Scarce freshwater resources will support gains in the water and wastewater treatment markets
World demand for membranes is forecast to rise 8.5% annually to $26.3 billion in 2019, according to World Membrane Separation Technologies, a new study from The Freedonia Group Inc., a Cleveland-based industry research firm.
Rising output from key industries, including food and beverages and pharmaceuticals, will promote increasing demand as membranes are used to meet increasingly stringent purity requirements. Scarce freshwater resources will support gains in the water and wastewater treatment markets. Desalination facilities will produce an increasing share of drinking water supplies, particularly in arid regions such as the southwestern U.S., the Middle East, and parts of the Mediterranean. Industrial users will also expand their efforts to reclaim and reuse wastewater in response to rising costs associated with the disposal of wastewater and the purchase of fresh water.
Industrializing countries such as India, China, Russia, Poland and Brazil are expected to show strong growth going forward, with rising demand supported by expanding food and beverage, pharmaceutical, chemical and electronic component industries.
“Many of these countries also have increasingly strict environmental regulations which require more aggressive treatment of contaminated wastewater,” said Emily Park, analyst. Countries with expanding populations and scarce water resources, such as Mexico, Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Africa/Mideast region, are also projected to show above average gains. Increasing desalination capacity in many of these countries, particularly Saudi Arabia, will be a major driver of growth through 2019.
Developed areas such as the U.S., Canada, Western Europe and Japan are among the most intensive users of membranes, as the use of membranes in water treatment and other applications is well-established, particularly as environmental regulations and purity standards in manufacturing processes have become stricter. Despite the maturity of these markets, growth in membrane demand will continue to be robust as improving efficiency and performance of membrane systems will allow demand for membranes in these countries to outpace demand for most competing technologies, such as conventional gas and liquid filtration equipment.