Membrane Technology: A New Era

Published - May 2005| Analyst - Susan Hanft| Code - MST041C
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Report Highlights

  • The combined U.S. market for membranes used in separations and nonseparating applications was estimated at $5 billion dollars in 2004 and, rising at average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 6.6%, is expected to reach $6.9 billion in 2009.
  • Sales of membranes used in liquid and gas separations are valued at $2.1 billion with an AAGR of 9.9%.
  • The market for nonseparating membranes used in drug delivery, guided tissue regeneration, batteries, food packaging and high performance textiles is estimated to be a $2.8 billion market increasing at 3.8%.
  • MF and UF filtration types are in ever greater demand for water treatment, as well as wastewater treatment and in the biotech and pharmaceuticals sector.



Membranes are essential for a application ranging from potable water, process water and wastewater treatment to power generation, tissue repair and other therapeutic procedures, protective garments, pharmaceuticals production, food and beverage processing and packaging, and separations needed for manufacturing chemicals, cars, electronics, fuels and a variety of other products.

Primary drivers for membrane sales include consumer demand for higher quality products, increased regulatory pressures, deteriorating natural resources, and the need for environmental and economic sustainability. In addition, RO and NF are experiencing high growth. This primarily is an expression of the booming market in desalination, but also a reflection of increased application in process water treatment and an interest in reclaiming “used” water.

This BCC report provides an in-depth analysis of the U.S. market for membrane technology across a range of filtration types. Although the U.S. consumes about 40% of all membranes produced worldwide, global activities are included where appropriate. This study contains a unique collection of membrane-related information, analyses, forecasts and conclusions that are very hard or impossible to find elsewhere.


The report contains:

  • A comparative analysis of separation types, including reverse osmosis, nanofiltration, ultrafiltration, microfiltration, electrochemical processes, gas separation and pervaporation
  • Analysis of the markets for applications in healthcare, pharma, water and wastewater, power, semiconductors, foods and beverages and other industries
  • Evaluation of the market for microporous and semipermeable membranes for performance textiles, diapers, battery separators and drug delivery
  • Evaluation of two novel membrane types: gas transfer and liquid membranes
  • Market forecasts through 2009
  • Discussion and analysis of the industry structure with company profiles, technological trends, pricing, R&D and government regulations.


A comprehensive literature, patent, and Internet search was undertaken, and key industry players were queried. Industry news and current developments are evaluated in BCC's monthly newsletter, Membrane & Separation Technology News, which also was used in compiling the report. In addition, the following BCC reports provided valuable information:

  • GB-255-Major Reverse Osmosis System Components For Water Treatment: The Global Market
  • E-125-Advanced Technologies for Municipal Water Treatment
  • C-232-Ultrafiltration Membrane Industry: Developments and Markets, and
  • C-246-Membrane Technology for Biopharmaceuticals: Discovery, Development and Commercial Production

This report is an update of the prior BCC report, C-201R Membrane Technology: A New Era, which was published in 2001. Market size estimates in this document are based on the numbers calculated in that report, adjusted according to industry growth over the period from 2001 to 2004. Market size is based on estimated sales of membrane material as a percentage of the finished product in the case of applications where membrane sheeting is sold to OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), such as waterproof garments or batteries; or membranes configured as modules for those industries using membranes already incorporated into filters, such as for water treatment or protein separations. For nondisposable products used in crossflow systems, replacement sales were calculated at 60% of sales. For disposables, unit sales were estimated and the market size figured on average unit pricing. Sales of filtration systems are not included in market size calculations.


Information used in the preparation of this report was gleaned from the monthly BCC newsletters Membrane and Separations Technology News and Analytical Separations News, SEC filings, annual reports, and patent literature. , scientific, and industry journals were also researched, as well as government reports, census information, conference literature, online resources, and industry participants interviewed.


During the past 6 years, Susan Hanft has authored numerous BCC technical/market reports in the fields of membrane technology and water treatment. Hanft also serves as editor of the BCC newsletter, Membrane & Separations Technology News.

Table of Contents & Pricing

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Published - May-2001| Analyst - Susan Hanft| Code - MST041B

Report Highlights

  • The total 2000 U.S. membrane market is estimated at $1.6 billion dollars.
  • Growing at average annual rate (AAGR) of about 11%, this market is expected to reach nearly $2.4 billion in 2005.
  • The markets for reverse osmosis (RO) and nanofiltration, dominated by RO, is expected to reach $400 million in 2005, reflecting an AAGR of 7.9%.
  • Important primarily to the biotech industry, ultra and microfiltration are expected to rise at an AAGR of 8.7% to $1.45 billion in 2005.
  • Improved materials are opening up new opportunities for gas separation membranes, which while rise at an AAGR of 6.9% to $177 million in 2005.
  • Between them, ion exchange, pervaporation, dialysis and novel techniques are expected to increase at an AAGR of 7.6% through the forecast period.

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