Image courtesy of McIlvaine Company

The market for liquid macrofiltration equipment and consumables will be just under $6 billion in 2012, according to the new forecast in Liquid Filtration and Media World Markets by McIlvaine Company.

The largest single segment will be granular media filters, according to the report, which focuses on the industrial market. This is despite the market share gained by microfiltration membranes. For traditional particulate removal in municipal drinking water, the granular media filter is being passed over for the more efficient membrane solution. However, a number of improvements have been made to allow this device to be used for a range of pollutants, says McIlvaine. Denitrification can be accomplished with biologically active coatings. There is ongoing research to also improve the particulate removal. The research involves coating ordinary coarse sand with a nanomaterial called graphite oxide — which can remove five times more impurities than ordinary sand. The graphite oxide is suspended in a liquid to which the sand is added. This mixture is heated to ensure the sand is covered and then dried.

Belt filter presses and drum filters are increasingly used to dewater sludge, according to the report. Another growing opportunity involves the drying of biofuels prior to combustion and power generation. Meanwhile, McIlvaine says bag filters are competing with cartridges for many applications in the food and chemical industry.

The automatic backwash filter category includes a variety of different designs from nested disks to sintered metal cylindrical cartridges. McIlvaine says these filters are automatically cleaned and, therefore, compete with both bag filters and cartridges when the solids content in the liquid to be purified rises.

Gravity belt filters are used when it is desirable to both dewater and wash a product, according to the report. In the power industry, the gypsum formed by reacting SO2 with limestone in a scrubbing system is washed to extract the chlorides. The gravity belt filter can produce 90 percent solids at the same time it is effectively washing the chlorides from the gypsum.

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