The global ultra-pure water market size was valued at USD 1,824 million in 2021, which is envisioned to grow at a CAGR of 10% and reach USD 3,910 million during the forecast period. Ultrapure water is water that satisfies strict limits or specifications regarding biological organisms (such as pyrogens, bacteria, and viruses), organic carbon, dissolved and suspended solids, and dissolved gases. Manufacturing processes for electronic, optical, and pharmaceutical components almost always utilize ultra-pure water. In addition to dialysis and research, ultrapure water is used in medical applications. To be considered ultrapure, water must meet stringent purity requirements. As an industrial solvent, ultrapure water can be regarded. It is purified to the highest possible standards for all possible types of contaminants, including organic and inorganic compounds, dissolved and particulate matter, and dissolved gases. These standards are adhered to throughout the purification process.
The ultra-pure water market's growth is driven by the increasing demand from the semiconductor and pharmaceutical industry. The semiconductor industry requires ultrapure water to manufacture printed circuit boards and other susceptible electronic components. Numerous water-soluble minerals leave a residue that can hinder performance, so demineralized water is commonly used. Nanotechnology research is another area where ultrapure water has recently garnered increased interest. Specific components used particularly in biological research require ultrapure water to function correctly, necessitating pumping devices that can withstand high osmotic pressure and clean surfaces when employing complex analytical instruments.
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The Growing Demand from the Semiconductor and Pharmaceutical Industry
Ultrapure water can be considered a solvent for industrial use. It is purified to the highest possible standards for all contaminants, such as organic and inorganic compounds, dissolved particulate matter, and dissolved gases. The purification process adheres to the most stringent standards. The semiconductor industry, one of the largest in the world in terms of added value, requires the purest water during its production activities. A single 8-inch silicon wafer, which serves as the foundation for approximately 100 chips, can use up to 7,500 liters of water, of which about two-thirds must be ultra-pure water. As a cleaning agent, semiconductor facilities utilize ultra-pure water. Therefore, the water mustn't contain any soluble contaminants that can precipitate or particles that can lodge on circuits and cause microchip failure. In turn, the semiconductor industry's rapid expansion is driving the market demand for ultrapure water. In addition, as semiconductor manufacturers invest more in installing new manufacturing facilities and developments around the globe, the need for ultrapure water in producing semiconductors is anticipated to increase over the forecast period.
In addition, the pharmaceutical industry is expanding year-over-year due to specific irrefutable facts, such as the rising population and number of people with illnesses. As an enterprise grows, its demand for raw materials and manufacturing capacity increases. In the pharmaceutical industry, water is used for drug synthesis and cleaning, and water for injection must meet stringent quality standards outlined in various pharmacopeias. Thus, there is a growing demand for ultra-pure water, water treatment systems, and process equipment in the pharmaceutical industry. Access to ultra-pure water is expected to increase as a result of technological advances like membrane separation, irradiation, nanoparticle diagnosis, bioaugmentation, and hybrid technology; this will lead to the expansion of small and medium enterprise (SME) roles in the pharmaceutical industry, particularly in cities of populous nations such as India and China.
High Consumption of Water for Purification to Restrict Market Growth
General water purification stages include water clarifiers, filters (depth/carbon), membrane separation (reverse osmosis), primary demineralized (ion exchanger), storage tanks, polishing demineralized (polisher), ultraviolet sterilizer, and submicron filter. These processes are assembled in a robust series and order, which is necessary to enhance the purity of a raw water source to the quality levels required by the cutting-edge semiconductor manufacturing or life-sustaining pharmaceutical industries. Total dissolved solids (TDS), metals, dissolved oxygen (DO), particles, and bacterial microorganisms are the primary contaminants targeted during ultra-pure water production. Due to the constant push for ultra-pure water quality and the technological limitations of the present day, there is a general trend of high-water consumption to produce the required ultra-pure water quality. Thus, it is anticipated to be a restraint on the market for ultra-pure water. In addition, processes requiring ultrapure water continuously replace the consumed water. The replacement water source is typically a nearby river or lake, which must be pre-treated and purified before use. This is another factor restraining the ultra-pure water market, as such consumption raises ethical concerns.
Increasing the Process of Purification to Boost Market Opportunities
Membrane distillation (MD) is a burgeoning membrane separation technique that has the potential to treat aqueous solutions with a high concentration of suspended substances and convert them into ultrapure water. The driving force behind this technique is the difference in vapor pressure over a porous hydrophobic gaseous membrane, and the difference in temperature over the membrane initiates the entire process. Membrane distillation is a cheaper and more energy-efficient alternative to other commercial water purification processes, such as reverse osmosis. In addition to making membrane mechanical properties less demanding, membrane distillation reduces steam space relative to conventional distillation processes. A further benefit of membrane distillation is that the membranes play a minimal role in the separation process. Therefore, membrane distillation can be indispensable to the conventional ultra-pure water production method. Increasing the efficiency of the purification process through such an addition represents a future opportunity for the ultra-pure water market demand.
