NEWS RELEASE                                                                                                    JANUARY 2015

Cross-flow Membrane Equipment and Consumable Revenue to Top $19 Billion In 2019

The sales of cross-flow membrane equipment and consumables will grow robustly over the next four years and reach $19 billion in 2019.  This is the prediction of the McIlvaine Company in RO, UF, MF World Market. There are a number of drivers for the growth not only in reverse osmosis (RO) but also microfiltration, nanofiltration and ultrafiltration.

  • Reduced available water per capita.  The world population continues to grow. Industry and agriculture consume more water.  Due to pollution and other factors, the amount of available potable water is not increasing.
  • Decreasing costs of desalination as opposed to alternatives.
  • Growth in ultrapure water demand at power, semiconductor and pharmaceutical plants.
  • Tougher wastewater discharge limits.
  • Continuing population shifts to more arid regions.

Countries with the lowest amounts of rainfall per capita are among the fastest growing. Within countries there is a continuing population shift to more arid regions e.g. shrinkage in the Northeast U.S. and growth in the Southwest.  There are two sources of additional water supply.  If the region abuts the sea, desalination becomes an increasingly attractive option.  Water reuse is often the most economical option. The average power plant is near enough to a municipal wastewater treatment plant to economically utilize the discharge. However, cross-flow membrane technology is required to bring the water up to the quality needed.

The fastest growing market for cross-flow membranes revolves around gas turbine combined cycle plants.  Low cost gas is making these generators the choice for the majority of power plants.  The cross-flow membrane technology is needed to provide the ultrapure boiler feedwater and also to purify the wastewater from cooling and other processes.

There are some very attractive niche areas. The use of cross-flow membranes in biotechnology and other pharmaceutical processing is increasing. The membranes provide product separation.  The food industry also uses cross-flow membranes in dairy, wine and other production operations.  The oil and gas industry has increased its cross-flow membrane use due to the need for hydraulic fracturing in the extraction process.

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