The membrane separation technologies market has been forecast to reach a value of $19 billion by 2018, driven by the increasing demand for clean water, expanding application areas, and stringent regulatory norms on release of effluents by paper, metal and chemical industries.
Factors such as the need for quality water, stringent regulations governing industrial and waste disposal, and food and drinks-related safety regulations are expected to fuel demand for efficient membrane technologies.
Furthermore, the upgrade and expansion of water treatment networks, which involve increased usage of membrane-based desalination systems in countries facing water-related pressures, also offers potential growth opportunities.
Membrane technology covers all process engineering measures for the transport of substances between two fractions with the help of permeable membranes. In general, mechanical separation processes for separating gaseous or liquid streams use membrane technology.
The particular advantage of membrane separation processes is that they operate without heating and therefore use less energy than conventional thermal separation processes (distillation, Sublimation or crystallization).
This separation process is purely physical and because it is a gentle process, both fractions (permeate and retentate) can be used. Therefore, cold separation by means of membrane processes is commonly applied in the food technology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.
Concerns over water security over the recent decades have driven significant efforts in the development and advancement of separation technologies in water treatment. Also dubbed as low-pressure reverse osmosis technology, membranes in nanofiltration assist in the removal of small dissolved ions and molecules and particles.
The technique emerged as a promising less-expensive substitute to reverse osmosis, mainly with respect to operating cost and unit price. Nanofiltration finds itself placed between reverse osmosis and ultrafiltration with respect to its characteristics.
The technology is more ideal for a particular set of applications in water treatment, with typical applications of this technology being dyestuff desalination, caustic and acid recovery, removal of colour and water softening.
The United States represents the largest region in the membrane separation technologies market with growth driven primarily by environmental regulations and rising importance of water recycling.
While developed countries have been at the forefront of developing and adopting membrane separation technologies, emerging countries of Asia Pacific and the Middle East are expected to spearhead future growth.
For more information on the membrane seperation technologies market, see the latest research: Membrane Seperation Technologies Market
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