Demand for membranes in the US is expected to increase 7.7 percent per
year to $5.4 billion in 2016. Growth will be driven by
the need to comply with environmental regulations regarding water and
wastewater streams, as these regulations often require purity levels that are
best achieved using membranes. Additionally, as manufacturing activity
and investment in industrial equipment continues to improve, companies will
increasingly purchase membrane separation systems either to replace
conventional separation systems or to fill new fluid separation needs.
Water and wastewater treatment will continue to be the largest market for
membranes in 2016, representing nearly half of sales. These and
other trends, including market share and product segmentation, are presented in
Separation Technologies, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc.,
a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.
Polymeric membrane materials will continue to dominate the market because
of their relatively low initial costs and their suitability for use in a range
of applications. Fluoropolymers and polyamides each
accounted for approximately 30 percent of the polymeric market in 2011.
Demand for nonpolymeric materials, including ceramics, metals and composites,
will increase due to factors such as better performance in extreme temperatures
and greater pH ranges, as well as generally lower maintenance costs.
Microfiltration membranes, which represent the most established and
mature type of membranes, are projected to continue to account for the largest
share of total demand for the foreseeable future.
However, more rapid advances are projected for reverse osmosis and
ultrafiltration membranes, both of which produce higher purity streams.
These two membrane types will also benefit from their ability to sufficiently
treat wastewater for reuse and from growing interest in producing potable water
from brackish water and seawater. Among the major types, gains are
expected to be fastest for pervaporation membranes, albeit from a small
base. Ongoing development of pervaporation membranes will contribute to
their increasing penetration of high-growth specialty markets such as chemical
processing and pharmaceutical manufacturing, as well as fluid treatment in
wastewater and industrial gas processing.
The Freedonia Group is
a leading international business
research company, founded in 1985, that publishes more than 100 industry
research studies annually. This industry analysis provides an unbiased outlook
and a reliable assessment of an industry and includes product
segmentation and demand forecasts, industry trends, demand history, threats
and opportunities, competitive strategies, market share determinations and