Membrane Bioreactors: Global Markets

Jun 2008| MST047B| BCC Publishing

Report Highlights

  • The global market for membrane bioreactor technology is expected to increase from $216.6 million in 2005 to an estimated $296 million by the end of 2008. It should reach $488 million in 2013, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.5%
  • Most MBRs use aerobic microbial processes, which are expected to be worth $291 million in 2008 and $483 million in 2013, a CAGR of 10.7%
  • Municipal and domestic wastewater treatment generated $96.6 million in 2005. This should increase to $142 million in 2008 and $249 million in 2013, for a CAGR of 11.9%.


This comprehensive market opportunity report evaluates the global market membrane bioreactors (MBRs) used for wastewater treatment. Existing and potential markets for MBRs on the global stage are identified. The goals are to provide meaningful information, unbiased analysis, and an assessment of the roles that MBR systems can play now and in the future of wastewater treatment technology. Twenty-eight countries’ water needs are evaluated in four global regions.
The need for pure water is a problem of global proportions. In the earth’s hydrologic cycle, fresh water supplies are fixed and constant, while global water demand is growing. With each passing year, the quality of the planet’s water measurably deteriorates, presenting challenges for the major users: the municipal, industrial, and environmental sectors. Water treatment has become an area of global concern as individuals, communities, industries, countries, and their national institutions strive for ways to keep this essential resource available and suitable for use. MBRs have emerged over the past 10 years as an effective solution to transforming various wastewaters into high quality effluent suitable for discharge to the environment and increasingly into a reusable product. 
This report is designed to be as comprehensive as possible and to be useable by a broad audience of business, technical, and regulatory practitioners on a global scale. The document is an information source on the industry, a reference manual on an advanced technology and its system components, and a resource that provides information to decision makers who need to stay abreast of the state of the art.
This report presents analysis and forward-thinking knowledge that will be of advantage to manufacturers, suppliers, and to local, state and the federal government as well as foreign governments. Engineers, utilities, and corporate planners will benefit in accessing the global demand for membrane bioreactors.
The study is divided into chapters dealing with the membrane component of MBRs, the biological component, system configurations, typical MBR performance, cost analyses, system applications, companies active in the market, market share, and industry structure. Quantitative evaluations are given for the major market segments, historically and for a 5-year horizon. The global scope of the MBR market is identified within four major geographical regions with information on regional economics, water needs, MBR experience, and proposed projects.
The MBR market in this study is centered on biological/membrane wastewater treatment for the municipal, industrial, and environmental sectors. The evaluated market does not include catalytic membrane reactors or enzymatic membrane reactors. 
Research for this report began with a re-analysis of the available technical and business literature, as well as an evaluation of the personal records of the water treatment industry available to the author. Conversations with industry experts and company representatives and a review of their published works provide the backbone for an evaluation of the water treatment equipment industry. Other sources of information include product literature from system suppliers, patent information, annual reports, and BCC Research’s monthly newsletter Membrane & Separation Technology News.
Growth rates of MBR systems are not the same for all world regions and are not increasing from the same base. Common to all regions, however, is the fact that sales of the technology are growing faster than the GDPs of countries installing the systems and more rapidly than the industries that use them. Forecasts in this report are based on announced projects and anticipated capacity additions over the next 5 years. 
MBR costs are based on published data and interviews with industry participants. MBR “systems” include headworks (screens, pumps, grit chamber) and other pretreatment systems, membrane units, reactor vessels, and other process tanks. Site costs, system installation costs, piping, instrumentation, and electrical/electronic controls are not included in the cost analysis. 
The capital cost of a 50,000 gpd (gallons per day) plant is estimated at $350,000, a 100,000 gpd plant at $500,000, and a 500,000 gpd plant at $2 million. For systems 1 mgd (million gallons per day) and larger, capital costs start at $3.5 million. The largest percentage of new system installations, 93%, will continue to fall into the 5,000 gpd to 500,000 gpd range (most of those, 57%, will have capacities of less than 25,000 gpd), 2% of installations will range from 0.5 mgd to 1 mgd, and 5% will be larger than 1 mgd. 
Currency conversions are normalized in so far as possible. Much of the historic information is from BCC data.
The information sources for this study include online research, patent literature, technical journals, and interviews with principals in the industry. The monthly newsletter Membrane & Separation Technology News published by BCC Research provides regular updates on industry and technology news events influencing the membrane industry. 
In evaluating the global market for membrane bioreactors, information was obtained from the U.S. Department of Commerce; U.S. Department of State; Aquastat, the United Nations’ global water information system; and publications from the American Water Works Association, the Water Environment Federation, the European Commission, the Water Resources Institute, and various academic institutions. Projections for each market are made in terms of constant dollars. Historical values are for the year given.
During the past 12 years, Susan Hanft has authored more than 16 market research reports for BCC Research in the fields of membrane technology, water, and wastewater treatment, and separations used in food and beverage manufacture, medicine and biotechnology. Ms. Hanft is also editor of the bi-monthly BCC Research newsletter Membrane & Separation Technology News. Professional affiliations include the North American Membrane Society, South Central Membrane Association, and the International Desalination Association. 

Table of Contents & Pricing

All reports provided in PDF format. For shared licensing options (5+ Users), please call a representative at (+1) 781-489-7301 or contact us at
Title/Chapter Name Pages Price Member Price
Full Report: Membrane Bioreactors: Global Markets 202 $2,750 Free
Chapter- 1: INTRODUCTION4Free
Chapter- 2: SUMMARY3$250Free
Chapter- 3: OVERVIEW23$313Free
Chapter- 5: PATENT SURVEY3$41Free
Chapter- 8: INDUSTRY STRUCTURE50$681Free
Chapter- 9: APPENDIX 6$82Free
Published - Jan-2006| Analyst - Susan Hanft| Code - MST047A

Report Highlights

  • Valued at an estimated $216.6 million in 2005, the global MBR market is rising at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 10.9% and is expected to approach $363 million in 2010.
  • This segment is growing faster than the larger market for advanced wastewater treatment equipment and more rapidly than the markets for other types of membrane systems.
  • Anticipated stricter environmental regulations in the U.S. and overseas are driving sales of MBRs to industry and municipalities, and prompting maritime users to consider MBR technology.
  • During the forecast period, sewage treatment will continue to be the primary use for MBR systems.
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