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Microfiltration Membrane Market Overview
The global microfiltration membrane market was valued at $2,387.9 million in 2017 and is projected to reach $4,039.3 million by 2023, witnessing a CAGR of 9.0% during the forecast period. The market growth is primarily driven by the increasing demand for microfiltration technologies for industrial wastewater treatment. Microfiltration is a technology that involves the use of a porous membrane to remove microscopic contaminants from a liquid when the liquid is passed through it.
GLOBAL MICROFILTRATION MEMBRANE MARKET, BY MATERIAL TYPE, MILLION SQUARE METERS (2013-2023)
Based on material type, the microfiltration membrane market has been categorized into polyethersulfone (PES), polypropylene (PP), polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), polyether ether ketone (PEEK), polyimide, cellulose, and others, where the “others” category includes polyacrylonitrile and polyethylene. PVDF held the largest share in the market during the historical period, contributing more than 35.0% revenue in 2017. This can be attributed to the wide usage of PVDF membranes for the treatment of industrial and general wastewater, because they can easily and efficiently remove contaminants from liquid streams.
On the basis of filtration technology, the microfiltration membrane market has been categorized into dead-end filtration and cross-flow filtration. During the forecast period, faster growth in the market is expected from cross-flow filtration technology, with 8.7% CAGR in terms of volume. This can be attributed to the large-scale use of this filtration technology in industries such as pharmaceutical, food and beverage, oil and gas, and dairy. For instance, in the food and beverage industry, cross-flow filtration technology is widely used in beer clarification and milk purification.
Based on application, the microfiltration membrane market has been categorized into semiconductor and electronic, oil and gas, dairy, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, industrial wastewater treatment, and others. The “others” category includes solvent recovery, and metal and catalyst recovery . Industrial wastewater treatment was the largest application area of microfiltration membranes during the historical period, accounting for more than 40.0% revenue in the market in 2017. The largest share of the application can be ascribed to the growing scarcity of clean water. As the membranes used in microfiltration technologies effectively remove contaminants from polluted water, their demand is high for industrial wastewater treatment.
Globally, Asia-Pacific (APAC) was the largest market for microfiltration membranes and is expected to remain so in the coming years as well. The major factors driving the growth of the market in the region are increasing implementation of regulatory standards, rising need for wastewater treatment, and growing adoption of desalination methods to meet clean water needs in several regional countries. Moreover, a large number of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are establishing their manufacturing plants and research centers in APAC, which is further boosting the microfiltration membrane market growth in the region.
Microfiltration Membrane Market Dynamics
Traditionally, conventional separation technologies, such as sand filtration, coagulation and sedimentation, and dissolved air floatation, were widely used for filtration applications in industries such as food and beverage, oil and gas, and pharmaceutical. However, the technologies proved inefficient in treating solutions containing excessive dissolved organic compounds. To overcome this drawback, new filtration techniques have been introduced in the market. Microfiltration is one such technology introduced in the market for the treatment of contaminated liquids, and its growing application is being observed as a major trend in the microfiltration membrane market.
Rising population and rapid industrialization have led to an increase in the demand for clean water resources across the globe. This demand for clean water is met by the industrial treatment of water (obtained from various sources) with the use of microfiltration technologies. In the last 10 years, the amount of wastewater treated in China has increased by 57.0%.
As conventional processes have proved inefficient in treating solutions containing excessive dissolved organic compounds, microfiltration technologies are gaining traction as an effective solution to treating surface as well as industrial wastewater. The municipal water department largely depends on microfiltration technologies for the effective removal of contaminants, such as bacteria and viruses, from drinking water, and for the pretreatment of sourced water to protect RO equipment from corrosive contaminants present in the water. Hence, the increasing demand for membranes for the filtration of industrial wastewater is driving the microfiltration membrane market growth.
The production cost of membranes used for microfiltration is higher than that of nitrocellulose membranes, as the production of membranes that are used for microfiltration involves an activation step prior to the membrane use. In the activation step, the membrane is soaked in 100% methanol before reaching equilibrium in transfer buffer. Improper wetting of the membrane can affect binding properties, which may result in uneven western blots or failure to detect the target protein. The addition of laboratory steps increases the overall cost of membrane production. This increased production cost, in turn, hinders the entry of small-scale players in the market, thus hampering the microfiltration membrane market growth.
Microfiltration Membrane Market Competitive Landscape
Some of the major players operating in the global microfiltration membrane market are Asahi Kasei Corporation, Culligan International Company, Applied Membranes Inc., Alfa Laval AB, Graver Technologies LLC, Markel Corporation, Toray Industries Inc., Koch Membrane Systems Inc., Merck Group, 3M Company, SUEZ, and Danaher Corporation.