The global nanofiltration membranes market size was valued at USD 767.85 million in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 1,280.83 million by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 5.85% during the forecast period (2023–2031). The increasing use of nanofiltration membranes in the domains of wastewater treatment and water purification serves as a prominent catalyst for the expansion of the market.
Nanofiltration membranes are technologies for separating dissolved molecules and ions from water and other liquids. These membranes have pore diameters ranging from 1 to 10 nanometers, smaller than those of microfiltration and ultrafiltration membranes but larger than those of reverse osmosis (RO) membranes. Polymers, ceramics, and metals are used to construct nanofiltration membranes. They are designed to eradicate specific water contaminants, including dissolved salts, organic molecules, and bacteria.
Nanofiltration membranes enable water and small particles to pass while larger particles and molecules are retained. Thus, nanofiltration membranes are frequently employed in water treatment applications, such as desalination, wastewater treatment, and drinking water purification. They are also utilized in the food and beverage sector to remove impurities from liquids and concentrate or separate particular components. In recent years, nanofiltration membranes have acquired popularity owing to their high selectivity, which enables the precise separation of various molecules and ions.
|Market Size||USD 1,280.83 million by 2031|
|Fastest Growing Market||Europe|
|Largest Market||North America|
|Report Coverage||Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends|
The global water demand is constantly under pressure, and water treatment has special relevance due to the increasing global population and improving living standards. Such demand focuses both on water quality and quantity. Similarly, the industry focuses on integrated processes and green technologies, increasing waste reduction and water reuse efforts. Membrane technology helps recover clean water from contaminated water. Technological innovations drive market growth, such as initiatives to develop more permeable and selective membranes, enhance membrane lifetimes, and minimize the cleaning and fouling cycles.
Additionally, one of the most popular membrane techniques for the treatment of water and wastewater is nanofiltration. Due to nanofiltration's considerably reduced energy usage and higher flow rates, reverse osmosis (RO) membranes have been superseded in several applications. Nanofiltration membranes are mostly used to soften and disinfect water. Hence, the rising adoption of nanofiltration membranes in wastewater treatment and water purification is a significant growth driver for the market.
The membrane technology involves energy-efficient and environment-friendly separation, concentration, purification, and refining processes, which are widely used in the manufacturing processes across the food industry. In the food and beverage industry, nanofiltration membranes concentrate food and beverages naturally without demeaning the products.
Additionally, nanofiltration membranes prolong the shelf-life of food and beverages without accumulating any preservatives. The surge in disposable income of individuals and high living standards across developed and emerging economies has accelerated the demand for fast foods and beverages. Such factors have also accelerated the demand for nanofiltration membranes to concentrate foods and beverages.
The growing demand for nanofiltration membranes in water and wastewater treatment and water purification, along with stringent governing regulations associated with water pollution, is driving the growth of the global nanofiltration membranes market. However, high initial investments, lack of resources in emerging economies such as India, and rigid public laws associated with collateral filtration processes have limited the development of the market.
Nanofiltration membranes are relatively more expensive than RO membranes; therefore, several emerging economies cannot invest in nanofiltration membrane technologies due to a lack of funds. Due to regulatory changes, many businesses also find it impossible to increase their presence in developing economies. Such factors may impede the growth of the market during the forecast period.
Factors like rapid urbanization and industrialization across developing economies like India and China are expected to accelerate the growth of the global nanofiltration membrane market. A surge in demand for water used for residential and industrial purposes and access to fresh and clean water will also drive market growth. Urban population growth has a substantial effect on water quality.
Over 50% of people on earth live in metropolitan areas, which produce more than 80% of the global gross domestic product (GDP). With the rapid economic development and rise in urbanization and industrialization, there has been a significant surge in concern for water pollution. The growing number of industries discharging emissions is also expected to create more opportunities for nanofiltration membranes used for water treatment. Therefore, the surge in urbanization and the rise in consumer awareness will accelerate the demand for nanofiltration membranes during the forecast period.
North America Dominates the Global Market
Based on region, the global nanofiltration membranes market is bifurcated into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.
North America is the most significant global nanofiltration membranes market shareholder and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 4.51% during the forecast period. The demand for nanofiltration membranes is expected to witness a considerable surge in the region with the growing adoption of products by several end-user industries, like pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, and food and beverages. In addition, rapid industrialization is compelling companies to shift toward installing cost-effective membrane systems in water treatment and desalination units. There are also robust growth opportunities in alternate industrial wastewater treatment applications. These opportunities are present in verticals like food, beverage, mining, etc.
Furthermore, the rising investments in R&D initiatives support North America's nanofiltration membrane and components market for enhanced technologies and increasing demand for water treatment systems in the region. Increasing environmental concerns about managing wastewater due to growing water pollution would spur the adoption of nanofiltration membranes in the region. There is also a rising demand for clean and purified water across pharmaceutical, agriculture, hotels and hospitality, and the food and beverage sectors.
Europe is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 5.58% over the forecast period. High freshwater scarcity has fueled the demand for water reuse and recycling solutions. Statutory drivers such as the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive (UWWTD) necessitating lower nutrient discard limits in the municipal sector have boosted the European region's demand for nanofiltration membrane technology. The enactment of Integrated Pollution Prevention Control (IPPC) policies has also increased the growth of membrane technology in the industrial sector. During the COVID-19 outbreak, healthcare concerns significantly increased in the region.
In addition, increasing usage of nanofiltration membranes in the pharmaceutical industry is expected to support market growth as pharmaceutical manufacturers adopt waste treatment and membrane technologies to eradicate dissolved salts, solids, and other contaminants. Therefore, the demand for nanofiltration membranes used in purification systems is expected to grow considerably in the region. In addition, continuous R&D initiatives by prominent stakeholders to expand the scope of nanofiltration membrane technology for improved water purification are expected to drive the growth of the European nanofiltration membrane market.
