Sales of liquid macro filtration equipment and media will reach $5.2 billion next year. Of that total, $2.3 billion, or 45 percent, of the sales will be in Asia, according to McIlvaine Company.

Asian Macro Filtration Sales 2011
Industry $ Millions
Chemical 212
Food 84
Metals 144
Mining 358
Other Industries 221
Pharmaceutical 91
Power 298
Pulp & Paper 20
Wastewater 508
Water 391

One of the biggest drivers of demand is expected to be the construction of sewage treatment plants in China. In its recently completed 11th five-year plan (2006-2010), China doubled its secondary sewage treatment capacity. This pace will continue through the 12th five-year plan, as much of the sludge dewatering is being accomplished by belt filter presses. The Asian market for belt filter presses will be just under $300 million in 2011.

Granular media filters are the largest equipment segment in liquid macro filtration, according to McIlvaine. They are used to purify surface water to provide municipal drinking water, which meshes well with efforts throughout Asia to provide safe water to all citizens.

Recessed chamber filter presses are widely used in the chemical and mining industries, and Asia leads the world in the purchases of this type of filter, according to McIlvaine. Bag filters are used in chemical and metal working industries. They are also used for the purification of produced water in oil and gas extraction. This is a big market for filter media, as the replacement bag market in Asia will be over $200 million in 2011.

McIlvaine says a fast growing segment of liquid macro filtration is the automatic backwashing filter. This filter uses screens or disks and is replacing bag filters in some applications. It also competes with liquid cartridges (not considered part of macro filtration). These backwashing filters are used in irrigation, metal working and many other applications.

Also included in macro filtration are drum and disk filters used in mining applications. Leaf filters are used along with diatomaceous earth to filter beverages. Gravity belt filters are used to filter chemicals and also gypsum crystals. China is buying more belt filters for power plant scrubber gypsum dewatering than the rest of the world combined.