Cross flow membrane market will be up 3%, not 9% this year, says The McIlvaine Company


Source: The McIlvaine Company

The recession and shrinking capital budgets are reducing the forecast for the cross flow membrane system market for 2009.  The present forecast is for a 3 percent increase from last year to $9.l billion worldwide.  Previously, the McIlvaine, RO/UF/MF World Markets, had forecast a 9 percent increase to $9.6 billion.

Some of the bigger markets will grow enough to offset substantial reductions in smaller markets.  There will be a substantial reduction in the $430 million semiconductor market, but this will be more than offset by a $90 million increase in the drinking water sector.  This does not include desalination which adds another $200 million increase.  The residential point of entry market will be down in the U.S. due to slumping new home sales.  On the other hand, demand in Asia for better water will boost the residential/commercial market.

Water and wastewater infrastructure programs in both the U.S. and China will be accelerated as part of a stimulus package for each of the economies.

Sales of RO systems and modules will exceed $4 billion in 2009.  Microfiltration sales will be $2.5 billion, whereas sales of ultrafiltration systems and cartridges will be $2.6 billion.

The leading purchasers by country will be as follows:

Country                                  2009

United States                               1                                             

Japan                                           2

Saudi Arabia                                3

China                                           4

Spain                                           5

South Korea                                6

India                                            7

Germany                                      8

Taiwan                                         9

United Kingdom                         10

The market is global with large companies such as GE and Siemens taking larger market shares.  Desalination remains the largest market followed by municipal drinking water, pharmaceutical manufacturing, residential/commercial buildings, and chemicals.

One of the higher growth segments involves the combination of membranes with biological treatment. Membrane bioreactors are used in municipal, food, and other applications.

There are a number of continuing advancements in cross flow technology.  One is the availability of 16' diameter elements.  These provide much greater throughput per element than with 12' and 8' elements.  There are continuing improvements in the membrane design to lessen the energy consumption.

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