The global electrodialysis equipment market is projected to reach over USD 1.24 billion by 2029, expanding at a CAGR of 5.1% during the forecast period, 2020–2029.
Electrodialysis (ED) is a laboratory membrane separation technique and employs the phenomenon of transportation of ions through the ion-permeable membrane, from one stream to another, under the influence of a voltage potential gradient. ED systems consist of feed and concentrate compartments that are placed between two electrodes and formed by anion and cation exchange membrane. This technique is employed in water purification systems such as seawater and brackish water desalination and wastewater treatment. Moreover, the technique is also applied in laboratory processes, food and pharmaceutical industries, and recycling environments. Electrodialysis systems are robust and rugged with a long membrane life; they require significantly less pretreatment over spiral wound membranes and have the ability to achieve high water recovery.
Electrodialysis membrane separation technology has a long history and dates back to 1890. It is, therefore, reaching the maturity stage of its life cycle. In the past few years, various alternatives such as filtration, ultrafiltration, microfiltration, reverse osmosis, and others have been explored for water and wastewater treatment systems, which has impacted the overall market growth.
Increasing demand for clean water in light of rising population, industrialization, and rapid urbanization from emerging markets is resulting in a noticeable rise in the adoption of the electrodialysis equipment. Rising awareness among industrialists, favorable government initiatives, and the implementation of stringent guidelines by key authorities drive the growth of the electrodialysis equipment market. Increasing requirements for minimized global water footprint and optimum quality yields in emerging economies such as Asia-Pacific are also anticipated to impart to the growth momentum.
Extensive industrialization is leading to heavy water pollution, which is compelling manufacturers to carry out several wastewater purification activities. Growing investment in sewage treatment projects for rivers, industries, and municipalities has further consolidated market growth. The application of membrane technology as a handling and separation method in the food industry is gaining traction. Membrane separations are recognized as green technologies and can be used as an alternative to traditional techniques, particularly in dairy, sugar, fruit juice processing, and beverage industries. Apart from this, large-scale industrial installations in the food industry, whey and molasses demineralization, tartaric stabilization of wine, and deacidification of fruit juices are other applications promoting the growth of the electrodialysis equipment market.
Desalination and brackish water treatment plants are the largest end-user of electrodialysis equipment with a total share of 31% in terms of revenue. In 2018, 12,800 units of electrodialysis equipment were utilized by desalination plants. Meanwhile, in terms of volume, wastewater treatment plants employed a larger number of electrodialysis equipment units. Apart from these, various industries, including food and beverage, pharmaceutical, chemical, and laboratories, make up a significant part of the end-use consumer market.
The global electrodialysis equipment market is segmented on the basis of type, application, and region. Based on type, the market is segmented into batch electrodialysis and continuous electrodialysis. The continuous electrodialysis type segment accounted for a significant value share in terms of value and volume in 2018 and is estimated to remain dominant throughout the forecast period. The continuous electrodialysis segment is projected to reach a value of USD 845 million by 2029, with a CAGR of 4.8%. Continuous electrodialysis is also known as unidirectional continuous-type ED commercially. In this system, the membrane stack contains two stages in series, each stage helping demineralize the water. This demineralized stream makes a single pass through the stack and exits as product water. The concentrate stream is partly reprocessed to decrease wastewater volume and injected with acid to prevent scaling. Continuous electrodialysis comprises small membrane structures that aid in reducing the overall energy cost, which is further surging the demand for continuous electrodialysis. On the other hand, batch electrodialysis consumes high power for water purification, which is why it is experiencing slow demand from manufacturers.
Based on the application, the market is segmented into seawater desalination, laboratory, food/pharmaceutical, and recycling environments. The seawater desalination application segment holds the largest share in terms of revenue, while the recycling environments application segment holds the largest share in terms of volume. The seawater desalination segment was valued at USD 268 million in 2018 and is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 6.2% during the assessment period. Increasing demand from various countries for seawater desalination drives the growth of the segment.