Asia-Pacific emerged as the fastest-growing region in the global market. The growing demand for water purification for domestic and industrial applications and the growing need for chemical-free water treatment methods drive the Asia-Pacific nanofiltration membranes market. Growing industrialization and related environmental concerns in countries like China, Japan, and India also drive market growth. The government has started installing desalination systems due to the increasing water pollution levels. Such factors are expected to contribute to a surge in the demand for nanofiltration membranes in the region during the forecast period. Similarly, rising awareness of the impact of using contaminated water and the rapidly expanding urban population in the region are supporting the growth of the regional market.
The Latin American market is witnessing strong growth due to the high use of nanofiltration membranes in water purification and sewage treatment applications. Public laws associated with water pollution are driving the growth of the Latin American nanofiltration membrane market. In addition, the growth of the biopharmaceutical segment, population growth, and enhanced industrialization across developing economies are other variables that supplement the market growth. Increasing awareness regarding preserving water quality and maintaining natural water resources is expected to drive the demand for nanofiltration membranes. Similarly, nanofiltration membranes offer high water recovery rates and great service life to functional industrial plants at the most effective level possible. Several advances in nanofiltration membrane technology with economic options also drive the regional market's growth.
Competitive Analysis of the Global Nanofiltration Membranes Market:
The global nanofiltration membranes market is bifurcated into type, membrane type, and application.
Based on type, the global nanofiltration membranes market is segmented into polymeric, inorganic, and hybrid nanofiltration membranes.
The polymeric segment is the largest contributor to the market and is projected to exhibit a CAGR of 5.20% over the forecast period. Polymeric membranes, also referred to as organic membranes, are nonporous structures composed of polymers. It includes a family of liquid separation technologies that are industry-leading in performance and effectiveness. These membranes are divided into four key categories: characteristics, performance, and specific separation attributes. In addition, the polymers that manufacture nanofiltration membranes are cautiously selected to ensure optimal performance in a selected environment. However, compatibility with fluids administered and cleaning agents required to assist in hygiene and performance constancy are also considered while selecting the right polymer.
Inorganic membranes include metals, oxides, or elementary carbon in their structure or may have multi-layer supporting structures. These membranes can function in severe conditions and be extremely selective and permeable for specific molecules. Inorganic membranes are manufactured as separate sheets and tubes if adequately permeable. In addition, solid membrane materials are preferably selective for O2 or H2 particles. Micro-porous membranes (0.5–2 nm) could be extremely selective for H2O, CO2, and hydrocarbons. Meso-porous membranes (2–50 nm) are used as supportive structures or in water purification. Macro-porous layers (>50 nm) are used as support structures or in particulate filtration applications.
Based on membrane type, the global nanofiltration membranes market is segmented into tubular membranes, flat sheet membranes, spiral-wound membranes, and hollow-fiber membranes.
The tubular membrane segment is the highest contributor to the market and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 4.72% over the forecast period. Tubular-shaped membranes are not self-sufficient as they are located within a tube and manufactured using a distinct material. The material is the supporting layer for membranes as the position of tubular membranes is within a tube. The flow in a tubular membrane is usually inside out, as the attachment of the membrane to the supporting layer is quite frail. Tubular membranes have a diameter of around 5 to 15 mm; therefore, the membrane surface's size enables the processing of difficult feed streams without plugging. Tubular membranes also have low packing density, resulting in high module prices.
A flat sheet (FS) membrane is a type of membrane technology configuration. Flat sheet membranes have a planar configuration and are mostly rectangular. They are constructed to be immersed in the membrane tank and scoured with air to retain sludge flow via membrane channels. The flat sheet element may be called a cartridge, sheet, or, most commonly, a panel. The panels can be flexible, semi-rigid, or rigid, with the flexible panels being thinner. In addition, nanofiltration flat sheet membranes have a molecular weight cut-off range of 100–800 Daltons and cast-off solutes based on size and charge. Nanofiltration membranes have exclusive competence to cast off multivalent ions and fluctuating degrees of monovalent ions, which is a beneficial tool in the procedure.
Based on application, the global nanofiltration membranes market is bifurcated into water and wastewater treatment, food and beverage, pharmaceutical and biomedical, chemical and petrochemical, and others.
The water and wastewater treatment segment dominates the global market and is predicted to exhibit a CAGR of 4.79% during the forecast period. Nanofiltration membranes are an extensively used membrane technology for water and wastewater treatment and other applications like desalination. Nanofiltration membrane technology is a relatively recent development and can be aqueous or non-aqueous. The key features of nanofiltration membranes are similar to UF and RO membranes. In addition, nanofiltration membranes function by both pore-size flow (convective) and solution-diffusion mechanisms. Due to lower energy consumption and better flow rates, nanofiltration membrane technology has displaced RO membrane technology in several applications. The nanofiltration membrane technology is used in various water and wastewater treatment in diverse industrial applications.
Processing food from raw materials necessitates larger volumes of high-quality water. The utilization of membrane equipment plays a crucial role in the production processes of milk, cheese, and whey proteins. Vegetable washing produces waters with high loads of particulate matter and some dispersed organics, which may also include surfactants. In addition, food processing for sale generates waste products during the cooking process, which are usually rich in plant organic material and might include flavorings, acids or alkalis, salt, and coloring material. Therefore, the food and beverage segment has generated a high demand for wastewater treatment plants to recycle and reuse wastewater.