Innovation Driving Solid Growth in Membrane Technology Separations Market

December 16, 2016

Wellesley, Mass., Dec 16, 2016 – New products are keying growth in the global market for membrane technology for liquid and gas separations. BCC Research reveals in its new report that inorganic and organic/inorganic hybrid membranes are poised to enter the market for uses such as hydrogen separation and natural gas purification.

Membranes are generally natural or man-made thin sheets or surface films with apertures through which small molecules can pass while larger ones are retained. At the most basic, a membrane serves as a sieve, separating solids from liquids forced through it. Membranes fabricated from various materials (mainly synthetic polymers) can efficiently filter particles down to the size range of molecules or ions.

The combined U.S. market for membranes used in liquid and gas separations should reach $4.6 billion by 2021, up from $3.4 billion in 2016, demonstrating a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.2%. Conventional liquid separations should reach $3.0 billion and $4.1 billion in 2016 and 2021, respectively, reflecting a five-year CAGR of 6.1%. Gas separations as a market should reach $497.0 million by 2021 from $353.1 million in 2016, with a five-year CAGR of 7.1%.

Microfiltration and ultrafiltration products are in demand for treating potable and process water, but the most rapid growth in this sector is in wastewater treatment with membrane bioreactors and the manufacturing of biological drugs. The food and beverage industries are also long-time, steady purchasers of membranes with these pore sizes for use in the concentration, clarification and microbial stabilization processes.

By technology type, the market for reverse osmosis owes its high growth rate to the expanding market for desalination, increased applications in process water treatment and interest in reclaiming used water. Nanofiltration membrane products are being used in applications beyond their traditional role in water treatment to meet demanding refinery, chemical and pharmaceutical separations involving solvents.

After years in which a lack of suitable materials for large and promising applications slowed market growth, inorganic and organic/inorganic hybrid membranes are on the cusp of commercialization.

"Additionally, pervaporation also is on the verge of widespread adoption for several lucrative uses in fuel manufacturing and refinery processes," says BCC Research analyst Andrew McWilliams. "Technological innovation continues into the 21st century with the development of new products such as ion-transport membranes, solvent-stable NF membranes and membranes based on carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and aquaporins."

Membrane Technology for Liquid and Gas Separations (MST041H) analyzes the technology for liquid and gas separations, including potable water, process water, and wastewater treatment; food and beverage processing; biopharmaceuticals production; other large-scale liquid separations; and industrial gas separation. Global market drivers and trends, with data from 2015, estimates for 2016, and projections of CAGRs through 2021 also are provided.

Editors and reporters who wish to speak with the analyst should contact Steven Cumming at

Membrane Technology for Liquid and Gas Separations( MST041H )
Publish Date: Nov 2016    

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