When it comes to membrane technology — the water industry’s edgy child — innovative technologies sometimes are mistakenly dismissed as too expensive and only viable as a last resort. This scenario can be summed up with the all-too-familiar adage: “Parents just don’t understand.”
But they are beginning to.
According to a recent report from research firm SBI Energy titled, “Global Market for Membrane Wastewater Treatment,” lower capital and operation costs, coupled with more effective technology, are driving the market for membrane technologies. The research showed that these market drivers reflect increasingly urgent infrastructure development and replacement demands, public health needs, environmental regulations and water supply availability.
Membrane technology markets have rebounded strongly since 2010 following the economic turndown. As the economy continues to recover, demand for membrane technologies will keep expanding. As technology costs and energy demands for membrane technologies continue to decrease, these technologies are expected to be implemented across a range of industrial and municipal installations. Strong increases will be noted in wastewater recycling, as well as industrial process water reuse and recycling for non-industrial uses, the report noted.
The report also indicated that microfiltration and nanofiltration will lead the total market for membrane wastewater treatment technologies, which will post a 15.5% compound annual growth rate through 2021. This means that the global market — currently valued at $817 million — will reach $3 billion in the next decade.
The membrane technology industry is coming of age and no longer is the futuristic, far-fetched niche it once was deemed. The editorial team is excited for the future and hopes to see many of you at the AMTA/AWWA Membrane Conference in San Antonio, Feb. 25 to 28. These associations have partnered to quench North America’s thirst for membrane knowledge and solutions.