Reverse Osmosis Membrane Market: Overview

Reverse osmosis (RO) is a water purification technology used primarily to remove ions, molecules, and larger particles from drinking water. The technology uses a semi-permeable membrane, which is made of cellulose or other material, to remove dissolved salts or organic molecules. RO membranes are used in applications such as desalination of seawater, brackish water treatment, wastewater recovery, and industrial water treatment. It is the most economical and practical method of purification and treatment of water.

Rise in adoption of reverse osmosis across the world due to increase in water pollution propels the global reverse osmosis membrane market. Additionally, surge in awareness among the people about water borne diseases is projected to be a major driver of the reverse osmosis membrane market. Moreover, increase in demand for ultrapure water in the food & beverage and health care industries fuels the growth of the global reverse osmosis membrane market. However, short life span of RO membrane and loss of essential minerals from water are the key factors expected to hamper the growth of the global reverse osmosis membrane market.

Reverse Osmosis Membrane Market: Key Segments

The global reverse osmosis membrane market can be segmented based on type, filter module, application, and region. In terms of type, the reverse osmosis membrane market can be bifurcated into cellulose-based membranes and thin film composite membranes. The thin film composite membranes segment dominated the global reverse osmosis membrane market in 2017. Thin film composite membranes offer higher flow rate per unit area, thereby enabling high filtration rate in the RO purification process in applications such as municipal water treatment and desalination. The cellulose-based membranes segment is expected to witness strong growth during the forecast period owing to advantages of these membranes over traditional methods such as distillation, absorption, and extraction.

Based on filter module, the global reverse osmosis membranes market can be divided into plate & frame, tubular-shaped membranes, spiral wound membranes, and hollow-fiber membranes. The spiral wound membranes segment dominated the global reverse osmosis membrane market in 2017. These membranes are used in seawater desalination, potable water treatment, brackish water treatment, dairy processing, electrocoat paint recovery, protein separation, and whey protein concentration.

In terms of application, the global reverse osmosis membrane market can be segregated into desalination systems and RO purification systems. The desalination systems segment dominated the global market in 2017. The segment is projected to grow at a rapid pace during the forecast period. This is attributed to water deficiency due to increase in population and rapid industrial expansion. Desalination systems help in the removal of minerals and salts from sea and brackish water. Seawater is desalinated to produce fresh water that is suitable for human consumption.

Reverse Osmosis Membrane Market: Regional Outlook

In terms of region, the global reverse osmosis membrane market can be segmented into North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. North America is projected to account for significant reverse osmosis membrane market share during the forecast period due to high awareness about water borne diseases among people and usage of RO systems by industries and governments. The U.S. is a major market for RO membranes in North America. The reverse osmosis membrane market in Asia Pacific is anticipated to grow at a rapid pace during forecast period. Water contamination is a major issue in the region due to environmental degradation, soil erosion, occasional floods, and increase in pollution levels. Hence, availability of clean water has reduced and demand for water treatment has increased in the region.

Reverse Osmosis Membrane Market: Key Players

Major companies operating in the global reverse osmosis membrane market include Toray Industries, Inc., LG Chem Ltd., MEMBRANIUM, Koch Membrane Systems, Inc., Hydranautics, Uniqflux Membranes LLP, Toyobo Co., Ltd., Microdyn-Nadir GmbH, Lanxess AG, and Axeon Water Technologies.

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The regional analysis covers:

  • North America (U.S. and Canada)
  • Latin America (Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Chile, and others)
  • Western Europe (Germany, U.K., France, Spain, Italy, Nordic countries, Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg)
  • Eastern Europe (Poland and Russia)
  • Asia Pacific (China, India, Japan, ASEAN, Australia, and New Zealand)
  • Middle East and Africa (GCC, Southern Africa, and North Africa)

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Reverse Osmosis Membrane Market

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