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Global RO Membrane and Components Market - Outlook and Forecast 2021-2026
The global market for reverse osmosis (RO) membranes had a value of USD 10.64 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 18.91 billion by 2026, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.06%. This growth is driven by the increasing demand for treated water and effective removal of pathogens in wastewater treatment plants. The adoption of RO membrane technology has been encouraged by strict government regulations.
Buyers in this market hold significant bargaining power as they seek system suppliers who can provide comprehensive solutions for various water needs. Value-added services are also preferred by customers. Consequently, companies in the industry are focusing on expanding their product offerings and service capabilities.
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USD 10.6 billion in 2019
Membrane Type, Component, End-Use, and Geography
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Developing countries face challenges in wastewater management, but through proper planning and policy implementation, these challenges can be overcome. This presents lucrative opportunities for the RO membrane industry. The demand for RO membrane systems is expected to experience exponential growth, particularly in desalination applications. The GCC region, in particular, has the largest desalination market globally, producing approximately 4 million cubic meters of water per day.
The pumps segment is anticipated to witness significant revenue growth by 2026, as pumps play a crucial role in maintaining the flow of pressurized raw water through the membranes.
The market for RO membrane water treatment system components demonstrates high vendor loyalty, especially in the food and beverage and oil and gas industries.
In 2020, the Middle East and Africa region held the largest share of the reverse osmosis system components market, driven by the growing demand for energy-efficient and cost-effective RO membrane technology.
Noteworthy industry developments include the merger between Koch Separation Solutions and Waste 3R Engineering & Solutions in 2020. This merger aims to promote advanced separation technologies for industrial wastewater projects in Bangladesh.
Additionally, in 2020, LG Chem supplied reverse osmosis membranes for the Al Khobar II project in Saudi Arabia, which has a daily production capacity of 600 million liters. The project aims to meet water quality requirements with low energy consumption.
The market is segmented based on various factors, including membrane type, component, end-use, and geography.
Segmentation by Membrane Type
Thin-Film Composite Membranes
Segmentation by Components
RO Membrane Modules
Segmentation by End-User
Water & Wastewater Treatment
Segmentation by Geography
North America – US, Canada
Europe – Germany, France, UK, Italy, Russia
APAC – China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia
Latin America – Brazil, Mexico
Middle East & Africa – South Africa, GCC
The performance of filtration membranes is evaluated based on factors such as chemical resistance, selectivity, operational pressure differential, and the flow rate of pure water per unit area. However, in applications other than filtration, parameters like temperature stability, mechanical strength, and electrical conductivity may take precedence.
For RO systems, maintaining consistency is primarily reliant on effective pre-treatment. If not properly addressed, dissolved solids and other impurities can quickly and permanently foul RO membranes. This can result in significant costs for membrane replacement or even plant shutdowns.
The water treatment system segment is expected to experience substantial revenue growth by the end of 2026. Factors driving this growth include water scarcity concerns and stricter regulations mandating wastewater treatment and recycling.
Middle East & Africa: In this region, the demand for clean water and cost-effective desalination methods is increasing. There is also a growing need to replace older facilities with more energy-efficient processes. These factors contribute to the demand for membrane technology in the region. The RO membrane and components market in GCC countries, in particular, is expected to witness significant growth from 2021 to 2026. The GCC Water Cooperation Committee aims to enhance water management within the GCC countries, presenting opportunities for RO membrane and component vendors to address water challenges, such as the region’s limited renewable freshwater resources.
North America: Increasing environmental concerns regarding wastewater management and rising water pollution are driving the adoption of RO membranes in the region. Additionally, there is a growing demand for clean and purified water across industries such as pharmaceuticals, agriculture, hotels & hospitality, and food & beverage. The RO membrane and components market in North America is experiencing accelerated growth due to increased investments in research and development for advanced technologies and the rising demand for RO water treatment system components.
The major players in the global RO membrane and component market include DuPont, Nitto Denko Corporation, Koch Separation Solutions, Toray Industries, and SUEZ. Customers are increasingly seeking vendors that provide value-added services, prompting companies in the market to focus on continuously expanding their range of products and service offerings.
In 2019, one of the key vendors, Toray Industries, developed a seawater desalination RO membrane that produces water that is 70% cleaner compared to conventional options. This technology not only reduces water production costs but also addresses the growing global demand for clean and hygienic water.
As competition intensifies, price is expected to become a significant factor for players striving to gain a competitive edge over other vendors in the market.
Key companies profiled in this report include DuPont, Nitto Denko Corporation, Koch Separation Solutions, Toray Industries, SUEZ, LG Chem, LANXESS, Toyobo, Theway Membranes, Asahi Kasei Corporation, Membranium, MANN+HUMMEL Water & Fluid Solutions, Permionics, Pall Corporation, Alfa Laval, Applied Membranes, AXEON Water Technologies, Hunan Keensen Technology, Osmotech Membranes, Vontron Membrane Technology, Watts, Ion Exchange, Membracon, Parker Hannifin, Merck.
Key Questions Answered
What is the size of the global reverse osmosis (RO) membrane market?
The global RO membrane market was valued at USD 10.64 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 18.91 billion by 2026.
Who are the major players in the global reverse osmosis membranes and components industry?
The major players in the global RO membranes and components industry include DuPont, Nitto Denko Corporation, Koch Separation Solutions, Toray Industries, and SUEZ.
What impact did COVID-19 have on the RO membranes and components industry?
COVID-19 had a dampening effect on various industries during the lockdown period, which in turn affected the demand in the RO membranes and components industry. However, the pandemic also highlighted the importance of access to clean water and sanitation, leading governments in different countries to implement regulations on water and wastewater treatment.
What are the driving factors behind the RO membrane and components market?
The driving factors behind the RO membrane and components market include the increasing global population and rapid urbanization, the growing number of desalination plants, and the implementation of stringent government regulations regarding wastewater treatment.
Which region held the largest share in the RO membrane & components market?
The Middle East and Africa region held the highest share in the RO membrane and components market.