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Membranes Market Size, Share & Industry Analysis, By Technology (RO/FO, UF, NF, MF, and Others), By Applications (Water & wastewater treatment, Food & beverage, Gas separation and Others) and Regional Forecast, 2019-2027

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI102982



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The global membranes market size was USD 6,899.65 million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 10,021.47 million by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 5.74% during the forecast period.

Membranes are barrier films that allow the passing of selected molecules and particles depending upon their size. In other words, they are semi-permeable. On the basis of size, technologies such as MF (microfiltration), UF (ultrafiltration), NF (nanofiltration) and others are used for a variety of applications depending upon the size of substrates to be separated. Microfiltration and Ultrafiltration are amongst the first large-scale applications of these barrier films and are being used in a number of water treatment plants around the world. These barrier films are manufactured using natural or synthetic polymers or by sintering of metallic powders, ceramics or zeolites.

Polymeric membranes dominate the global market with Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) as popular material choices. Ceramic ones are highly inert and are preferentially used in high acidic and basic environments. Zeolite membranes are preferred in gas separation processes due to their uniform pore distribution.


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Increasing Adoption Of Membranes In Pharmaceutical Industry To Drive The Market Growth

In recent years, these are being widely adopted in the pharmaceutical & biomedical industry. Be it recovery of valuable intermediate or substrate or reducing the concentration of effluent stream, they have an important application in the industry. Nanofiltration and pervaporation process are generally used to reduce the harmful constituents in the effluent stream in the pharmaceutical industry. Considering this, the market is projected to grow in the forthcoming years.


Scarcity Of Fresh Drinking Water, Along With Rising Need For Water Purification Will Drive The Market  

Freshwater for drinking is an essential element for the survival of human life. With rapid increase in population, the water crisis has only worsened and it has become the need of the hour to efficiently use available resources. Advancements in this technology have reduced the tension on existing freshwater resources to some extent. Seawater can now be converted to potable water using this technology. Desalination plants (which use this technology) have turned out to be a boon for people and countries where water resources are limited. For instance, in regions such as the Middle East and Africa, people have large dependency on desalination plants for large number of activities including farming, industrial and day-to-day requirements. As the population is rising around the world, the water crises are getting worse and it is evident from the increasing number of desalination projects that membrane technology is evolving as the game changer. Moreover, an increasing number of household water purifiers which are based on this technology also significantly contribute to consumption.   

Rising Water Pollution Owing To Increase In Human Activities To Fuel Demand

Industries contribute to large amount of water pollution and with rapid urbanization & industrialization in developing countries, the strain on water resources has significantly increased. The rising environmental concerns have compelled lawmakers to frame stringent industry discharge norms to curb water pollution. Large portion of industries use membrane-based technology to reduce the severity and level of pollutants in their discharge streams to comply with the norms. The concept of zero-discharge is relatively new and membranes play a pivotal role in achieving zero liquid discharge (ZLD), thus reducing the environmental impact of industries. As industrialization continues to strive the development process, reducing the impact is the only way to maintain sustained growth.  


Fouling Results In Frequent Replacements Of Membrane, Thereby Affecting Its Adoption 

Fouling of membrane is a major problem and it has adverse effects on its operations. It not only decreases its efficiency but also decreases the flux resulting in increased consumption of energy and spoiling the water or stream quality. Chemical cleaning or replacements are the only options (both require considerable expenses) to get rid of fouled products. Taking these costs into consideration, applications and adoption gets confined to specific industries, thus affecting the market growth.  


By Technology Analysis

RO/FO Membrane Technology To Remain Dominant Throughout The Forecast Period

RO/FO membrane technology is the most widely used technology owing to its high adoption in water and wastewater treatment. Besides, it has healthy adoption in industrial applications, ensuring its sound growth in the industry. As water crises continue to escalate, RO/FO technology is expected to grow fastest in the membranes market. MF, which play an important role in the pre-treatment of stream is anticipated to follow RO growth at slight low rate. The usage of UF is significantly rising owing to its ability to remove high molecular dissolved compounds. NF have high demand in water & wastewater treatment as well as industrial applications.

