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Cost-efficient Ion Exchange Membrane Technologies Likely to Revive Market Growth Post COVID-19 Pandemic

The sudden outbreak of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) has exposed the vulnerabilities of several end markets. Hence, companies are treating the life-threatening virus as a wake-up call to streamline their business activities to improve the quality of life of individuals. With the help of extensive studies, companies are increasing the applicability of ion exchange membranes in various end-use cases such as wastewater treatment, desalination, and electrodialysis, among others. Though companies in the ion exchange membrane market are not directly contributing toward the betterment of the society amidst the COVID-19 crisis, stakeholders are using this period as an opportunity to review the strategies for business planning and expansion.

Since most stakeholders in the ion exchange membrane market are spending their time in home isolation, companies are capitalizing on the halt in business activities to come up with investment strategies in innovative technologies. They are increasing focus in cost-efficient ion exchange membrane technologies that are capable of reviving market growth after the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

ion exchange membrane market Infographic

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AEM Fuel Cells Gain Prominence in Ion Exchange Membrane Market

Fuel cells have become one of the biggest hot topics in the ion exchange membrane market. Companies in the market landscape are supporting the production of fuel cells by increasing R&D activities associated with anion exchange membranes (AEMs). As such, the revenue of AEMs is projected for exponential growth in the ion exchange membrane market, where the global value is estimated to reach ~US$ 1 Bn by the end of 2027. Hence, companies are increasing the applicability of fuel cells to power vehicles and electronic devices such as computers and mobile phones.

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AEMs are being highly publicized to improve the efficiency of petrol engines in vehicles. AEM fuel cells are replacing proton exchange membranes (PEMs) in the ion exchange membrane market, owing to the former’s advantage of operating under alkaline or basic conditions. Thus, advantageous attributes of AEMs are being highly preferred by companies who are achieving mass production of AEM fuel cells.

Alkaline Metal-air Batteries Help Stabilize Electrical Grids in Energy Sectors

Today, wind and solar are one of the fastest-growing energy sources in the world. Gradual depletion of fossil fuels has triggered the demand for renewable energy alternatives in various energy sectors. However, fluctuating energy outputs of renewable energy solutions pose as a barrier for growth of the ion exchange membrane market. This explains why the market for ion exchange membranes is estimated to progress at a sluggish CAGR of 3.5%. Hence, manufacturers are innovating through alkaline metal-air batteries integrated with AEMs to improve stability of electrical grids.

Cation exchange membranes and AEMs are acquiring prominence in zinc-air battery applications. As such, cation exchange membranes are predicted to dictate the second-highest revenue among all charge types in the market landscape. Various advantages of AEMs such as minimizing zincate ion permeation toward the air electrode are generating incremental opportunities for companies in the ion exchange membrane market. Apart from zinc-air batteries, manufacturers are increasing the applicability of cation exchange membranes and AEMs in vanadium redox flow batteries.

Manufacturers Gain Strong Business Grounds in Europe through Definitive Agreements

Companies in the ion exchange membrane market are focusing on inorganic strategies such as partnerships to gain market penetration. For instance, in May 2029, CAPLINQ— a specialty chemicals company, announced to enter a definitive agreement with the global leader of ion exchange materials, Ionomr, to become the latter’s ‘European Market Partner’ to promote Ionomr products. Thus, strategic partnerships are fueling production activities in the ion exchange membrane market, which is estimated to reach an output of ~8,900 square meters by the end of 2027.

The market for ion exchange membranes is largely consolidated, resulting in high competition among leading players to supply durable and high-performance membranes. They are increasing their production capabilities to develop ion exchange membranes that are stable in both acidic and highly basic environments. Manufacturers are unlocking business potentials in AEM electrolyzers and fuel cells that eliminate the need for expensive materials such as platinum.

ion exchange membrane market segmentation

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Analysts’ Viewpoint

Companies in the ion exchange membrane market are increasing efforts to review their business strategies by focusing on onsite recovery of chemicals for heavy industries post the COVID-19 pandemic. Companies are increasing their manufacturing capabilities to produce proton and cation exchange membranes that hold promising potential as a hydrocarbon-based solution to PEM electrolyzers and fuel cells.

