Advanced Wastewater Treatments for Global Markets

Published - Apr 2002| Analyst - Anna Welch Crull| Code - MST032A
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Report Highlights

  • The worldwide market for advanced wastewater systems is valued at $3.54 billion in 2001. Rising at an average annual rate (AAGR) of 5.5%, this market is expected to exceed $4.6 billion in 2006.
  • The U.S. market represents 33% of the total, and, rising at an AAGR of 7.1%, will reach $1.64 billion, or 35% of the market in 2006.
  • The second largest regional market is Asia, but it is growing at an AAGR of only 4.1%.
  • The European region is second only to the U.S. in terms of growth and will nearly catch Asia to become the second largest market, $1.1 billion, in 2006.
  • Middle Eastern and African regions coupled with the rest of the Americas constitute only 19% of the market for advanced wastewater treatment systems, and will grow more slowly than the rest of the world markets.
  • Increased use of membrane systems for wastewater treatment, reuse and recycling is a primary growth driver.



This technical/market report evaluates the global markets for advanced wastewater treatments. Certain levels of pollutants entering wastewater streams cannot be adequately removed by traditional treatment methods and require more sophisticated treatments. These advanced wastewater treatments, as defined by this report, include certain sorption technologies, membrane technologies, electrical processes, advanced biological processes, and some novel emerging treatments, such as photocatalytic technologies. Conventional wastewater treatment technologies are excluded from this report.

The goals are to provide meaningful information, unbiased analysis, and an assessment of the roles these advanced wastewater treatments can play now and in the future of global wastewater treatment technology. Wastewater needs are evaluated in 4 global regions and 35 countries.


Einstein was correct. Matter can be neither created nor destroyed. Wastewater is continually being produced and the pollutants never completely disappear. With each passing year, the quality of the planet's water measurably deteriorates. The best we can do is reduce the level of harmful and toxic discharges and perhaps reclaim and reuse some of the by-products, raw materials, and the water itself that appears in the wastewater streams. Categories of wastewater pollutants addressed include heavy metals, organic industrial chemicals, agricultural chemicals, oils/greases, and miscellaneous hazardous pollutants, such as medical wastes.

Advanced wastewater treatments become an area of global concern as individuals, communities, industries, nations, and their national institutions strive for ways to keep essential resources available and suitable for use. Individual technologies and applications are described, and a section on recent patents and research is included within each area. Companies involved in the materials and design of advanced wastewater treatment systems, including the sorption, membranes, electrical, and advanced biological technologies, are profiled.


This report is designed to be as comprehensive as possible. It is created for a broad audience of , technical, and regulatory practitioners on a global scale. This document is an information source on the industry, a reference manual on certain advanced wastewater treatment technologies, and a resource that provides information to decision-makers who need to stay abreast of the state of the art.

This report presents analyses and forward-thinking knowledge that will be of advantage to manufacturers, suppliers, and to local, state, and/or the federal government, as well as foreign governments. Engineers, utilities, and corporate planners will benefit by assessing the global components and demands for advanced wastewater technologies.


This study is divided into specific technology chapters dealing with the advanced wastewater treatments of sorption technologies, membrane technologies, electrical processes, some advanced biological treatments, and novel emerging treatments, such as photocatalytic technologies. Quantitative evaluations are given for the major market segments, historically and for a 5-year horizon. The global scope of advanced wastewater treatments are identified within 4 major geographical regions, with information on some 35 countries evaluated as to economics, demographics, and wastewater treatment needs.

Ion exchange, traditional coagulation, flocculation technologies, and other more standard treatments are excluded from this report. Costs of consulting, engineering, and real estate are specifically excluded from the values and costs assigned to a given technology.

The advanced wastewater treatments considered in this market study are centered on the municipal, industrial, military, and agriculture/environmental markets. It addresses, in part, the concept of zero discharge and recycle and reuse of water.


Research for this technical/marketing report began with a re-analysis of the available technical and literature, as well as an evaluation of the records of the wastewater treatment industry. Conversations with industry experts, company representatives, federal government researchers, university scientists, and field trips to wastewater treatment facilities provided the backbone for an advanced wastewater technology analysis. Other sources of information include product literature from the material and media suppliers, patent information, and Communication Co.'s monthly newsletters Water Technology News, Waste Treatment Technology News, and Membrane and Separation Technology News.

Sales dollars are as evaluated by manufacturers and converted to U.S. dollars. End users might pay approximately 20+% more. Currency conversions are normalized insofar as possible for winter 2001.


The information sources for this study include online research, patent literature, technical journals, interviews with principals in the industry, personal communications, and personal involvement in the industry. The monthly newsletters Water Technology News and Waste Treatment Technology News published by Communications Co., Inc. provide regular updates on industry and technology news events influencing advanced wastewater treatment technologies. Baseline regulatory information, including regulations and standards, was obtained from several sources, most importantly the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the European Union (EU).

In evaluating the global market for advanced wastewater treatment, information was obtained from the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC), U.S. Department of State, U.S. Army, correspondence with individuals in the selected countries, and from the authors' own experiences. Projections for each market are made in terms of constant U.S. dollars. Historical values are for the year given.

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