NEWS RELEASE                                                                                        SEPTEMBER 2014

China Air Filter and Fabric Filter Markets Are Competing

Suppliers of filter fibers and filter media in China will supply more products for dust collectors and fewer products for indoor air and face masks if government plans are fully implemented.  Air pollution in large cities such as Beijing and Shanghai is a major health threat. Throughout 2013 the Air Quality Index in Beijing was typically in the “severe pollution” category.  In Shanghai in December 13, the Index rose to the level deemed “poisonous.”  This low ambient air quality is spurring sales of indoor air filters and face masks.

The government plan is to correct this problem in part by enforcing tough particulate emission standards on cement, power and other emitters. According to the McIlvaine World Fabric Filter and Element Marketreport the market for dust collector bags in China in 2014 will be less than $1 billion.  This could increase to well over $2 billion in 2020.

The present market for indoor air filters is $800 million according to the McIlvaine Air Filtration and Purification World Market. When you add the amount the Chinese spend on face masks (extracted from other McIlvaine reports), the present combined revenues are similar to those for dust collector bags. The plan would result in only modest growth in the air filter market, a flat or declining facemask market and a booming market for dust collector fabrics.

The Chinese government is supporting a campaign to boost filter media manufacturing within China. Filtration fiber production is projected to reach 1.4 million tons by 2020.  The market could be even larger if the power plants convert from precipitators to fabric filters.  They would require 300,000 tons of fiber initially and 100,000 tons per year.

High temperature fibers such as PPS will be needed for coal-fired power plant filters. Presently, PPS resin production is only 30,000 tons and fiber production is 20,000 metric tons, so major expansion of high temperature fiber production will be required. 

The major fiber used in dust collectors in China is polyester.  Presently, 600,000 tons is used for all filtration applications. The need for better filtration efficiency for low temperature applications will lead to an expansion of this market as well.

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