Advanced Nanotechnology will be Intimidation to the RO & UF Membrane Market in Coming Future.

Published By: IndustryARC Published On : 24-Mar-2016

Filtration refers to a process which removes particulate matter from the solution; either water, food or any other medical solution by pushing water through a porous source. This source can be natural or can be a membrane which is made up of various materials. The size of material can be changed depending upon the size of pores.

As per International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the world’s desalination plants consume almost 360 million kilowatt-hours each day. Desalination plants are always preferred to always allocate near electrical power generating stations due to their excessive energy consumption. According USGS (United States Geological Survey), oceans contain 96.5 percent of all the water on Earth but it is salty water which cannot be used for drinking. Therefore, it causes the problem of supply and quality of water. Communities which are near to seawater using RO and UF technology is difficult and expensive but nanotechnology is making desalination process more economical.

Traditionally, RO and UF are introduced to filter brackish water and seawater and make it for drinkable purpose. UF class membrane allows complete channel to ionic species but it holds untouched solutes which weigh 5,000 molecular, through simple separating process whereas RO membranes remove high levels of ionic species by using more complicated mechanism. On the contrary, Nanofiltration (NF) or Nanotechnology (NT) is unique filtration process in between RO and UF filtration process which is designed mainly to achieve extremely explicit separation of low molecular weight compounds which includes minerals and salts from complex process streams. NF has a pore size around 0.001 microns. It helps to removes most organic molecules, viruses and most of the natural organic matter and salts. NF also removes divalent ions and it is basically used to improve membrane performance which also helps to reduce the energy required to desalinate water. NT is widely used in various applications such as de-ashing of dairy products, regaining of hydrolysed proteins, concentration of sugars and purification of soluble pigments and dyes.

RO and UF membranes are basically used to treat potable and wastewater but NF helps in all those areas as well as others too. The necessity to remove related chemicals in various production streams such as pesticides, biochemical, nutraceuticals, flavorings, and pharmaceutical is well assumed in these industries as a result NF is sustaining expectations of the market. The use of NF in place of RO is beneficial in monetary terms and also advances formerly infeasible applications in water recovery and reuse in both municipal applications and in the extraction industries such as oil & gas and mining industries. The reason behind the replacement of technology in the market is reduction of energy cost; repossession of valuable minerals, elements, chemicals, diminish volumes of toxic pollutants for disposal or further treatment; low cost process streams which is quite appropriate for direct disposal.

FIGURE 1	Water Reuse Equipment

Stringent regulation by government association for process water in manufacturing industries such as pharmaceutical and semiconductor in combination with escalating government concentration on water reuse and recycling with the help of zero liquid discharge technology and non-revenue water program is growing the capital expenditure in both developed and developing markets, which results in expansion of water and water recycling market.

In the period of 2009 to 2016; countries are growing their water reuse capacities with capital expenditure on water reuse and it is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 19.5% while the global installed capacity of high quality water reuse plants is expected to grow from 28 million cubic meters per day to 79 million cubic meters per day.

Countries such as Kuwait, Israel, and Singapore with 91%, 85%, and 35% of its wastewater reuse respectively are leading in the market. The water reuse market still holds massive prospect in countries like Australia, U.S, India and China, where the water recycling rate is fewer than 20%.

Approximately 3,000 water reuse facilities around the globe are functioning which is expected to surge in coming future. China publicized the installation of an additional capacity of 10.7 million cubic meters and on the other hand the U.S. is also anticipated to install an additional capacity of 5.9 million cubic meters between 2009 and 2016.

TABLE 1.	Countries Investing Heavily Into Water

As per the current trends, escalating demand for water recycling and reuse technologies at China’s power plants are driving the development of the market. Apart from power industries; steel, chemicals, paper manufacture, leather, and pharmaceuticals are the industries which are accountable for the growth of water and water recycling market in the China. In 2014, China held 4,295 wastewater treatment plants which are estimated to grow at a CAGR of 6% over the next five years. Economic development in provinces of China such as Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shandong, Zhejiang, Henan and Fujian is the significant growth driver for the Chinese water reuse market. Taking into consideration, all the possible events it is anticipated, that, RO & UF market would lose its share to Nanotechnology in the coming future.

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