Oct 27, 2009

Report: Cross-Flow Membrane, System Sales to Rise From $7.5 Billion to $8.7 Billion by 2012

Largest segment will be new reverse osmosis equipment

The sales of cross-flow membranes and systems will rise by more than $1.2 billion in the next three years, according to the McIlvaine Co.’s new report, “RO, UF, MF World Markets.”

The largest segment will be new reverse osmosis equipment (RO). This includes the typical skid but not connecting piping or other items extraneous to the skid. RO is the technology of choice for desalination, computer chip wash water and water for injection in the pharmaceutical industry, the company said. Residential and commercial buildings are increasingly fitted with point-of-use RO systems for food, beverage and drinking water applications, according to McIlvaine Co.

The report also showed that desalination is the single biggest market with cross-flow system and membrane sales rising from $2 billion in 2009 to $2.5 billion in 2012.

Plus, McIlvaine Co. reported that microfiltration and ultrafiltration equipment is competing with the traditional sand filter in drinking water plants. Ultrafiltration is popular in food processing. Ceramic membranes have temperature advantages for higher temperature applications in a variety of industries.

Replacement membranes are a growing market with big companies such as Dow as leaders, McIlvaine Co. said. The equipment leaders include major corporations such as GE and Siemens. There are increasing numbers of Asian suppliers to meet the growing demand throughout the region.

China is the largest purchaser of the cross-flow membrane equipment, according to the report. One reason for this is the large number of coal-fired boilers being constructed--these need ultra-pure water for the boiler steam cycle, and RO typically is used to obtain the purity.