Belt filter presses were developed in the 1970s and became popular just as the McIlvaine Company published the first issue of the Liquid Filtration Newsletter in 1980. This design rapidly replaced drum filters for many dewatering applications from sewage sludge dewatering to sludges in food, mining and other industries. Over the years the number of operating units has increased to more than 40,000. Each of these units regularly needs to replace belts. These belts are the heart of the operation and are relatively expensive. As a result, the annual market for new units and belts is over $1 billion/yr worldwide. This is the latest forecast in the McIlvaine Liquid Filtration and Media World Markets. (www.mcilvainecompany.com)
There are 16,000 municipal wastewater plants in the U.S. They are operating more than 5,000 belt presses. Individual installations are tracked in the McIlvaine North American Municipal Wastewater Treatment Facilities and People Database.
China is the fastest growing purchaser of belt presses. International suppliers such as Andritz have been active in the area for several decades. Despite spending more on building treatment facilities than any other country, they still are behind the U.S. and Europe in terms of the percentage of waste receiving secondary treatment.
Belt presses compete with centrifuges and filter presses. Centrifuges are more competitive where unit volumes are large. Filter presses are more expensive and must operate on a batch basis but do achieve drier solids.
One of the highest growth markets for belt filter presses is the livestock industry. Manure generation from this industry is larger than that generated by people. Many countries are enacting tighter effluent limitations for this industry.
The biggest driver is the growth in Asia of municipal waste treatment facilities. This growth is caused by higher standards of living and expectations as well as the migration of over one billion people to the cities from rural environments.
For more information on Liquid Filtration and Media World Markets, click on: http://home.mcilvainecompany.com/index.php/markets/2-uncategorised/118-n006
For more information on North American Municipal Wastewater Treatment Facilities & People Database, click on: http://home.mcilvainecompany.com/index.php/databases/2-uncategorised/114-62ei-2.