The global Ceramic Membrane market size was valued at USD 8,481.5 million in 2018 and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 7.6% during the forecast period. Ceramic membranes come in a variety of shapes, sizes and configurations, Manufacturers provide customized products having different channel diameters, as well as multi-channel construction to provide a higher membrane density. These product offerings vary from each other and are in line with the client requirements. The ability of the material to comply with customization is one of the important factors for the broadening application portfolio of the product.
Some of the other advantages include resistance to ageing, reliability, mechanical stability even under a large pressure gradient, backwash ability, resistance to abrasion, better control over pore dimension fouling, effective elimination of additives, environmentally sustainable, and ability to operate at wide operational temperatures among others. Due to all these inherent advantages, they find applications in high demanding applications such as chemicals, textiles, food & beverages, water treatment, among others.
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Ceramic membranes are used to separate particulate matter from a fluid stream in a variety of separation systems. They generally are composed of an asymmetrical structure and usually have two to three different levels of porosity. An intermediate level of layer is often applied to decrease the overall surface roughness. When in application, these membranes are grouped together often in housing and show excellent properties such as high temperature stability, resistance to chemical activity, a high degree of operational efficiency under varying pressure ranges among others. Such properties displayed by them have increased their overall applicability particularly in areas where polymer membranes are not fit for use.
As compared to other conventional filtration methods, Ceramic Membrane in industries such as dairy, offer flexible yet high yield and optimum quality production of products such as cheese, yogurt etc. They also provide the ability to producers to manufacture premium products irrespective of change in procurement of raw materials. They also can be used to obtain high process yield without much divergence in the quality. The global rise in demand for premium products is thus in turn expected to benefit the market growth over the next few years.
The market is primarily segmented on the basis of Application, By Material, By Technology, and geographic region.
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In the food & beverage industry, ceramic membranes are employed for a variety of application such as juice, wine & beer clarification, juice concentration, sterilization, separation and fractionation of milk and whey, as well as desalination of whey, product dewatering, as well as drinking water purification. The global food & beverage industry is growing on account of rising population, demand for premium products, improving economic conditions resulting in rising disposable income and standard of living and this global growth is in turn expected to contribute to the growth of the overall market over the forecast period.
Pharmaceutical applications are one of the most promising segments and the segment is expected to witness robust growth over the forecast period. In the industry they are used for a variety of purposes including pharmaceutics separation from wastewater, oil water separation, germs & virus retention, organic solvent filtration, separation of dyes & pigments, acids & caustic filtration, among others. In pharmaceutical applications, the usage of conventional membranes is not suitable owing to their efficiency, ability and economic factors and hence, the industry has started shifting its focus towards usage of ceramic membranes.
Ultrafiltration enjoyed the highest penetration in 2018 and is expected to do so over the forecast period. Companies have broadened their product portfolios to offer a wide range of ceramic membranes having customized dimensions. This helps companies to serve varying client requirements in terms of impurity profile, yield target, viscosity and molecular size among others. Ultrafiltration ceramic membranes can be used for a variety of purposes such as concentration, purification and clarification of liquids and is used to remove a variety of particulates such as suspended solids, metal hydroxides, viruses, bacteria, emulsified oils among others. The wide applicability of Ultrafiltration has thus benefitted the segment growth.
Microfiltration segment is also expected to witness robust growth over the forecast period. They are mostly used for clarification, removal of suspended solids for producing clear liquid. The process can also be used in conjunction with other filtration technologies. Some of the applications include food processing, dehydration in pharmaceutical applications, bacteria removal, as well as removal of pigments, polysaccharides, among others. All these factors are expected to benefit the segment growth over the forecast period.
Alumina dominated the ceramic membranes market and is expected to grow at an anticipated CAGR of 7.8% over the forecast period. Alumina ceramic membranes offer high purity in terms of membrane quality in addition to providing high efficiency. They also provide wide compatibility in terms of chemical as well as pH ranges in the process streams. They are also instrumental in resisting corrosion over a long time period, and are effective in providing protection against product leakage. These properties have resulted in the broadening of the application portfolio of alumina ceramic membrane material.
Zirconia is another segment that is expected to witness modest growth over the forecast period. The material has been cleared by regulatory agencies such as FDA for usage in pharmaceutical applications. The primary reason for the same is that the material exhibits zero absorption of biological materials. They can be used in applications such as bulk fermentation broth clarification, antibiotics protein removal, solvent extract clarification, as well as bacteria removal. The strong growth in the usage of ceramic membranes in pharmaceutical sector is benefitting the zirconia segment growth.
Asia Pacific emerged as the largest market in 2018 and this trend is expected to continue its dominance till the end of the forecast period. North America is also expected to witness substantial growth over the forecast period. The growing food & beverage industry in Asia Pacific, government focus as well as initiatives pertaining to water treatment, modernization of industries such as textiles are some of the factors favoring the market growth in Asia Pacific.
Germany ceramic membrane industry will pose a significant growth rate in the region. Water treatment accounts for the substantial share in the country particularly supported by municipal and industrial requirement for treated water. High consumer awareness in the country along with vast industrial base supports the overall ceramic membrane market demand.
Companies operating in the ceramic membrane space have developed products that have low flow resistance while in turn delivering high mechanical as well as chemical stability. They have also made metallurgical strides and now use a combination of manufacturing materials to produce quality and superior product. Advancements in manufacturing processes have enabled manufacturers to have better control over various product aspects such as layer texture, porosity, among others. Such trends have resulted in the serving of customized needs of high value applications such as premium food products, pharmaceuticals, etc and this trend has benefitted the overall market growth.
Companies such as TAMI Industries, A-tech innovation GmbH, Liqtech A/S, Saint Gobain, Qua Group LLC, Hyflux Limited, Nanostone Water Inc., GEA Group, Toray Industry Inc., Veolia Water Technologies, and Pall Corporation are some of the key players operating in the market.