New study examines world membrane separation technologies

According to a new study from The Freedonia Group Inc., a Cleveland-based industry research firm, global demand for membranes is projected to increase a healthy 8.6 percent annually to over $15 billion in 2012. Increased attention paid to water quality, the disposal of industrial and other waste streams, and food and beverage safety regulations will propel membrane sales...

• World demand for membranes to exceed $15 billion in 2012

CLEVELAND, OH, Apr. 13, 2009 -- According to a new study from The Freedonia Group Inc., a Cleveland-based industry research firm, global demand for membranes is projected to increase a healthy 8.6 percent annually to over $15 billion in 2012. Increased attention paid to water quality, the disposal of industrial and other waste streams, and food and beverage safety regulations will propel membrane sales. Gains in global membrane demand will also be driven by interest in water re-use and material reclamation because of the rising price of raw water and other inputs, and concerns about the environment, particularly water scarcity in many parts of the world. While growth in membrane sales is expected to be strong in nearly every region, the underlying reasons for that growth can vary widely. These and other trends are presented in the study World Membranes.

North America, the largest regional market, accounted for one-third of global membrane sales in 2007 and will advance a strong 8.3 percent annually through 2012. Gains in the US market are projected to be aided by upgrades of water treatment techniques to accommodate newer water quality regulations and the use of low quality water resources in the water-stressed regions. Also, a growing number of industries use membranes to reduce water use and waste disposal expenditures. Unlike in many other industries, the US is expected to account for a larger share of global growth than China through 2012.

In developing countries, gains are based on the continued growth of water-intensive industries, increased need to tap brackish or otherwise poor quality water resources, and rising investment in modernizing water and waste infrastructure. However, in many of the least developed countries -- especially in Africa and parts of South Asia -- growth will be more limited due to lack of adequate funding and local corruption that impedes progress. Much of the Middle East has invested heavily in seawater and brackish water treatment to ensure a sufficient supply of water for drinking, agricultural and industrial purposes. Until recently, much of that came from thermal distillation plants; however, even oil-rich nations are increasingly shifting to more efficient desalination systems based on reverse osmosis membranes.

Maturity contributes to growth in Western Europe and Japan that is well below the global average. Still, the increased emphasis on conservation through water recycling will boost sales. The relative affluence of these countries allows use of advanced technologies despite their high upfront costs (see Table).

World Membranes (published 04/2009, 393 pages) is available for $5,700 from The Freedonia Group Inc., 767 Beta Drive, Cleveland, OH 44143-2326. For further details, please contact Corinne Gangloff by phone 440.684.9600, fax 440.646.0484 or e-mail: pr@freedoniagroup.com. Information may also be obtained through the Freedonia Group website.

###

More in Technologies