chemical sensor demand. Indoor air quality monitors, volatile organic compound monitors, and chemical and biological warfare agent detectors are also expected to see growth.

Click here for a pdf of details on the study.

—Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jeanine Katzel, senior editor,