Innovation in fuel cells is a prominent trend in the market landscape. However, the degradation of cations in high pH conditions of fuel cells pose a limitation in the applicability of AEMs. Hence, companies should combine AEMs with different aliphatic or aromatic polymers to prepare AEMs with high conductivity and excellent alkaline stability.

Ion Exchange Membrane Market: Overview

  • Ion exchange membranes are made of polymers and ion exchange resins. Ion exchange membranes are used in desalination, electrodialysis, wastewater treatment, and other chemical recovery applications. They transfer ions from one solution to another with little passage of water.
  • The global ion exchange membrane market is expected to expand at a significant pace due to the increase in demand for these membranes in the wastewater treatment industry
  • Asia Pacific held major share of the global ion exchange membrane market in 2018. The market in the region is anticipated to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period. North America and Latin America are other key regions of the global ion exchange membrane market.

Key Growth Drivers of Ion Exchange Membrane Market

  • Increase in demand for water desalination units and brackish water treatment units offers significant opportunities to the global ion exchange membrane market
  • Rise in demand for water and new water sources is driving the global ion exchange membrane market. Furthermore, increasingly stringent regulatory environment is also a major driver of the global ion exchange membrane market. Various research and development activities in membrane performance, processes, and designs have made ion exchange membrane a cost-effective technology.
  • Expansion in the industrial gas processing industry is projected to boost the ion exchange membrane market. Water is used in various processes in the oil & gas industry. This water is highly contaminated and harmful. Therefore, companies undertake measures to purify water and then discharge it into the sea or reuse it for internal purposes.

Major Challenges for Ion Exchange Membrane Market

  • Ion exchange membranes can be a source of contamination during the filtration or separation process
  • Ion exchange membranes are prone to contamination on exposure to non-ionized organic matter or bacteria. These membranes are unable to completely filter or remove bacteria or any other microorganisms during the filtration process. Hence, these membranes get contaminated with microbes.

Lucrative Opportunities for Ion Exchange Membrane Market

  • Low-pressure ceramic membranes is a rapidly emerging technology for use in the treatment of water. Ceramic membranes have been tried, tested, and adopted. Thus, they are increasingly used in place of organic polymeric membranes.
  • Ceramic membranes possess considerable chemical resistance and provide superior filtration. Therefore, they are suitable for harsh cleaning processes used for corrosive composition and abrasive particles.

Asia Pacific to Dominate Ion Exchange Membrane Market

  • Asia Pacific dominated the global ion exchange membrane market in 2018, owing to the high demand for potable water among the vast population in the region. This is anticipated to drive the market in the region. In terms of market share, North America follows Asia Pacific in the global exchange membrane market.
  • The ion exchange membrane market in North America is estimated to expand at a moderate pace during the forecast period, since the region consists of developed countries and mature markets
  • Europe is a vital region of the global exchange membranes across the globe, led by the presence of numerous developed industries in the region

High Demand for Anion Exchange Membranes

  • Demand for anion exchange membranes is high owing to the rise in usage of these membranes in water purification. Cation exchange membranes are also widely employed in water purification. Production of cation exchange membranes is inexpensive and less complicated as compared to that of anion exchange membranes.
  • Ion exchange membranes are primarily used in the desalination process. Desalination of salt water is necessary, due to rise in demand for pure water for consumption purposes. Rise in population in several countries is a key factor driving the desalination segment. Rapid growth of the desalination segment is driving the demand for ion exchange membranes.

Inorganic Material Holds Major Share of Ion Exchange Membrane Market

  • The inorganic material segment accounts for major share of the global ion exchange membrane market, as these materials are primarily used for highly selective separation of gases such as hydrogen and oxygen in the industrial gas processing sector
  • Hydrocarbon membranes are primarily employed in the industrial gas processing sector

Presence of Large Number of Domestic Players in Ion Exchange Membrane Market

  • Key players operating in the ion exchange membrane market include 
    • DuPont
    • The Dow Chemical Company
    • 3M
    • SUEZ
    • Toray Industries Inc
    • Merck KGaA
    • Ion Exchange Ltd.
  • These companies are vertically integrated across the market value chain. They are striving to expand their business and gain higher share in the global ion exchange membrane market.

