According to The Microfiltration Membrane Market (RC-046N), a newly updated technical market research report from Business Communication Co., Inc. (BBC) Research, the global market for microfiltration (MF) membranes used in liquid separations, estimated at $792 million in 2005, will rise at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 9.4% to more than $1.2 billion by 2010.
According to the Business Communication Co., Inc., factors driving market growth include federal regulations, industry standards, consumer demand and the need to replace aging and/or outdated existing equipment. The most important driver is governmental regulation imposed by agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food & Drug Administration, as well as purity standards required by various industries.
MF operating costs have decreased because of improvements in materials and modules. As a result, several typical applications have emerged for MF technology: drinking water treatment, filtration of various wastewaters for reuse, RO pretreatment, microbial stabilization of wine and beer, biotech research and bioprocessing, and chemical and water filtration in semiconductor fabrication.
Large potential MF markets are in wastewater treatment, and sales of membrane bioreactors (MBRs) using MF modules are a rapidly growing membrane application. Growth in the segment stems from interest in treating wastewater to high quality standards for discharge or recycling and, in industry, for reclaiming process water. MF also demonstrates potential for producing new milk-based liquid and dry ingredients, and low-carbohydrate dairy beverages with high protein content, while the growing unpopularity of diatomaceous earth filters has created strong interest in MF technology for processing beer. Continued demand for new drug products coupled with an enormous membrane replacement market will contribute to double-digit growth in the pharmaceutical sector.