Report: Microfiltration Market Rising 9 Percent Annually; Wastewater Treatment Considered Large Potential Market

The global market for microfiltration (MF) membranes used in liquid separations is estimated at $792 million in 2005, rising at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 9.4 percent through the forecast period, to more than $1.2 billion, according to "The Microfiltration Membrane Market" (RC-046N), an updated technical market research report announced on Feb. 21 by BCC Research.

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market growth include federal regulations, industry standards, consumer demand, and the need to replace aging and/or outdated existing equipment.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 EPA (and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 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.

Microfiltration is separation or removal from a liquid of particulates and microorganisms in the size range of 0.1 microns to 0.2 microns in diameter (from EPA's Terminology Reference System http://iaspub.epa.gov/trs/trs_proc_qry.navigate_term?p_term_id=30122&p_term_cd=TERMDIS).

For additional information on the report, contact BCC Research at http://www.bccresearch.com.

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