Membranes are thin layer of semi-permeable and porous sheets of material that separate contaminates from water when a driving force is applied across the membrane. Membrane Filtration Market processes are increasingly employed in drinking water and wastewater treatment for the removal of microorganisms, bacteria, natural organic materials, and particulates, which can impart taste, odor, and color to water and react with disinfectants to form disinfection byproducts. Growth in the bio-based pharmaceutical industry is driving the membrane filtration market. Rapid development in generics production is also likely to boost the market. Additionally, updated regulations, stringent industry standards, and rise in demand of consumers is likely to drive the market in the near future. Groundwater sources that do not need membrane technologies for pretreatment process are relatively simple to install.
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The membrane filtration market can be segmented based on technique, type, application, membrane material, and membrane module. Based on technique, the market can be segmented into microfiltration, reverse osmosis, ultrafiltration, and nano filtration. Microfiltration is one of the membrane separation processes that has pore size of about 0.03 microns to 10 microns. Ultrafiltration has pore size of around 0.002 microns to 0.1 microns, while nano filtration membrane has nominal pore size of approximately 0.001 microns. However, reverse osmosis is very effective in removing harmful contaminants from water and minerals. It offers high efficiency in terms of water purification, as it can remove most of the mineral contaminants. Thus, it accounts for major share of the market.
Based on application, the market can be segregated into food & beverages, drinks & concentrates, and water & wastewater. Membrane processes are preferred for advanced wastewater treatment and potable water production due to the increase in stringent government regulations, decrease in cost of membranes, and water scarcity. Membrane processes also have better separation capabilities. Membrane filtration technologies are gaining significant acceptance in the food & beverages industry. Membrane filtration technologies offers various effective functions such as fractionation and concentration of whey and skim milk, cheese purification, lactose reduction in milk, bacteria removal and demineralization of whey, as well as color, taste, and shelf life enhancement of food products.
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In terms of membrane material, the market can be classified into polysulfone, cellulose acetate, and ceramic. Ceramic membranes are thermally stable, microporous, chemically resistant, and are often used for microfiltration. The ceramic segment is projected to expand at a significantly higher rate during the forecast period. This type of membrane is primarily used in the water processing industry owing to properties such as high chemical and physical stability, long lifespan, and effective separation. Furthermore, these membranes have high potential of usage in the food & beverages industry for several applications.
Based on membrane module, the market can be split into plate-and-frame, tubular, spiral wound, and hollow fiber. Membrane filters are usually manufactured as hollow fibers and then formed into several different types of membrane modules. These types of modules are designed for long-term uses. Spiral wound modules are also manufactured for long-term usage; however, these modules are covered in a separate pressure vessel, which is independent of the module itself. Spiral wound modules were developed to remove dissolved solids. They are often associated with nano filtration or reverse osmosis processes. Tubular modules is defined as a membrane inside the tube, wherein the feed solution is pumped through the tube. Spiral wound module is a highly preferred module. Hollow fiber module is also one of the highly attractive modules used for seawater desalination. It consists of bundles of hollow fibers in a pressure vessel.
Based on region, the membrane filtration market can be segmented into North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific is a key region of the market. The market in the region is mainly driven by the increase in usage of membrane filtration in water processing plants. Membrane filtration is widely used for purification of waste water and in food & beverages industries for sterilization, concentration processes, and separation. Furthermore, government support for membrane filtration technology, growth in demand for dairy products, increase in consumption of functional foods, and rise in purchasing power of the middle-class population are some of the factors that are likely to augment the demand for membrane filtration technologies in Asia Pacific. China accounts for the major share of the market in Asia Pacific. Increase in population in the country has boosted the need for purification technologies in order to ensure the supply of safe drinking water and hygienic food and dairy products.