Industrial air compressors will grow by 6.3% on a compound annual growth rate basis between 2016 and 2021, according to a recently published market analysis from Reportlinker.

The market research report expects the global market for industrial air compressors to be worth just under $35 billion by 2021, driven by emerging markets, cross-border oil and gas pipelines, and globally by concerns about efficiency and energy saving.

One of the fastest rates of growth is expected to be seen in the positive displacement air compressors segment – a section of the market that includes both reciprocating air compressors, and rotary type air compressors.

Rotary type air compressors have specific niche applications for which they are particularly suited, including in chemicals, power generation, textiles, and food and drink, four of the main industry types identified in the report for focused analysis.

Reciprocating air compressors, meanwhile, are used in medium to large-scale industries, where despite being one of the oldest air compressor technologies still in use, they are also still one of the best options for high output.

Despite these apparent niche applications, positive displacement air compressors are able to serve a versatile range of different purposes in other areas too – leading to the higher growth forecast for this segment and buoying the overall 6.3% compound annual growth rate predicted for industrial air compressors overall.

The report also looks at several other categorisations including dynamic air compressors – divided into centrifugal and axial compressors – and by seal type, which includes oil-free air compressors and those with oil-immersed seals.

“Industrial air compressors are used to increase pressure by converting power into potential energy, which is stored in pressurised air,” it states.

“This pressurised air is used to power pneumatic tools, to compress gas for transport, cutting and welding, packaging, cooling, and freezing, among others.”