The worldwide market for filter media is forecast to reach $25 billion in 2010, according to a new series of reports published by the McIlvaine Company (www.mcilvainecompany.com). Filter media sales in 2010 will grow at a faster rate than GDP due to applications such as water treatment and booming sales in certain developing nations, such as China.
2010 Projected Sales of Filter Elements (not equipment, $ millions)
McIlvaine divides the filter media markets into distinct segments. Fabric filter includes the bags used in stack gas treatment. Macrofiltration includes filter presses, bag filters, and similar devices used in separating out large particles from liquids. Air filters includes indoor air filtration. Cartridges include liquid cartridges used for processes and purification. Crossflow membranes include the reverse osmosis, ultrafiltration, and microfiltration membranes.
The stimulus funding for infrastructure in the various countries will boost filter media sales for water and wastewater treatment. Longer-term growth will come from developing countries. It is significant that the Chinese share of liquid macrofiltration media is low. On the other hand, sales of new macrofiltration equipment are high. ilter press cloths are often replaced within weeks. In some cases, bags for bag filters are replaced daily. As the equipment inventory expands, so too will the media market.
Carbon cartridges used in purifying water in soft drink machines, residential ice making, etc. are associated more with countries with high capita GDP, but the biggest growth potential is in the developing world.
The power industry in Asia is growing primarily through the addition of coal-fired generating capacity. This represents a big market for reverse osmosis membranes. In the Middle East, power and desalination projects are being combined and require large continuing investment in filter media.
The cement industry offers good potential for several reasons. In the U.S. and Europe, new stack emission regulations are creating markets for fabric filaters. In the developing world, cement is one of the first infrastructure needs. China now produces more than half the world”s cement.
A decade ago, the U.S. purchased more than 40 percent of the world”s air filtration media. Now much of the rest of the world is enjoying hot air heating and air conditioning. The Chinese building boom has rapidly increased the need for replacement air filters as well, according to McIlvaine.