The global geomembranes market size was valued at USD 2,062.07 million in 2021. It is projected to reach USD 3232 million by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 5.12% during the forecast period (2022-2030). Geomembrane refers to a thin sheet of flexible polymeric materials and is used as an impermeable membrane liner. It acts as an excellent barrier to the movement of water and other fluids. It provides flexibility and integrity over other rigid materials. Geomembrane is used across several industries for various applications, including canal linings, aquaculture, and fish farming, lined security bunds for the petrochemical industry, wastewater treatment lagoons, potable water reservoirs, and many others.
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Growing Use in Lining Application
To effectively contain liquids and gases on a broad scale, geomembranes offer a virtually impenetrable barrier. Consequently, depending on the application and chemicals used for the lining application, geomembranes are produced for the lowest permeability achievable. They are most often utilized liners for the primary and secondary containment of hazardous substances. Secondary containment plans must be in place for specific sites, such as refineries and airports, to strengthen storage systems for hazardous, flammable, reactive, explosive, or corrosive compounds.
Managing landfills effectively and appropriately is a difficult situation. Landfills for primary, secondary, and tertiary solid waste can all be lined with geomembranes. These liners might be utilized as an alternative to daily soil covers on the landfill to stop odors, vectors, fires, littering and scavenging. These factors are driving the market growth during the forecast period.
Increased Use of Geomembranes in Mining Applications
The application of geomembranes in various mining activities has quickly increased over the past few years. They are frequently employed in mining sites to reduce the dangers of leaching solutions contaminating the environment and to stop seepage and loss of solutions rich in precious metals. Due to their low permeability, high chemical resistance, high-temperature resistance, high tensile strength and elongation, high puncture resistance, high durability, and high interface friction properties, geomembranes are used in mining's heap leach process to stop chemical liquid from leaking into the environment.
In the mining sector, they are typically utilized as basal liners. Basal liners are temporarily exposed or "raincoats" for tropical sites, tailings and process residue impoundments, and acid mine drainage (AMD) mitigation from tailings or waste rock dumps. They are also used in concrete basins, tank liners, heap leaching pads, and solar (or evaporation) ponds for salt recovery. They are also used to collect and refine the leachate to hold onto chemical solutions that dissolve ore minerals. As a result, fewer chemicals are wasted and can be reused.
Increasing Use of Geosynthetic Clay Liner in Lining Systems and Landfill
Geosynthetic clay liners (GCLs), which have very low hydraulic conductivity to water and are relatively inexpensive, have grown in popularity among design engineers and environmental agencies over the past few years as a replacement for compacted clay liners in cover systems and composite bottom liners in solid waste containment (or, in some cases, the bottom lining of waste containment facilities). The degree of containment necessary for its simplicity of installation needs quality control and quality assurance, and cost must all be carefully considered before choosing a liner system. These elements give the geosynthetic clay liners (GCLs) market a competitive advantage over the market under consideration. For geomembranes to work, individual panels must be welded appropriately, a labor-intensive technique still uncommonly mastered today. Geomembranes can also be accidentally punctured regularly, leading to high leakage rates if a strict CQA program does not find the punctures. As a result of GCLs' ability to self-seal and self-heal, there are significantly fewer CQA-related issues in typical applications.
Increasing Spending on Infrastructure Development
Infrastructure development includes water supply and treatment plants, roads, tunnels, dams, railways, airports, bridges, telecommunication networks, schools, and hospitals. According to the Confederation of International Contractors' Associations (CICA), the output for residential and non-residential (including commercial, industrial, and others) infrastructures will grow by 85% in terms of volume by 2030. There is a multitude of applications for geomembranes within the construction sector. The long shelf-life and good physical and mechanical properties of geomembranes will favor the market. Thus, growing infrastructural developments are expected to create growth opportunities for the geomembranes market during the forecast period.
The global geomembrane market is segmented by raw materials and applications.
Based on raw material, the global geomembranes market is bifurcated into high-density polyethylene (HDPE), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM), polypropylene (PP), and others.
The high-density polyethylene (HDPE) segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.93% during the forecast period. High-density polyethylene (HDPE) geomembranes are made from polyethylene resin, caused by low-pressure polymerization of ethylene, the main monomer, and have the properties described in ASTM D-1248. The thermoplastic crystalline polymers that makeup HDPE geomembranes are highly resistant to substances, including acids, oils, and solvents. Most HDPE geomembranes contain between 2 and 3 percent carbon black to enhance UV protection. Despite being less flexible than LLDPE geomembrane, HDPE offers greater specific strength and can endure higher temperatures. It is affordable due to its excellent chemical and UV resistance qualities. HDPE offers the most extended theoretical unexposed service life (>100 years) compared to other geomembranes. During installation, HDPE might expand due to sun heat exposure, making it challenging to sew and put cover materials.
PVC geomembrane, a thermoplastic waterproofing geomembrane with a high degree of flexibility, is created from a blend of vinyl compounds, plasticizers, and stabilizers. Additionally, these geomembranes can be made in various widths and thicknesses. Although fabric reinforcement has been employed, the majority are unreinforced. Solvent welding, adhesives, heat, dielectric technologies, and other techniques make it simple to seam these geomembranes. To make the sheeting flexible, up to 40% of one or more plasticizers are present in PVC geomembranes. PVC geomembranes can use a variety of plasticizers, depending on the application and necessary service life. In order to protect potable water sources, PVC geomembranes stop contaminants from entering the groundwater and have excellent puncture, abrasion, and tear resistance. The most effective option for buried geomembrane applications is its broad chemical compatibility. Since it is an amorphous material, environmental stress cracking is not a concern.
