Home Advanced Materials RO Membrane and Components Market Size, Share and Forecast to 2031

RO Membrane and Components Market

RO Membrane and Components Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Membrane Type (Thin-film Composite Membranes, Cellulose-based Membranes), By Components (Pre-treatment Cartridges, Pumps, Pressure Vessel/Housing, Others), By End-User (Water and Wastewater Treatment , Industrial Processing) and By Region(North America, Europe, APAC, Middle East and Africa, LATAM) Forecasts, 2023-2031

Report Code: SRAM55695DR
Study Period 2019-2031 CAGR 9.86%
Historical Period 2019-2021 Forecast Period 2023-2031
Base Year 2022 Base Year Market Size USD 12.84 Billion
Forecast Year 2031 Forecast Year Market Size USD 26.09 Billion
Largest Market North America Fastest Growing Market Asia-Pacific
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Market Overview

The global RO membrane and components market size was valued at USD 12.84 billion in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 26.09 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 9.86% during the forecast period (2023–2031). The demand for RO membrane water treatment systems is anticipated to increase due to growing consumer awareness of water contamination and its consequences.

Reverse osmosis eliminates contaminants from feed or unfiltered water when pressure forces them through a semipermeable membrane. Water flows from the RO membrane's more concentrated side (high contaminants) to the less concentrated side (less contaminants) to provide clean drinking water. When applying pressure to a solution on one side of a selective membrane, RO and nanofiltration membranes are typically employed as a filtration method to remove various forms of dissolved solids (large molecules and ions) from solutions. Most commonly used as crossflow filters, RO membranes assist in controlling the thickness of the solids on the filter and prevent blockage by retaining the flow turbulence created by the wastewater's high velocity as it travels over the filter.

Market Dynamics

Global RO Membrane and Components Market Drivers

Increasing Population and Rapid Urbanization

Urbanization is the process of the rising proportion of people living in urban settings. Cities are home to more than half of the world's population and produce more than 80% of GDP. Concern over water contamination has grown due to the economy's rapid growth and the acceleration of urbanization and industrialization. Water quality in cities is significantly impacted by population growth. Moreover, there is projected to be a rise in demand for RO membranes for wastewater treatment due to the increasing number of companies that emit pollutants. Thus, an increase in demand for RO membranes is anticipated due to urbanization and rising consumer awareness.

Additionally, urbanization impacts the environment due to population growth and rising resource demands. Pollution and crowded living situations are the main reasons why it has health issues. Metropolitan regions also have poor water quality due to industrial pollution and other issues. As a result, the need to consume clean water has evolved into the primary goal in metropolitan areas, creating more prospects for the RO membrane industry. With increasing consumer awareness of contaminated water and its effects, the demand for RO membrane water treatment systems is expected to rise.

Growing Demand for Water and Wastewater Treatment in Developing Countries

Developing countries are encumbered with diverse problems, and wastewater management is gradually becoming a priority. In developing economies, wastewater management is aggravated by inadequate management, accelerating urbanization, and the execution of advanced treatment technologies that are very well centralized. Reverse osmosis is a modern solution to wastewater treatment. For instance, the leading-edge spiral design of membranes eradicates impurities from the water feed without using resins, chemicals, or ion exchange beds.

Integrating water and wastewater systems has been proposed recently through separate gathering and treatment of numerous water and waste streams and recovery of nutrients, energy, and valuable water. This helps to surmount the drawbacks of the centralized approach and shift toward more economical and ecological wastewater management systems. Moreover, advanced decentralized systems are being implemented and planned for new and forthcoming urban development in combination with a centralized system or as separate facilities. In developing countries, wastewater management has various challenges and impediments, which can be overcome by appropriate planning and policy implementation. This provides greater opportunities to the RO membrane market.

Global RO Membrane and Components Market Restraint

Discharge of Dense Brine as Waste

Brine is commonly defined as water with a salt concentration exceeding fifty parts per thousand. However, some brines can be several times saltier. Brine is a by-product of several industrial processes such as power plant cooling towers, desalination, water produced from oil and natural gas extraction, wastewater treatments, reverse osmosis rejection, waste streams from food, pulp, and paper mill effluent, and beverage processing. In addition to diluted salts, they may contain residues of cleaning agents and pre-treatment substances, the by-products of their reactions, and heavy metals resulting from corrosion.

Wastewater brine could pose a significant environmental hazard due to sediment formation, corrosive impacts of salts, and toxicity of other diluted chemicals. Brine is heavier than seawater and could accumulate on the ocean's bottom. Therefore, proper diffusion methods such as installing underwater diffusers in the sewage are essential to reduce the environmental impact.

