Sales of cross-flow membrane systems and replacement modules will exceed $9.7 billion next year, according to the McIlvaine Company. Forty-eight percent of this total will be for municipal drinking water. This includes the reverse-osmosis systems used for seawater desalination and the ultrafiltration and microfiltration systems used for drinking water extracted from fresh water sources. This is the conclusion reached in the latest additions to the RO, UF, MF World Market report, published by the McIlvaine Company.

Cross-Flow Membrane Revenues ($ Millions)

Ranking Industry 2013
1 Desalination 2,852
2 Water 1,845
3 Pharmaceutical 875
4 Residential/Commercial 721
5 Power 559
6 Wastewater 354
7 Metals 343

McIlvaine notes the world”s population is increasing most rapidly in the areas of the world with the least amount of fresh water. This has greatly increased the demand to desalinate seawater to provide drinking water, as well as water for industry.

Traditionally, municipal drinking water plants utilized sand filters to remove particulate from extracted water. However, McIlvaine says macrofiltration and ultrafiltration provide greater protection from disease and are capturing more market share each year.

The pharmaceutical industry will be the third largest purchaser. In addition, residential and commercial use is growing robustly due to poor municipal water quality in many countries, while the power industry uses cross-flow membranes to purify boiler feedwater. There is an increasing use of treated municipal wastewater for golf courses, lawns, and other “grey water” applications.

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