Microfiltration Membranes Market to Grow with Increasing Product Adoption in Food and Beverages, and Industrial Wastewater Treatment

Market research company P&S Intelligence has found in a new report that the need for a more efficient contaminated fluid purification process in the foods and beverages, pharmaceutical, and industrial wastewater treatment industries is taking the microfiltration membrane market forward.

During 2018–2023, the market is expected to advance at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nine per cent, reaching $4,039.3 million (SGD five billion). Geographically, Asia-Pacific (APAC) will be the market leader during the forecast period; however, the Middle East and Africa (MEA) will witness the highest CAGR in the market. Of all the industries using this technology, industrial wastewater treatment will generate the highest revenue in the said period.

Microfiltration is a process in which an impure fluid is run through a fine membrane to remove microorganisms and other contaminants. There are several materials used for manufacturing the membrane, such as polyethersulfone (PES), polypropylene (PP), polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Among these, PVDF membranes generated the highest revenue during 2013–2017, as the material is effective in separating high-molecular-weight proteins from fluids.

Chemical resistance and high thermal stability are the main factors behind the increasing use of these membranes for water treatment. Other advantages associated with microfiltration membranes are their spinning stability, ease in processing hollow fibres, and high permeability. Over the time, conventional techniques, such as sedimentation and sand filtration, have proved inefficient in the process, leading to a shift toward microfiltration. Municipal water departments are increasingly using microfiltration techniques to remove viruses and bacteria and make contaminated water harmless to the RO equipment.

The food and beverage industry is another industry driving the microfiltration membrane market growth across the globe. As health issues from contaminated food and drinks have become a major cause for concern, manufacturers are increasingly employing microfiltration to treat their products before selling them. The technology has found a significant role in beer brew, as it helps in the removal of spoilage organisms and contaminants from the brew. Traditionally, the process utilized separation and filtration, which required the disposal of effluents, thus affecting the taste. Microfiltration has helped the brewers combat this problem, with no impact on the taste.

Yet another factor that is expected to be instrumental in the microfiltration membrane market prosperity is the increasing application of the technology in developing nations. In APAC and MEA, the demand for clean water is on the rise, leading to higher microfiltration membrane sales. For instance, a 1,080-hp pump was installed in India in 2016 for sewage treatment. Larger water treatment capacity requires more microfiltration membranes, which, in turn, drives the market growth.

The major restraint in the growth of the microfiltration membrane market is the high cost of membranes. These membranes are soaked in 100 per cent methanol prior to use, and this added step in the production results in their high cost. However, major market players are coming up with more efficient membranes for microfiltration, increasing the interest of costumers in the technology. For example, in 2017, Lanxess AG introduced three wastewater and drinking water treatment products to give consumers a wider choice.

Thus, it is seen that owing to the growing adoption of microfiltration membranes in the MEA and APAC regions, the microfiltration membrane market will experience healthy growth globally.

North America is estimated to hold the largest share in the PVDF membrane market, with more than 30.0 per cent revenue contribution in 2017. This is attributed to the increasing use of membrane technology in the biopharmaceutical, water and wastewater treatment, and food and beverage industries. The water and wastewater treatment industry is experiencing a resurgence in North America due to growing population and increasing demand of water from various manufacturing industries. Thus, the need for clean water, reuse of water, and advanced filtration technologies is the major factor driving the demand of these membranes in the region.

The biocomposites market in Asia-Pacific is expected to register a CAGR of 13.7 per cent during the forecast period, in terms of value, with rapid industrialisation expected to be one of the key factors attributable to the overall expansion of the APAC market.