Based on application, the global geomembrane market is bifurcated into water management, waste management, mining, construction, agriculture, soil management, and others.
The waste management segment owns the highest market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.95% during the forecast period. For waste disposal facilities, geomembranes are widely employed as a component of the lining and capping systems. Over the past few decades, the usage of geomembrane in landfills—particularly municipal solid waste landfills—has become industry standard. As they are now well-designed and frequently monitored areas, landfills are far more intricately engineered sites. The efficiency of these sites has also grown due to this shift toward better ecologically friendly practices. City planners and engineers typically collaborate to identify the long-term implications of a landfill before choosing a location for one. Geomembranes had already been incorporated into the landfill's liner. Recently, utilizing them as the top cover has also been conceivable. For landfill capping, geomembranes stop fluid movement into the landfill, lowering or eliminating leachate formation after closure and the related treatment expenses.
In the mining industry, geomembrane liners have been extensively utilized to line solution and evaporation ponds, tailings impoundments, and heap leach pads. The most critical and intricate uses of geomembranes in mining are in evaporation ponds and heap leaching. Most tailings impoundments have historically been lined with soil, although recent years have seen an increase in the usage of geomembrane liners. When used in mining applications, particularly heap leach pads, geomembranes are exposed to conditions significantly different from municipal solid waste landfills, where most prior research has focused. The necessary geomembrane has to withstand exceptionally high vertical pressures and severe pH because of the difficult conditions in the vicinity of heap leach pads, making the right choice of synthetic liner essential. A sizeable share of the geomembranes market is represented by the several million square meters of various geomembranes utilized in liner systems for various mining applications. In addition, the mining industry plays a significant role in the economies of many nations worldwide.
Asia-Pacific Dominates the Global Market
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The global geomembranes market is bifurcated into four regions, namely North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
Asia-Pacific is the most significant shareholder in the global geomembranes market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.61% during the forecast period. China is home to over 10,000 mines, most of which are coal-based and contribute significantly to the world's mineral supply. Numerous businesses operate in the same region in China's fragmented mining sector. The nation is home to some of the largest coal mining firms, including Yanzhou Coal Mining, China Coal Energy, and Shenhua Group. The most prominent copper mining firm operating in China is Jianxi Copper Company.
Additionally, it ranks among the most significant gold and silver mining firms. Urbanization and middle-class urban dwellers' desire to improve their living conditions may significantly impact the housing market, increasing residential construction and boosting the geomembrane market. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism supports sewage sludge technology research and development. As of FY2013, onsite or centralized wastewater systems provided sanitary wastewater treatment to almost 89% of Japan's population. There are still some 14 million individuals whose wastewater is released into the environment untreated. Japan's water treatment sector is quite developed and is predicted to increase moderately throughout the projected period.
North America is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.72%, generating USD 886.97 million during the forecast period. The United States is also one of the top nations in the world when it comes to the exploration of unconventional crude oil reserves, which suggests that the market there has a lot of untapped potentials. Compared to oil produced from conventionally fractured wells, the amount paid from hydraulically fractured wells is dramatically rising. The country's business leaders also predict an 85% increase in oil exploration and production drilling.
The United States still depends on imports for various mineral commodities, both raw and processed. For 48 non-fuel mineral commodities, the US supplied around half of its apparent consumption through implications; for 18 of these minerals, imports constitute the only source of supply. Due to the lengthy history of its usage in agriculture, the United States is one of the more developed markets for agricultural technologies. However, more recent urban rooftop farming practices are causing a resurgence in need for geomembranes in farming. Increasing investment plans for new projects and facility construction in Canada's chemical and oil and gas industries are expected to create opportunities for the market under study during the forecast period.
The German government has made public its intention to build approximately 1.5 million homes by 2021. (delay expected due to COVID-19 outbreak). This is anticipated to increase demand for geomembranes for domestic building's water management applications by increasing the residential construction market. The need for membrane technology is rising due to the expanding water treatment operations, particularly in the country's north. In Germany, environmental and public health preservation is given top priority. Due to this significance, practical techniques for treating water and wastewater have been developed. Nearly all of Germany's wastewater is now treated to the highest standards specified by the European Union. The offshore oil and gas industry in the United Kingdom, a mature petroleum province, demonstrated its resiliency in the face of one of the most dramatic drops in oil prices in recent memory. Shallow water accounts for most of the offshore oil and gas business in the United Kingdom, while deep water only makes up a small portion. But because the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) is offering blocks for development under the Offshore Licensing Round, the industry is anticipated to see a lot of blocks under development throughout the projection period.
Brazil's agricultural sector has become increasingly intertwined with the country's economic recovery since the 2008 recession. But in 2019, agricultural activity slowed considerably, highlighting the weak state of the Brazilian economy as a whole. The Institute for Applied Economic Research (IPEA) claims that this transformation is more of a phase than a systemic one. Geomembranes are mainly utilized for water tank lining, and construction is where they are most helpful. IBGE, the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, reports that the construction industry contracted by 1% year over year and 6.7% quarter over quarter in the first quarter of 2020, despite construction work being done during the early stages of the pandemic outbreak. This has a short-term, modest effect on the market for geomembrane material used in construction. In addition to soy, Argentina exports significant wheat, corn, fruits, and other agricultural products. The demand for materials like geomembrane would increase during the anticipated period because of the growing necessity for water storage and conservation in agriculture.