By Application Analysis

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Water And Wastewater Treatment Application To Drive The Market Growth

Water & wastewater treatment has been the primary purpose for the development. Later, with the evolution of technology, the applications of these got extended to variety of industries including food & beverage, pharmaceutical, biomedical, and others. With depleting water resources, membrane purification technologies have come out as promising technologies to supply and fulfill the needs of potable water. Food & beverage accounts for second largest share in the global market and with increasing penetration of this industry in developing countries, the growth of the market is certain.


Asia-Pacific Membranes Market Size, 2019 (USD Million)

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The market in Asia-Pacific stood at USD 2,382.47 million in 2019 on the back of countries like China, Japan, India, Australia and several other southeast Asian countries. Emerging economies such as India and China are the most promising markets in terms of growth. Several desalination projects are eminent to come online over the forecast period in the region. For instance:

  • In India, the city of Chennai already has 2 desalination plants each with a capacity of 100 million liters per day (MLD). The third plant with a capacity of 150 MLD has been announced in 2019 by the local government and is set to begin operations in 2021. 

  • In 2019, the state government of Gujarat (India) announced its plans to set up desalination plants at 8 locations in the state and has already started with the procedures including tenders.

These initiatives are expected to generate good business for the market over the foreseeable period and beyond. Japan is the leading producer in the world and as per WIPO data, the country also leads in the intellectual rights for majority of these products.

Europe is the second-largest region in the market on the back of western European countries such as Germany, France, Spain, Italy and others. The Middle East & Africa is the fastest-growing region in the market and is home to over 45% of the global desalination capacity.

  • People in this region have great dependency on desalination plants.

  • Saudi Arabia is the largest consumer of these barrier films in the region and also accounts for around one-sixth of the global desalination capacity.

  • UAE, Kuwait, and Qatar also account for significant shares in the market.

The U.S. is expected to witness moderate growth in the upcoming years. This will help the market grow significantly in North America. Latin America, which is rich in natural water resources, is the smallest region in the market. On the contrary, the market is estimated to shrink over 1% in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Membrane Market to Remain Highly Fragmented Over The Forecast Period      

This global market is highly fragmented with hundreds of manufacturers and integrators. China alone has more than 1000 manufacturers. The market is quite competitive and has a tight supply. The purchasing power of a buyer is far greater than the seller’s. However, players such as DuPont, Toray, KOCH, GE, and others have recognizable shares in the market. Research & development of innovative technologies holds an important place for the players, as a result, players spend healthy amounts of their revenue on R&D activities.



  • DuPont (U.S.)

  • SUEZ (France)

  • KOCH Membrane Systems (U.S.)

  • Pentair plc (U.S.)

  • TOYOBA (Japan)

  • Hydranautics – A Nitto Group Company (U.S.)

  • Pall Corporation (U.S.)

  • Seccua GmbH (Germany)

  • Synder Filtration (U.S.)

  • Others


  • October 2019 – DuPont, headquartered in the US, announced the acquisition of Evoqua Water Technologies, a manufacturer of PVDF membrane and MBR. DuPont entered into membranes business with the spin-off of Dow-DuPont in 2019. This business falls under the safety & construction business division of DuPont.

  • September 2019 – DuPont, announced an agreement to acquire the ultrafiltration business of BASF, a major player in the chemicals and advanced materials business headquartered in Germany. The agreement also includes share of inge GmbH, BASF membranes division.


An Infographic Representation of Membranes Market

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The membranes market report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects such as leading companies, product types, and leading applications of the product.

Besides this, the report offers insights into the market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the aforementioned factors, the report encompasses several growth factors that have contributed to the market over recent years.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



  Value (USD Million)


By Technology

  • RO/FO

  • MF

  • UF

  • NF

  • Other

By Application

  • Water & wastewater treatment

  • Food & beverage

  • Gas separation

  • others


By Geography

  • North America (U.S., and Canada)

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

  • Asia Pacific (China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and Rest of Asia Pacific)

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

  • Middle East & Africa (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, and Rest of Middle East & Africa)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 6,899.65 million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 10,021.47 million by 2027.

In 2019, the market value stood at USD 6,899.65 million.

Growing at a CAGR of 5.74%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2020-2027).

Water & wastewater treatment segment is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.

Rising scarcity of fresh drinking water is one of the factors driving the demand.

Asia-Pacific held the highest market share in 2019.

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