The global ultra-pure water market is classified based on application, end-user industry, and region.
The segments are Cleaning, Etching, Ingredient, and Other Applications based on application.
The cleaning segment is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.31% and hold the largest market share during the forecast period. Ultra-pure water refers to high-purity water combined to form water purification component technologies to bring river water or water for industrial use as close to pure H2O as possible. It is used to clean the surfaces of semiconductor wafers and liquid crystal panels that must be free of even the smallest foreign particles. Semiconductor manufacturers typically use ultra-pure water (UPW) to eliminate contaminants, minerals, microorganisms, trace organic and inorganic chemicals, and nanoscale particles. UPW mechanisms for semiconductors are intended to produce ultra-pure water for use in cleaning and etching processes, as well as for washing and rinsing semiconductor components during the manufacturing cycle.
The etching segment will hold the second-largest share. In semiconductor device fabrication, etching refers to the technology that selectively removes material from a thin layer on a substrate (with or without prior structures on its surface) and creates a pattern of that material on the substrate as a result of this removal. To eliminate impurities, ultrapure water is used for removing and cleaning. It is primarily utilized in wet etching processes in the semiconductor and other industrial sectors.
The end-user industry segments include semiconductors, Pharmaceuticals, Power Generation, and Other End-user Industries.
The semiconductor segment is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.28% and hold the largest share during the forecast period. The semiconductor industry extensively uses ultra-pure water; this industry needs high-quality UPW. It can be used for rinsing the wafer after applying chemicals, diluting the substances themselves, in optics systems for immersion photolithography, or as a diluent for cooling fluid in some crucial applications. Even occasionally, UPW is used as a humidification source for cleanroom environments. The primary and most vital application of UPW is in front-end cleaning tools while creating the integrated circuit's foundation (transistors). For water to be used as a cleaning and etching agent, impurities that can cause product contamination or impact process efficiency (such as etch rate) must be removed. Water is also utilized in chemical-mechanical polishing processes, reagents, and abrasive particles. The increasing demand for semiconductors is projected to boost the global ultra-pure water market share.
The pharmaceutical segment will hold the second-largest share. Ultra-Pure water is utilized in the pharmaceutical industry for various applications, including bacteriostatic water for injection, sterile water for injection, sterile water for inhalation, sterile water for internal irrigation therapy products, and the bulk production of medicines for parenteral administration. Ultra-pure water is frequently required and a vital resource in cleaning applications. Additionally, it is used to produce clean steam for sterilization.
The region-wise segmentation of the global ultra-pure water market includes North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America, and Middle East & Africa.
The Asia Pacific and North America Will Dominate the Market
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Asia Pacific will command the market with the largest share while growing at a CAGR of 11% throughout the forecast period. The region's country China is the second-largest pharmaceuticals market in the world. The pharmaceutical market is expanding rapidly due to the country's growing middle class, aging population, rising incomes, and urbanization. China has one of the largest pharmaceutical industries in the world. The nation is involved in producing generic drugs, therapeutic drugs, active pharmaceutical ingredients, and traditional Chinese medicine. Over 90% of the nation's registered drugs are generic. This will increase the nation's pharmaceutical industry's demand for ultra-pure water.
In addition, China was the world's largest semiconductor market in 2020, with sales of USD 151.7 billion, a 5% increase over 2019. In addition, as part of the ambitious "Made in China 2025" plan, Chinese officials have set a goal for the semiconductor industry to produce USD 305 billion by 2030 and satisfy 80% of domestic demand. It is estimated that this will ascend the demand for ultrapure water during the forecast period.
North America will hold the second-largest share of USD 844 million and grow at a CAGR of 9.5%. In terms of size, the US electronics market is the largest in the world and one of the most promising areas for the ultra-pure water market. Due to the use of advanced technology, the increase in research and development centers, and the growing consumer demand, it is also expected to remain among the leading markets throughout the forecast period.
The US is also one of the world's largest manufacturers of semiconductors. After the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, the semiconductor industry is the second largest in the nation. The United States accounts for 47% of the global semiconductor sales market. The United States holds a 61% market share in the logic product category. In contrast, semiconductors from the United States account for 63% of the analog product type. It is expected that the growing semiconductors demand will drive the market for ultra-pure water in the country, thereby contributing to the region's market share.
List of key ultra-pure water market companies profiled