Moreover, uncontaminated brine from desalination plants and cooling towers can drown in the ocean. Fresh water is produced in the driest parts of the Middle East and North Africa by eliminating salt from seawater, which produces brine as waste, which might aggravate the scaling and fouling of RO membranes. This is one of the major factors limiting the growth of the RO membrane and components market.

Global RO Membrane and Components Market Opportunities

Stringent Wastewater Treatment Regulations

Government regulations and rising demand for clean processed drinking water drive the growth of the water and wastewater treatment industry. Implementing stringent regulations on industries and power plants regarding discharges in water bodies is the key factor driving RO membrane market growth. The industrial sector uses RO membranes since they produce significant hazardous discharges to aquatic ecosystems and water bodies. The emissions include arsenic, salt, nitrate, mercury, selenium, lead, and other toxic elements that lead to a misbalance of the ecosystem.

Furthermore, the global industrial wastewater treatment sector is growing rapidly, producing much wastewater from municipal and industrial sewages. An alarming rate of industrial waste impels environmental regulatory boards to establish specific norms and regulations for wastewater treatment and standards for sewage discharge. Therefore, it has become important for companies to have operating treatment plants to fulfill strict environmental standards. With stringent regulatory standards, the demand for RO membranes is likely to grow during the forecast period within the wastewater treatment industry.

Regional Analysis

North America Dominates the Global Market

Based on region, the global RO membrane and components market is bifurcated into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.

North America is the most significant global RO membrane and components market shareholder and is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 9.22% during the forecast period. The demand for RO membranes is expected to increase in the region with increasing adoption from end-user industries such as power, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, and food and beverage. Companies are also moving toward using membrane systems, which are more cost-effective, in water treatment and desalination units as a result of fast industrialization. The municipal wastewater treatment market holds significance in the RO membrane landscape. However, alternate industrial wastewater treatment applications also have robust growth opportunities. These opportunities are in verticals such as oil and gas, food, beverage, and mining. Moreover, increased R&D expenditures for better technologies and a rise in the demand for water treatment systems in the region contribute to the RO membrane and component market's expansion in North America.

Asia-Pacific is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 10.66% over the forecast period. Growing industrialization and associated environmental concerns in nations like China, Japan, and India help to support the rise. Due to rising water contamination levels, the government has begun putting in municipal desalination systems. This factor is expected to increase the demand for RO membranes and components during the forecast period. In addition, rising awareness of the ill effects of contaminated water and the growing urban population in the region support the growth of the region's RO membrane and components market.

In Europe, the demand for water treatment facilities from various end-user sectors, including chemicals, textiles, pharmaceuticals, energy, and food and beverages, can be credited to the market's expansion. Healthcare problems have grown in the area since the COVID-19 outbreak started. This is expected to increase the region's demand for RO membranes and components. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has deliberated to apply stringent rules and regulations regarding installing RO membrane-based water treatment plants across industries. Moreover, ongoing research and development projects by important players to advance RO membrane technology for better water purification fuel the market expansion for RO membranes and components in Europe.

In LAMEA, the market is largely propelled by the rising awareness of preserving water quality and maintaining natural water resources. RO membranes offer high water recovery rates and great service life to industrial plants. Increasing advancements in RO membrane technology support the region's RO membrane and components market growth. Growing funding in several development plans throughout Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina also increases product demand. For instance, the Brazilian government announced a USD 1.4 billion investment in 2018 for sanitation initiatives under the "Time to Move Forward-Cities" program.

Moreover, the region is implementing rules for controlling how industrial and municipal waste is disposed of in water bodies, positively affecting market expansion. Furthermore, swift urbanization, industrialization, and increasing demand for processed water further enhance market growth. Therefore, the market is anticipated to grow robust during the forecast period.

Report Scope

Report Metric Details
By Membrane Type
  1. Thin-film Composite Membranes
  2. Cellulose-based Membranes
By Components
  1. Pre-treatment Cartridges
  2. Pumps
  3. Pressure Vessel/Housing
    1. RO Membrane Modules
    2. Tubular-Shaped Membranes
    3. Plate and Frame Membranes
    4. Spiral-Wound Membranes
    5. Hollow-Fiber Membranes
  4. Others
By End-User
  1. Water and Wastewater Treatment 
  2. Industrial Processing
Company Profiles DuPont Nitto Denko Corporation Koch Separation Solutions TORAY INDUSTRIES SUEZ LG Chem LANXESS Toyobo Theway Membranes
Geographies Covered
North America U.S. Canada
Europe U.K. Germany France Spain Italy Russia Nordic Benelux Rest of Europe
APAC China Korea Japan India Australia Singapore Taiwan South East Asia Rest of Asia-Pacific
Middle East and Africa UAE Turkey Saudi Arabia South Africa Egypt Nigeria Rest of MEA
LATAM Brazil Mexico Argentina Chile Colombia Rest of LATAM
Report Coverage Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends
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Segmental Analysis

The global RO membrane and components market is segmented by membrane type, component, and end-user. 

