Reverse osmosis to drive US membrane demand to $6.2 billion in 2018

Water and wastewater industry demand for membranes will drive a 7.9%-a-year increase in US demand to reach US$ 6.2 billion by 2018 with reverse osmosis membranes surging 8.6% a year according to report by market research firm, The Freedonia Group.

The report, Membrane Separation Technologies, forecasts water and wastewater industries as showing the largest gains through the forecast period while growth in the more mature municipal market will stem primarily from replacement membranes for the large existing base said The Freedonia Group. But the municipal segment will receive a boost from use in desalination plants.

Microfiltration membranes account for the largest share of membrane demand with a 40% 2013. Their broad base of applications means their share tends to remain static: ‘Microfiltration membranes do not necessarily lose sales even as users shift toward more advanced membranes,” said Freedonia Group analyst Katherine Brink.

Reverse osmosis membranes’ place in desalination and other industries requiring high-purity water such as pharmaceuticals, chemical processing and electronics production will generate rapid growth through 2018 said the report. Reverse osmosis will show an 8.% annual growth rate through 2018 to US$ 1.6 billion.

Water and wastewater treatment accounts for the largest market share with 48% of sales in 2013. Concerns about availability of potable water in stressed water supply areas — particularly in Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas — will continue to boost demand for membrane-based desalination and water recycling systems.