Ion Exchange Membrane Market - Scope of the Report

The latest study collated and published by Transparency Market Research (TMR) analyzes the historical and present-day scenario of the global ion exchange membrane market to accurately gauge its future development. The study presents detailed information about the important growth factors, restraints, and key trends that are creating the landscape for the future growth of the ion exchange membrane market, to identify the opportunistic avenues of the business potential for stakeholders. The report also provides insightful information about how the ion exchange membrane market will progress during the forecast period of 2019 to 2027.

The report offers intricate dynamics about the different aspects of the ion exchange membrane market that aids companies operating in the market in making strategic development decisions. TMR’s study also elaborates on the significant changes that are highly anticipated to configure the growth of the ion exchange membrane market during the forecast period. It also includes a key indicator assessment to highlight the growth prospects of the ion exchange membrane market, and estimate statistics related to the market progress in terms of value (US$ Mn) and volume (thousand square meters).

This study covers a detailed segmentation of the ion exchange membrane market, along with key information and a competitive outlook. The report mentions the company profiles of key players that are currently dominating the ion exchange membrane market, wherein various development, expansion, and winning strategies practiced and executed by leading players have been presented in detail.

Key Questions Answered in TMR’s Report on Ion Exchange Membrane Market

The report provides detailed information about the ion exchange membrane market on the basis of comprehensive research on various factors that are playing a key role in accelerating the growth potential of the market. Information mentioned in the report answers path-breaking questions for companies that are currently functioning in the market and are looking for innovative ways to create a unique benchmark in the ion exchange membrane industry, so as to help them make successful strategies and take target-driven decisions.

  • Which material and application of ion exchange membrane will emerge as a major revenue generator for the market during the forecast period?
  • How are key market players successfully earning revenue out of the advantages of ion exchange membrane?
  • What will be the Y-o-Y growth of the ion exchange membrane market between 2019 and 2027?
  • What are the winning imperatives of market frontrunners in the ion exchange membrane market?
  • Which application is expected to offer lucrative opportunities for ion exchange membrane during the forecast period?
  • Which are the leading companies operating in the global ion exchange membrane market?

Research Methodology – Ion Exchange Membrane Market

The research methodology adopted by analysts for combining the ion exchange membrane market report is based on detailed primary as well as secondary research. With the help of in-depth insights of the industry-affiliated information that is obtained and legitimated by market-admissible resources, analysts have offered riveting observations and authentic forecasts for the ion exchange membrane market.

During the primary research phase, analysts interviewed industry stakeholders, investors, brand managers, vice presidents, and sales and marketing managers. Based on data obtained through the interviews of genuine resources, analysts have emphasized the changing scenario of the ion exchange membrane market.

For secondary research, analysts scrutinized numerous annual report publications, white papers, industry association publications, and company websites to obtain the necessary understanding of the ion exchange membrane market.

Ion Exchange Membrane Market - Segmentation

TMR’s research study assesses the ion exchange membrane market on the basis of charge, material, structure, application, and region. This report presents the extensive market dynamics and progressive trends associated with different segments, and how they are influencing the growth prospects of the ion exchange membrane market.


Cation Exchange Membrane

Anion Exchange Membrane

Amphoteric Ion Exchange Membrane

Bipolar Ion Exchange Membrane

Mosaic Ion Exchange Membrane


Hydrocarbon Membrane

Perfluorocarbon Membrane

Inorganic Membrane

Composite Membrane

Partially Halogenated Membrane


Homogenous Membrane

Heterogenous Membrane




Chromatographic Separation


Wastewater Treatment

Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment


North America

Latin America


Asia Pacific

Middle East & Africa

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Ion Exchange Membrane Market 2017 2026

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