Based on membrane type, the global market is bifurcated into thin-film composite membranes and cellulose-based membranes. 

The thin-film composite membranes segment dominates the global market and is projected to exhibit a CAGR of 9.24% over the forecast period. Thin-film composite (TFC) membranes are semipermeable membranes designed for water purification or desalination. They are used in chemical applications such as batteries and fuel cells. In addition, TFC is an RO membrane composed of and manufactured in three layers. The two base layers of the asymmetric design have a thin skin (third) layer of either polyamide or charged polysulfone deposited on the surface. The thin film is the salt-rejecting layer, where the two base layers deliver a permeable structure whose prime function is strength.

Additionally, TFC membranes fall mostly within RO and nanofiltration (NF) membranes. Both kinds are constructed from a thin polyamide layer (about 200 nm) deposited on top of an absorbent layer of polyethersulfone or polysulfone (about 50 microns thick) on a support sheet made of non-woven fabric. The three layers help reject undesired materials such as salts and provide desired properties such as high filtration and good mechanical strength.

Based on components, the global market is bifurcated into pre-treatment cartridges, pumps, pressure vessel/housing, RO membrane modules (tubular-shaped membranes, plate and frame membranes, spiral-wound membranes, hollow-fiber membranes), and others. 

The pre-treatment cartridges segment owns the highest market share and is projected to exhibit a CAGR of 8.83% over the forecast period. Pre-treatment cartridges help maintain membrane life and sustain performance. Raw feed water contains postponed particulate matter. This matter usually includes iron oxides, sand, elemental sulfur, or clay. Such materials could cause the membrane system to produce excessive system differential pressure (dP) or completely clog the brine stations, reducing permeate flow. It could also cause physical harm to membranes. This generally reduces the permeate quality and decreases membrane life. Cartridge filtration is generally a simple and cost-effective way to decrease the number of particulate substances reaching the membrane surface.

Based on end-users, the global market is divided into water and wastewater treatment and industrial processing. 

The water and wastewater treatment segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 9.88% throughout the forecast period. The water and wastewater treatment segment is one of the largest end-user industries in the RO membrane market. Water scarcity and improving regulations mandating wastewater treatment and recycling drive the growth of the water and wastewater treatment segment. The increasing demand for potable water from countries like China, Brazil, India, and Africa has also increased the demand for water and wastewater treatment. This water and wastewater treatment market is anticipated to be further propelled by the increasing desalination activities in Saudi Arabia, the US, the UAE, China, and India.

Market Size By Membrane Type

Market Size By Membrane Type
  • Thin-film Composite Membranes
  • Cellulose-based Membranes
  • Recent Developments

    • May 2023 - Toray Industries, Inc. announced the launch of the Torayvino™ Cassetty 310MX faucet-mounted water purifier in late May. It contains one cartridge. Pricing will be at the retailer's discretion. It will be available from mass merchandisers, home centers, appliance stores, and other retailers around Japan.
    • July 2023 - DuPont announced the commercial launch of the new DuPont™ FilmTec™ LiNE-XD nanofiltration membrane elements for lithium brine purification. The FilmTec™ LiNE-XD and LiNE-XD HP represent DuPont's first product offerings dedicated to lithium brine purification – offering high lithium passage from typical chloride-rich Li-brine streams and an excellent selectivity over divalent metals such as magnesium.

    Key Players

    RO Membrane and Components Market Share of Key Players

    RO Membrane and Components Market Share of Key Players
    DuPont Nitto Denko Corporation Koch Separation Solutions TORAY INDUSTRIES SUEZ LG Chem LANXESS Toyobo Theway Membranes Others

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    What is the estimated growth rate (CAGR) of the global RO Membrane and Components Market?
    The global RO Membrane and Components Market size is growing at a CAGR of 9.86% from 2023 to 2031.
    North America has the largest share of the market.
    Increasing population and rapid urbanization and growing demand for water and wastewater treatment in developing countries are the key driver for the growth of the market.
    Stringent wastewater treatment regulations is one of the upcoming trend in the market.
    The key players in the global Market include DuPont, Nitto Denko Corporation, Koch Separation Solutions, TORAY INDUSTRIES, SUEZ, LG Chem, LANXESS, Toyobo, Theway Membranes.

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