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Zero Liquid Discharge Market Size, Share and Industry Analysis, By Technology (Thermal Based, Membrane Based), By Application (Energy & Power, Food & Beverages, Chemical & Petrochemical, Textiles, Pharmaceutical, Others), and Regional Forecast, 2019-2032

Last Updated: May 27, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI100816



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The global zero liquid discharge market size was valued at USD 0.71 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 3.28 billion by 2032, exhibiting a CAGR of 11.57% during the forecast period of 2019-2032.

The zero liquid discharge market growth is driven by the increasing adoption of these systems in recent years owing to stringent government regulations regarding wastewater discharge. Wastewater discharge leads to destabilization of the ecosystem and hampers water bodies. Zero liquid discharge systems aim at removing all liquid and solid waste from a system and produce clean water that is suitable for reuse. The solid waste captured can be reused in various industrial processes. The clean water obtained from zero liquid discharge water treatment systems is used as a coolant for systems and also for the different industrial processes such as cooling tower blowdown, boiler blowdown, oil refinery effluent, etc.


Growing Urbanization Directly Drives the Zero Liquid Discharge System Installations

The growing urbanization is being witnessed all over the globe, which has resulted in surplus demand for energy and water. This has directly impelled energy producers to produce more and also be efficient with the same. With growing production from power plants, the discharge to water bodies also needs to be under control, which drives zero liquid discharge system installations. Following this trend, ZLD market size will increase at a healthy rate.

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Globally Increasing Water Stress Drives the Need for Wastewater Recycling 

Humans can use only 3% of water present on the earth’s surface. Rising population is pushing government authorities to  provide other alternatives for satisfying the increasing water demand, which is one of the leading zero liquid discharge market trends. Recycling the wastewater generated from power plants & industries and reusing the recycled water for various industrial processes serves this purpose. ZLD (Zero liquid discharge) water treatment systems  are specialized in providing these services; this acts as an opportunity for market growth.   


Stringent Regulations Regarding Discharge of Specific Solutes to Water Bodies to Boost the Market

The major factor driving zero liquid discharge systems market growth is the imposed regulations on industries and power plants regarding emissions in water bodies.  ZLD systems are mainly deployed for the industrial sector, as major harmful emissions to water bodies and aquatic ecosystem originate from these. The emissions include mercury, arsenic, lead, selenium, salt, toxic elements, nitrate, etc. that result in a misbalance of the ecosystem.

Zero liquid discharge water treatment systems result in zero emissions being made to water bodies, and the collected purified water is reused in the industry. This has led to increased adoption of these systems and certain mandates introduced, which drive their adoption and therefore drive the market growth. For example in October 2017, the environment industry in India tweaked standards for four parameters which determine the water quality. The parameters included were pH value, Bio chemical oxygen demand, total suspended solids and fecal coliform.

High Efficiency in Operation of ZLD Systems to Fuel the Market  

As the demand for water rises, recycling of water with efficient techniques has become an important factor in sufficing the water needs. ZLD systems are efficient in working and result in 70%-90% of wastewater reuse. As per the economics of water, recycled water becomes more affordable as compared to water supply from conventional sources. Also, zero liquid discharge can act as a more accessible and economical solution in cases where waste needs to be transported in huge volumes over long distances. These advantages of the ZLD will augment the ZLD market demand  during the given forecast period.


Requirement of Custom Design Along with Problematic Handling of Complex Streams to Hinder Growth

The major factor that can hinder the market growth of zero liquid discharge systems is the need for custom designs as per the requirement. Also, the difficulty faced by the system while operating in complex liquid streams such as in petrochemical industries that have a sticky and rigid sludge. Considering all these factors and requirement of advanced equipment, increases the capital required, which can hinder the market in the long run.  


By Technology Analysis

Efficient Filtration Techniques in Membrane Based Systems Will Drive their Growth

Based on type, the market is classified into thermal-based and membrane-based systems. Membrane-based systems account for major share in the market owing to better efficiency in operation and preference given by the industry for their installation over thermal-based installations. The various techniques used in membrane-based installations are reverse osmosis, nanofiltration, electrodialysis, and natural evaporation. Reverse osmosis is the most used technique used in ZLD as it recovers most of the water and reduces the cost of ZLD. The thermal-based systems utilize the basic crystallization and evaporation techniques for water treatment.

By Application Analysis

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Escalating Energy Demand Will Drive ZLD Installations in Energy & Power Sector

By application, the market segments include energy & power, food & beverages, chemical & petrochemical, textiles, pharmaceutical, others. Growing population, coupled with rapid urbanization, has resulted in increased energy demand across the globe. This has led to more industries and power plants to be constructed. Thermal power plants are the major sector for the application of ZLD. Thermal power plants still cover a major portion of energy supply, and this factor certainly pushes the ZLD installations in the sector.


