The global membrane separation technology market is expected to reach a net worth of over USD 42 billion by 2024 and is supposed to grow at a CAGR exceeding 10% from 2016 to 2024. This technology is widely used in wastewater treatment. Deprivation of water quality and lack of clean drinking water is expected to affect adversely economic and social landscape globally particularly in the emerging economies. It has been estimated that around 4 million deaths globally occur due to the inadequate water resource.
Membrane separation is one of the most effective methods used for water purification. Changing from chemical based treatments to efficient water treatment techniques such as mechanical and physical processes is projected to be a major factor driving market growth.
Use of toxic chemical water treatment or separation techniques is perceived as environmental degradation processes associated with high disposal costs. Stringent environment regulations such as the U.S. EPA ‘Safe Drinking Water Act’ are anticipated to promote membrane separation technology use over the next few years.
The technology involves separation of materials via minute gaps or pores in the molecular arrangement without involving any toxic chemicals. Major processes used for the treatment of water include nanofiltration, microfiltration, reverse osmosis, and ultrafiltration.
Implementation of stringent environmental regulations and norms is expected to drive the market growth and thereby to increase the demand for the technology among various industry sectors. Mandatory provisions of environmental standards and government initiatives including ‘Clean Water Act’ particularly in rural areas with water inadequacy have enhanced implementation of efficient water treatment technologies, including membrane separation.
Growing population and global industrial expansion are boosting the demand for effective water treatment methods, providing better growth opportunities for the global membrane separation technology market. Also, petroleum and chemical industries in countries including Germany, the UK, and the Gulf are expected to drive the market growth which involves the use of membrane separation technique for liquid extraction.
Growing awareness and interest in wastewater treatment and effluent water reuse in bulk industries, such as foundry, petrochemicals, and pulp & paper, is expected to boost the membrane separation technology market over the forecast period. Growing population in water stressed areas and unhygienic conditions has compelled the local and national governments to initiate water conservation techniques. Therefore, these factors are expected to impact positively industry expansion.
High installation and operational cost of the membrane separation technology is projected to be a major restraint for the market growth in emerging economies. Adoption of various other water cleaning methods resulting in improved quality is also supposed to hinder the market growth. The market has immense potential to grow in the emerging economies including China, India, Thailand, Brazil, and Russia owing to technological shift towards chemical-free water treatment processes in various industries.
Main advantages of using membrane separation technology over other conventional techniques include efficient use of energy, reduced use of chemicals and relatively less complicated operation required after installation in the process. The technology finds primary application in surface water, wastewater, desalinate seawater, groundwater and demineralize boiler feeder water treatment.
By process, the industry has been segmented into reverse osmosis, nanofiltration, microfiltration, and ultrafiltration. Microfiltration emerged as the leading membrane separation technique and accounted for over 30% of the global demand in 2014. Ability to remove suspended particles and microorganisms for wastewater disinfection, thereby, providing the coarsest separation of any membrane type may be attributed to high penetration.
Reverse osmosis is expected to witness significant growth rate on account of increasing application in wide range of end-use industries, such as chemicals processing, electrical & electronics, and pharmaceuticals, that require the highest purity fluid streams.
By end-use, the global membrane separation technology market may be classified into industrial, water & wastewater treatment and healthcare. Water and Wastewater segment was the largest end-use sector in 2014.Stringent government legislations regarding disposed water quality requirements is expected to be one of the key factors driving growth in industrial wastewater treatment programs.
Healthcare and pharmaceuticals are expected to witness significant growth rate over the forecast period owing to treatment of pharmaceutical waste streams by nano-filtration to detoxify them and reduce the volume of waste requiring incineration.
Europe was the largest membrane separation market due to increased number of applications, awareness and a better understanding of the technology among implementers in this region. Asia Pacific is estimated to witness a substantial growth over the next nine years owing to increasing investments in membrane separation techniques on account of industrialization and water pollution in emerging economies including China, India, and Malaysia.
The increasing population can also be attributed to the market growth prompting the governments to concentrate more on water treatment process to provide safe drinking water to the public.
Water management is emerging as an inherent part of development and planning. The industries and municipalities are continuously investing substantial money in membrane separation technology to improve the living standards and healthcare systems, creating more opportunities for water and wastewater treatment techniques globally.
Key players operating in the global membrane separation technology market include TriSep Corporation, 3M Company, Dow Chemical Company, IDE Technologies, GE Water and Process Technologies, Asahi Kasei Corporation and Pall Corporation. Other companies having a significant stake in the global industry include Nitto Denko Corporation, Evoqua Water Technologies, Degremont SA, and GEA Filtration.
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