The global membrane separation market was valued over USD 17 million in 2012. The transition towards the physical treatment of water against conventional water-treatment methods is expected to impact the market favorably. Growing environmental concerns along with the need to comply with stringent government regulations concerning water and waste-water treatment are some of the key factors driving membrane separation market growth. Membrane separation is an ideal solution for industries seeking to reduce water footprint and re-use waste water, which is expected to impact positively market growth. Rising production activities and increasing investments in industrial equipment is also expected to fuel market growth. Membrane separation offers several benefits over most of the existing water-purification techniques such as high filtration efficiency and minimum operation area.
Factors including membrane fouling, chemical corrosion such as oxidation and faulty installation & maintenance may hinder membrane separation market growth. Further, high installation & operational costs and lack of funds in developing nations are also expected to hamper the membrane separation market. Developing markets also provide significant growth opportunities owing to the growing need for waste-water treatment. Favorable regulatory policies such as the Clean Water Act in areas affected by water shortage have spurred global product demand. Emerging processes and applications, including forward osmosis and hybrid forward osmosis for waste-water recycling and water desalination, may provide avenues for membrane separation market growth.
Product segments include microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration and reverse osmosis. Microfiltration membranes are used across diverse applications including water & waste-water treatment; semiconductor & electronics manufacturing, food & beverage processing and pharmaceuticals & bio-pharmaceuticals production. Increasing use of microfiltration membranes as pre-filters to reverse osmosis and ultrafiltration processes is expected to drive membrane separation growth. Desalination is one of the major forces driving nanofiltration demand, which in turn is expected to impact the membrane filtration market positively.
Membrane separation systems are primarily used for water and waste-water treatment, industrial and healthcare applications. Water and waste-water treatment application segment are expected to dominate the market over the next few years owing to growing environmental concerns. Rapid industrialization provides opportunities for re-suing grey water in developing countries, which is expected to propel membrane separation systems demand across industrial applications. Medical and industrial applications are expected to provide wide avenues for membrane separation market growth.
BRIC countries are expected to witness high growth on account of rapid industrialization and issues about water-shortage. Europe is a key regional market; Asia Pacific is expected to see high gains owing to the rapidly developing market in China. The North America market is expected to be driven by advancements and development initiatives undertaken to enhance and upgrade existing membrane separation systems.
Market players include suppliers, manufacturers, and distributors. Key industry participants include 3M Purification Inc., Degremont SA, Dow Chemical Company, Evoqua Water Technologies, GEA Filtration, Koch membrane systems, Merck Millipore, Nitto Denko Corporation, Pall Corporation and Veolia Environnement. The membrane separation market is characterized by mergers and acquisitions, which is one of the key growth strategies.
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