Assuming that fabric filters maintain their small share of the power plant market, world sales of fabric filter systems in 2017 will be just under $9 billion. However, should fabric filters be chosen over precipitators by the power industry, the market could easily be $15 billion or more in 2017, according to McIlvaine Company's World Fabric Filter and Element Market report.
In 2017, power companies are predicted to purchase 100,000 MW of precipitators for new power plants. If power plants were to purchase an additional 100,000 MW of fabric filters, this would increase the limited scope of fabric filter system revenue by $10 billion as opposed to the $992 million projected at the present penetration rate.
Many power plants are also facing tighter particulate limits for existing coal- and biomass-fired boilers. Should fabric filters be selected as the technology to meet these limits, McIlvaine says the retrofit market in 2017 could be much larger than the presently predicted $739 million.
Many innovations are making fabric filters increasingly attractive to power plants. Semi-dry and dry scrubber technology is capable of providing adequate SO2 removal if a downstream fabric filter is utilized. Improvements in membranes and non-woven media are improving performance and reducing maintenance. A design which incorporates catalyst in the fiber matrix is proving capable of removing both particulate and NOx.