The Global Membrane Separation Technologies market size was valued at US$2.349 billion in 2020 and is anticipated to increase at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 10.44% over the predictive period to reach US$4.709 billion by 2027. Membrane separation is a technique for selectively separating (fractionating) materials using pores and/or minute gaps in a continuous structure's molecular arrangement. The reduction of dissolved or suspended particles from process water or liquid components is perhaps the most prominent use for membrane filtration. Membrane filtration can also be used to eliminate germs extend shelf life and give a healthier alternative to chemicals and preservatives. The natural flavor of food items and the nutritional content of heat-sensitive components can be preserved by membrane separation since it avoids the requirement for high-temperature treatment of goods. This also reduces the amount of energy used in production, pasteurization, or sterilization. Non-potable water sources, such as grey water and reclaimed/recycled "purple pipe" water, can also be treated via membrane filtration.
Growing Demand for Water Treatment
Water is the most essential resource for all living organic beings. Although water covers about 70.9 percent of the Earth's surface, most countries have reported major water shortages. Accessibility to safe and hygienic drinking water is a basic human right. However, according to a study by the WHO released on 21st March 2022, over 2 billion people live in countries that are water-stressed, a situation that is likely to worsen in some areas because of climate change and population expansion. According to the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme 2021, almost 771 million people don’t have access to clean water close to their homes. Only 81% of the population will have access to clean drinking water by 2030, according to a UNICEF news release from July 2021, leaving 1.6 billion people without a proper water supply.
Inadequate management of urban, industrial, and agricultural wastewater has affected the drinking water access of hundreds of millions of people. Natural occurrences of chemicals, particularly in groundwater, such as arsenic and fluoride, can be harmful to one's health. The shortage of clean water has widened opportunities for membranes to be used in water treatment. Increased water and wastewater treatment operations that employ RO, UF and MF membranes on a wide scale are being driven by high purity requirements and rigorous laws surrounding drinking water and industrial wastewater discharge. This has resulted in a growth of the membrane separation market and owing to the increasing scarcity of usable water, the membrane separation market is anticipated to rise.
Innovations in the Market
Membrane separation technology has reported rapid advancements over the last few decades. The increasing accessibility and demand for wastewater filtration have led to an increase in market demand for membrane separation technology.
On April 26th, 2022, Evonik released its plan to dope bacteria that take over critical material conversion events in the biological treatment of wastewater with oxygen. Evonik wants to use this technology to enable long-term wastewater treatment, especially as metropolitan population growth rates continue to rise. Its strategy is to speed up the natural biological processes carried out by bacteria and fungus via multiple purification steps. The company will be presenting this innovative technology at IFAT, the world's leading trade fair for environmental technologies.
Removing per- and polyfluoroalkyl compounds (PFAS) has become crucial in water treatment. According to an article published in ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces in May 2022, researchers demonstrated MXene nanosheet functionalization on thin-film composite (TFC) hollow fiber nanofiltration (HFN) membranes via interfacial polymerization (IP) to enhance the removal of perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) from water. The researchers determined that adding the MXene nanosheet to the combination improved PFOS removal from water without impacting membrane salt rejection and increased membrane flow.
Asia Pacific Region to Lead the Market
The Asia Pacific market is expected to hold the largest market share in the membrane separation technologies market throughout the forecast period, mainly due to the rising water contamination and growing environmental concerns. Membrane separation technology is widely used in the water and wastewater treatment, medical and pharmaceutical, and chemical processing industries, which is fueling the market's expansion in this area. An increase in mining, chemical, and metal processing activities in the area has led to the extensive exploitation of water, resulting in the scarcity of water in the region. Most of the developing and under-developed countries in the region have reported adverse living conditions for people, due to the scarcity of clean drinking water. Moreover, the growing concern over climate change has forced governments to deploy environment-friendly and clean solutions to provide better living conditions for people in the area. The growing pharmaceutical industry in the region is also another major reason for the growing market in the region and is expected to positively influence the market.
The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic caused a worldwide economic downturn. Most large companies suffered considerable losses due to the government-imposed lockdown and social distance restrictions. This also negatively affected the membrane separation technologies market. Due to the closure of most major industries, the demand for wastewater filtration also decreased. Moreover, the demand for mineral and bottled water also decreased due to the closure of shops and outlets. However, the pharmaceutical industry reported a positive demand for the membrane separation technologies market. The extensive usage of membrane separation technologies in the production of medicines, supplements, medical equipment, protective masks, and gloves, due to the increasing infection cases around the world helped in uplifting the market demand. Further, as most countries have started to lift lockdown protocols and resume normal operations, the membrane separation technologies market is anticipated to rise significantly in the forecasted period.