Demand for membranes in
the US is expected to increase 7.1 percent per year to $5.4 billion in 2016,
says a just-released market research report available at Reportlinker, “U.S.
Membrane Separation Technologies Market.”
Growth is mostly
attributed to continued adoption of environmental regulations that require
purity levels best achieved with membrane separation technologies.
Additionally, ongoing interest in minimizing waste and recycling or reusing
input fluids will stimulate gains in membrane demand, especially in the
industrial market, the report says. Further contributing to growing membrane
demand is the increasing penetration of membranes into the water and wastewater
treatment, and food and beverage processing markets.
account for the most established and mature segment of the market and are
projected to continue to account for the largest share of total demand, the
research states. However, demand is expected to grow more quickly for reverse
osmosis and ultrafiltration membranes, both of which are capable of removing a
wider range of contaminants.
Demand for reverse osmosis
membranes will benefit from growing interest in treating brackish water and
desalinating seawater to create potable water sources, while ultrafiltration
membranes are increasingly being used in place of microfiltration membranes for
pretreatment purposes. Of the major applications, demand gains are expected to
be fastest for pervaporation membranes, albeit from a very small base.
Pervaporation membranes are increasingly used to remove volatile organic
compounds from wastewater produced by hydraulic fracturing processes. Other
markets in which pervaporation membranes are used include the chemical
processing, and pharmaceutical and medical markets.
The research report says
the largest market for membranes is water and wastewater treatment, accounting
for nearly half of sales. Demand is driven by regulations for water and waste
streams that increasingly require compliance with more stringent allowable
contaminant levels, which often necessitate the use of membrane separation
technologies to achieve the mandated results. Additionally, the growing need
for water conservation in many parts of the US will continue to fortify
membrane demand, especially in industrial markets.
materials will continue to dominate the market, the researchers say, because of
their relatively low initial costs and their ability to be used in a variety of
applications. However, polymer-based membranes are subject to an increasing
level of competition from nonpolymeric membranes, which are less likely to foul
and can be more easily cleaned. Demand for membranes made from such materials
as ceramic and metal is expected to grow more rapidly than demand for polymeric
membranes through 2016, albeit from a smaller base.