Revenues from the sales of filters and gravity separation equipment and media will exceed $46 billion this year. Nearly half the total will be generated in the cartridge segment, according to market reports from the McIlvaine Company.

The cartridge market is split between hydraulic fluid and mobile at $7 billion and stationary at $14 billion. A substantial portion of the stationary market is residential and includes the carbon-block filters in purification of water used in ice making as well as the cartridges used in pitchers.

A substantial portion of the sedimentation and centrifugation market is in the municipal sector. Clarifiers and thickeners are used to purify drinking water and to separate sewage in wastewater plans. The decanter centrifuges are widely used for dewatering sewage sludge. The pharmaceutical, chemical and food industries are the biggest users of the disc-type centrifuge, which owes it evolution to the original milk separator.

McIlvaineMcIlvaine Company says cross-flow membrane revenues are growing at higher rates than revenues in the other segments. Desalination of seawater is the biggest application. However, the combination of membranes and biological treatment in the membrane bioreactor is proving to be a cost effective way to treat municipal wastewater. It has been widely used in the food industry as well.

Macrofiltration is a category that includes belt filter presses, sand filters, bag filters, and drum filters. It also includes automatic backwashing filters. McIlvaine Company says the rapidly increasing popularity of this design is due to the small unit size and ability to compete with cartridges and bag filters. Another advantage is that the filters are self-cleaning.

Research shows Asia is the leading purchaser of particle separation equipment and China is rapidly becoming a major producer both of equipment and media.