North America Zero Liquid Discharge Market Size, 2018(USD Billion)

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The findings based on our research methodology indicate North America will holds the largest zero liquid discharge market share  during the forecast period. The US is a  major country in the region that has very stringent regulations regarding wastewater emissions that are driving the regional growth of the market. The US EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) recently completed its guidelines, making amendments to its already existing regulations on wastewater regulations. The new guidelines set federal limits on the level of toxic metals and other discharges and making ZLD as the preferred solution for pollutants in fly ash transport water, ash transport water, and wastewater from flue gas mercury. The government will also provide regulatory incentives for ZLD installations in U.S. power plants.

Asia-Pacific holds the maximum growth opportunities for the market during the given forecast period. China and India are  countries that are making noticeable investments in the wastewater treatment plants. Europe also holds significant growth opportunities, with Germany, UK, and Italy being the leading nations  investing in  wastewater treatment. The Middle East & Africa and Latin America will also witness  healthy growth in the market size with  increasing urbanization and power demand in the regions.


Veolia to Dominate the Market Owing to Diverse Product Offerings and Customer Reach

The competitive landscape of zero liquid discharge market depicts a monopoly dominated by Veolia Water Technologies. A diversified range of water solutions such as desalination, ZLD, package plants, trickling filter, etc. along with continuous efforts to increase systems operation efficiency  are prominent factors responsible for the dominance of the company.

However, other international, regional, and domestic players such as Fluence Corporation Limited, Aquarion Group, Arvind Envisol, Hydro Air Research, and others have entered the zero liquid discharge market competition with innovative non-invasive devices. This is projected to positively impact the global market as these companies are anticipated to gain market share during the forecast period.

List of Key Companies Profiled:

  • Fluence Corporation Limited (USA)

  • Aquarion Group (Switzerland)

  • Arvind Envisol– (India)

  • Samco Technologies, Inc. (India)

  • GE Water & Process Technologies (USA)

  • Aquatech (USA)

  • Veolia Water Technologies (France)

  • SafBon Water Technology. (USA)

  • GEA (USA)

  • Shiva Global Environmental Private Limited. (India)

  • Toshiba Infrastructure Systems & Solutions Corporation (Japan)

  • Condorchem Envitech (Spain)

  • Hydro Air Research (Italy)

  • Lenntech (Netherlands)


  • November 2019 -  Godavari Biorefineries Limited (GBL) inaugurated its upgraded state-of-the-art set-up zero liquid discharge (ZLD) facility. The ZLD facility is set up at its plant in Sakarwadi, Maharashtra. To attain zero liquid discharge, various biological treatments would be carried out, along with ultra-filtration, reverse osmosis, agitated thin film drying, and evaporation techniques for enabling removal of contamination and purification at various stages.   

  • April 2019 – Fluence Corporation Limited announced the contract it secured for the supply of water treatment reuse system from Rosenblad Design Group (Rosenblad). The ZLD system deployed by the company will use reverse osmosis and ultrafiltration to treat brine reuse. The system would be installed in the large turnkey project being installed by Rosenblad in California.  


As water scarcity becomes an important issue around the globe with increasing population and urbanization,  zero liquid discharge systems are bound to become an integral part of the industrial sector. This will ensure water recycling and wastewater treatment that also will help in productive usage of the captured waste. Also, the economic advantages of these systems, coupled with steps to improve working efficiency, will drive the market growth in the coming years.


An Infographic Representation of Zero Liquid Discharge Market

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The zero liquid discharge market report offers qualitative and quantitative insights on zero liquid discharge and the detailed analysis of market size & growth rate for all possible segments in the market.

Along with this, the research report offers an in-depth analysis of the market. It further provides details on the adoption of zero liquid discharge across several regions. Information on trends, drivers, opportunities, threats, and restraints of the market can further help stakeholders to gain valuable insights into the market. The report offers a detailed competitive landscape by presenting information on key players, along with their strategies, in the market.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



  Value (USD Billion)

By Technology

  • Thermal Based

  • Membrane Based

By Application

  • Energy & Power

  • Food & Beverages

  • Chemical & Petrochemical

  • Textiles

  • Pharmaceutical

  • Others

By Region

  • North America (U.S. and Canada)

  • Europe (UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Russia, and Rest of Europe)

  • Asia-Pacific (Japan, China, India, Australia, Southeast Asia, and Rest of Asia-Pacific)

  • Middle East & Africa (South Africa, GCC, and Rest of the Middle East & Africa)

  • Latin America (Brazil, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the market was worth USD 0.71 Billion in 2018.

The market value is projected to be worth USD 1.76 Billion in 2026.

The global market will grow at a CAGR of 12.1% in the forecast period (2019-2026).

North America market size stood at USD 0.24 Billion in 2018.

In terms of application, the energy and power segment will dominate the global market during the forecast period.

Increased energy demand, coupled with stringent regulations regarding wastewater discharge, is the key market driver. However, complexity in design and high initial investment may hinder the market growth.

Aquarion Group and Veolia Water Technologies are among the top companies in this market.

Increasing urbanization directly increases waste generation and energy demand across all application sectors, which will positively impact market growth.

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