The market for filters to purify indoor air is booming, with revenues for 2013 expected to exceed $6.7 billion, according to the latest forecast by the McIlvaine Company.

The East Asian market will account for nearly one-third of all sales in 2013, which McIlvaine says is due to a number of factors. The number of commercial and residential buildings is growing rapidly. In China, the amount of floor space per urban citizen has increased from just 15 m2/capita in 1990 to over 30 m2/capita now. Over the next 20 years, McIlvaine predicts the per capita space is projected to grow by 20 percent.

The growth of industry in East Asia is also a factor, notes McIlvaine. For example, the semiconductor industry, which has a significant presence in China, Taiwan and Korea, utilizes large quantities of expensive high-efficiency particulate filters.

McIlvaine says the one market where Europe and the U.S. are maintaining their lead is in air inlet filtration for gas turbines. These areas are switching to the lower carbon emitting turbines. These turbines are subject to damage from smaller and smaller particulates as they evolve to higher performance. It is now common for the inlet air to be filtered with high efficiency particulate filters of either microglass or membranes. W.L. Gore has introduced a high-efficiency membrane filter, which can be pulsed. Freudenberg, AAF and others offer a variety of new higher efficiency alternatives to their previous offerings.

Nanotechnology is likely to boost the filter market substantially, as new research shows that particles just 20 nanometers in diameter are contributing to autoimmune and other diseases. In order to capture these particles, it is necessary to use ultra high efficiency (ULPA) particulate filters. These filters are more costly, which McIlvaine says will boost revenues per filter unit, as well as extend the applications to processes that are using nanotechnology.

For more information on McIlvaine’s Air Filtration and Purification World Markets report, click here.