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Major Reverse Osmosis System Components for Water Treatment: The Global Market

  • May 2017
  • 158 pages
  • BCC Research
Report ID: 148900


Table of Contents

• The global market for RO system components for water treatment reached nearly $6.6 billion in 2016. The market should reach over $11.0 billion by 2021, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11% from 2016 to 2021.
• The global industrial market for RO system components for water treatment reached $4.0 billion in 2016. The market should reach $6.7 billion by 2021, growing at a CAGR of 10.9% from 2016 to 2021.
• The global agricultural/environmental market for RO system components for water treatment reached $349 million in 2016. The market should reach $611 million by 2021, growing at a CAGR of 11.9% from 2016 to 2021.

In its basic form, reverse osmosis (RO) is the passage of water, under pressure, via a solution-diffusion mechanism through a semipermeable membrane. Typical rejections are for materials with a molecular weight greater than about 150 daltons to 250 daltons. RO is a purification process with a difference. It offers a realistic chance of tapping replenishable water sources like sea-water on a large scale while conforming to the feasibility norms governing technology
and economics. When comparing competing filtration processes, larger RO setups are complex and require specialized engineering and management skills for their design, implementation and execution. Customization is the norm as the water processing capacity of RO setup increases. They can be clubbed
with power generating stations and can feed off each other. In the era of increasing population in the world’s most challenging regions, and challenging demands being set on the world’s water resources due to population increase as well as the consequent industrialization, RO enables the tapping of sea water, a minute fraction of which, if harnessed effectively, can cater to the entire global water demand.

While every setup has its own implementation objectives, there are certain commonalities that characterize most RO setups: membranes that provide the stage for reverse osmosis to happen; pressure vessels that house the membranes; pre-filters that make the life of the membrane simpler by filtering off a portion of the impurities; and pumps that produce the force which generates pressure when met with resistance. This report forecasts the market size for each of the components of the RO systems, breaks down the component market by region, application and operating pressure; breaks down the market for membranes and pressure vessels/housings by material employed; and, sheds light on water consumption patterns of individual regions and forecasts RO capacity addition.

Study Goals and Objectives
This report is an update of the report MST049E, published in 2014. It differs from the earlier report in the following ways:
• The scope of measurable metrics is expanded to include the breakdown of the component market by operating pressure.
• The scope of measurable metrics is expanded to include the breakdown of the RO membrane component market by material.
• The scope of measurable metrics is expanded to include the breakdown of the RO pressure vessel/housing market by material.
• The scope of measurable metrics is expanded to include the forecast for incremental RO water processing capacity.

On the whole, this BCC market research report provides an in-depth analysis of the technical and market drivers relating to the market for RO systems, evaluating the current worth of membranes, pressure vessels/housings, pre-filter cartridges, pumps and accessories. The study forecasts growth and trends in
the various sectors over the duration 2016-2021. The conclusions are illustrated with statistical information on markets, applications, industry structure and dynamics, along with technological developments.

Reasons for Doing This Study
The update provides additional breakdown by material and operating pressure. It also forecasts water processing capacity additions. The additional metrics expand the numerical context of this report considerably. This report is intended for those who require a thorough analysis of the RO component industry. This report traces significant developments and forecasts important trends, quantifies the various market sectors and profiles companies active in those areas. Because of the fragmented nature of the industry, it is difficult to find studies that gather extensive data from diverse resources and analyze it in the context of a comprehensive document. This report contains a unique collection of RO system component-related information and conclusions that is difficult to find elsewhere.

Scope of Report
This report presents the forecast for RO system components for 2016 through 2021 on a value basis, measured in millions of U.S. dollars, unadjusted for inflation. Water processing capacity is measured in million gallons per day (gpd). These forecasts are further broken down by geographical regions.
Individual end-applications are further broken down by components, market sectors and operating pressure. Of the components, membranes and pressure vessels/housings are further broken down by material employed.

The regional breakdown focuses on the following geographical areas:
• North America.
• Europe.
• Middle East and Africa (MEA)
• Asia-Pacific (APAC).
• Caribbean and Latin America (CALA).

Individual region markets are broken down by the following components:
• RO membrane modules.
• Cartridge pre-filters.
• Pressure vessels/housing.
• RO pumps.
• Ancillary components.

Individual region markets are broken down by the following market sectors:
• Industrial.
• Municipal.
• Military/agency.
• Agricultural (Ag)/environmental.

Individual region markets are broken down by the following operating pressure metrics:
• 50-250 pounds per square inch (psi).
• 250-400 psi.
• 400 psi and above.

Market for RO membrane modules is broken down by the following material:
• Thin-film and other advanced material (Thin-film).
• Cellulose acetate.
Market for RO pressure vessels/housings is broken down by the following material:
• Fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP).
• Steel.
• Polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

Chapter Two, “Executive Summary,” provides a broad level breakdown of the dollar sales of UF membrane technology, by end-use application. Chapter Three, “Reverse Osmosis and the Market Taxonomy,” defines the relevant terms, describes the evolution of RO component industry and provides a broad level overview of components, membrane and pressure housing materials, operating pressure geographical regions and market sectors. Chapter Four, “RO System Components and Global Markets,” analyses the RO system component market for individual geographical regions. The market for each geographical region is in turn broken down into individual components and operating pressure ratings. Markets for membrane components are broken down by membrane material, while the market for pressure housings are broken down by housing material. The chapter also analyses water consumption patterns and incremental RO capacity for individual regions. The chapter finally provides a treatise on the RO operating costs and trends influencing RO adoption.

Chapter Five, “U.S. Patent Analysis,” analyzes relevant patents by categories, allottees, countries and duration. Chapter Six, “Stakeholder Analysis,” explains the vendor landscape associated with the RO technology. It also profiles key companies that are manufacturers, designers and suppliers of one or more of the RO
system components.

Information Sources
Information in this report was derived from many different sources. SEC filings, annual reports, patent literature, business, scientific and industry journals, government reports, census information, conference literature, patent documents and on-line resources were researched. Information from the following industry associations also was reviewed: American Membrane Technology Association, American Water Works Association, International Desalination Association, WateReuse Association, Water and Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Association, the Water Environment Federation and the Semiconductor Industry Association.

Both primary and secondary research methodologies were used in compiling this market research report. These include re-analysis of the available technical and business literature, conversations with industry experts and company representatives, product literature from system suppliers, patent information, and companies’ annual reports and financial filings. Sales dollars are as received by membrane manufacturers and converted to U.S. dollars. While membrane prices depend on the area and prices of other components depend on their respective dimensions, the principal determinant for revenue numbers is the incremental water processing capacity demand. Equipment costs such as pumps, motors, pressure vessels, and pretreatment are evaluated separately. Post-treatment, civil works, real estate, engineering costs, computer automation, and installation are not included. Costs are adjusted to reflect U.S. dollars. Currency conversions are normalized as much as possible.

UF “membranes” refers to sheet, plate, hollow fiber, or tubular membrane material enclosed in housings, where relevant, and packaged into modules, cassettes, plate and frame, and other configurations. Forecasts in this report are based on announced projects and anticipated capacity additions over the
next five years. Costs are based on published data and interviews with industry participants. Calculations are based on the retail price of products rather than the discounted costs available to large volume users and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Sales of replacement membranes are included in market sizes and forecasts. Projections for each market are made in terms of constant dollars. Historical values are for the year given.

Geographic Breakdown
In this report, the geographic regions considered for market analysis include, and only include:
• North America.
• Europe.
• Middle East and Africa (MEA)
• Asia-Pacific (APAC).
• Caribbean and Latin America (CALA).

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