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By 2008, the market for residential water purification cartridges will reach $4 billion worldwide. At that time it will make up 30 percent of the $13.2 billion world cartridge market.
The biggest growth will be in point-of-use cartridges where world sales will be $3.2 billion in 2008, up from $2.7 billion in 2005. These forecasts are displayed in the continually updated online, Cartridge Filters: World Markets, published by the McIlvaine Company.
Counter top units have lost popularity, while, pour-through pitchers and refrigerator cartridges have enjoyed a rapid increase in popularity. Point-of-entry filtration is popular in new homes but is still relatively small compared to point-of-use. Carbon block filters, which remove both odors and particles, are the big sellers. Non-wovens are also popular.
The report includes dead-end membrane cartridges, but not cross-flow membranes including reverse osmosis. These are included in a separate McIlvaine report.
Cartridge filtration in commercial establishments is a big business ($2.5 billion in 2005).
The biggest industrial user of cartridges is the pharmaceutical industry. Membrane cartridges are used in processing various traditional products and are used in great quantity in biotechnology applications.
Healthcare is a billion dollar market for cartridge suppliers. Blood filtration has been and will continue to be a growth segment.
The municipal water segment is small for cartridges compared to other filtration devices. The reason is that cartridges are disposable items. Most drinking water applications require self cleaning filters with the capability of handling large volumes. Nevertheless, campgrounds and others who need only seasonal filtration find cartridges to be more economical than continuously cleaned filters which require a big initial investment.
Sales of cartridge filters in the electronics industry nose-dived in 2001 but have recovered. Sales will exceed $360 million in 2005 and are projected to rise to $500 million in 2008. Much of this industry is now in Asia. Most of the disk drive plants are in Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore. However some manufacturing is moving to China. Most of the flat panel display plants are located in Korea, Taiwan, and Japan. There is a semiconductor rebound in Japan but the big growth recently has been in Taiwan. Membrane cartridges are widely used in the electronics industry.