The growing need for freshwater resources, owing to the rising population, rapid urbanization, and industrialization, is boosting the growth of the electrodialysis equipment market. According to statistics provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), by 2025, half of the world’s population will be living in water-stressed areas. Furthermore, by 2035, the world’s energy consumption will expand by 35%, which in turn will increase water use by 15%, according to the International Energy Agency. The seawater desalination segment will be followed by recycling environments and food/pharmaceutical with CAGRs of 5.0% and 4.4%, respectively. Contaminated water can transmit diseases such as diarrhea, typhoid, cholera, polio, and dysentery, and contaminated drinking water is estimated to cause 4,85,000 diarrhoeal deaths each year. This impels the growth of the recycling environments application segment.
North America dominates the global market, closely followed by Europe and Asia-Pacific. North America and Europe are embracing the latest technologies in wastewater treatment at a faster pace compared to other regions, and this momentum is expected to continue throughout the forecast period. Meanwhile, developing regions, including the Middle East, Africa, and some parts of Asia Pacific, are projected to flourish with the highest CAGR during the forecast period, 2020–2029.
The Middle East and Africa region was valued at USD 122.5 million in 2018 and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of around 6.6% during the forecast period, 2020–2029. Water scarcity has remained a steady problem in Africa for decades, which has engendered the need for wastewater treatment to attend to the situation. In line with this, administrations and manufacturers are working together and significantly investing in wastewater plants. Since 2005, wastewater reclamation and seawater distillation have contributed about 31% to water supply for irrigation, household, and industrial purpose. The Sorek desalination plant in Israel is the world’s largest seawater reverse osmosis desalination plant, which can recycle and produce about 624,000 cubic meters of water every day.
Key governmental authorities, including the European Environment Agency (EEA), the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), play a key role in improving the quality of water environments and prevention from pollution. Stringent government regulations for wastewater emission in municipal and industrial sectors have further augmented the growth of the electrodialysis equipment market. Governments in Maldives, Mexico, Malta, the Bahamas, Bolivia, and the Middle East are significantly spending on seawater desalination projects to meet the growing demand for water across several sectors, including agriculture and industrial. Below listed are some examples and facts that highlight the scope and potential of such projects and, by extension, electrodialysis equipment.
Some of the key players in the global electrodialysis equipment market include PCCell GmbH, Evoqua Water Technologies LLC, GE Water & Process Technologies (SUEZ), C-Tech Innovation, AGC Engineering (Asahi Glass Co. Ltd), EURODIA INDUSTRIE SA, ASTOM Corporation (Tokuyama Corporation), MEGA a.s., Shandong Tianwei Membrane Technology Co., Ltd, Protec, TRILITY (Hydramet), SnowPure, LLC, Saltworks Technologies Inc., Novasep, and C-Tech Innovation Ltd. The global electrodialysis equipment market is fragmented in nature, with a large number of players present regionally as well as internationally. The competition among these players is high and largely centers on product price and quality, after-sales services, and customized solutions.
Acquisition, partnership, product launch, and joint venture are some of the primary strategies adopted by manufacturers operating in the market. In September 2018, Evoqua Water Technologies signed a partnership with Horizon Solutions, LLC to expand its local services in Puerto Rico. In September 2018, the company acquired IsH20Top Group, a Quebec-based provider of high-purity water treatment equipment and systems, to strengthen Evoqua’s service capabilities in Canada.
In June 2018, GE Water & Process Technologies signed a 12-year industrial wastewater membrane service contract with Forest Water Environmental Engineering Ltd. to increase operational efficiency and wastewater discharge water quality. EURODIA Industries, the French specialist in industrial purification processes, pursues international expansion and announced its opening of a Brazilian Unit in September 2016. This business expansion was aimed at exploring various opportunities regarding dairy, wine production, and biotech markets present in the region.