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  • Published In : Mar 2024
  • Code : CMI6810
  • Pages :136
  • Formats :
      Excel and PDF
  • Industry : Advanced Materials

Market Size and Trends

Global reverse osmosis membrane market is estimated to be valued at USD 4.14 Bn in 2024 and is expected to reach USD 8.11 Bn by 2031, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.1% from 2024 to 2031.

Global Reverse Osmosis Membrane Market Key Factors

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The demand for reverse osmosis membrane is expected to grow steadily during the forecast period. Rising consumption of treated water for various end-use industries such as municipal, industrial and others is expected to drive the market growth. In municipal applications, growing concerns regarding clean drinking water and wastewater recycling is anticipated to boost the installation of desalination plants using reverse osmosis membrane technology. Strict regulations regarding wastewater discharge from industrial facilities is likely to drive the market growth. The emergence of innovative low-pressure reverse osmosis membranes with improved flux rates and lower energy requirements compared to conventional membranes is expected to provide new growth opportunities over the next years.

Increasing global water scarcity issues

Increasing global water scarcity issues have become one of the major drivers for the reverse osmosis membrane market in recent times. Access to safe drinking water has become a huge challenge around the world, affecting millions of people every year. Several parts across the world are facing acute water shortages due to factors like increasing population, rapid urbanization, and depletion of fresh water resources and changing climate patterns. According to the United Nations, by 2025, around 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, and two-thirds of the world's population could be under water-stressed conditions. This has compelled various countries and municipal bodies to focus heavily on effective wastewater treatment and water reuse in order to deal with the shortages. Reverse osmosis membrane technology has emerged as a viable solution to treat wastewater for non-potable reuse applications like industrial processes, irrigation, cooling, cleaning and more. It offers immense potential to help ease stress on freshwater resources by maximizing water reuse. Many island nations and water-scarce regions plagued with limited natural freshwater endowments are majorly dependent on desalination through reverse osmosis technology to fulfill their water demand. The technology has also found increased acceptance for brackish water and sea water desalination in coastal cities and arid areas.

Market Concentration and Competitive Landscape

Global Reverse Osmosis Membrane Market Concentration By Players

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Stringent regulatory push for wastewater reuse and minimization of discharge

Regulatory bodies across many countries have been gradually tightening environmental discharge norms while also offering policy incentives for water reuse and recycling initiatives. This acts as key driver propelling the demand for reverse osmosis membrane technology in the municipal and industrial wastewater treatment domains.

Global Reverse Osmosis Membrane Market Key Takeaways From Lead Analyst

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Market Challenges: Energy Consumption, Cost, and Membrane Fouling

One of the major challenges faced by the reverse osmosis membrane market is the high energy consumption during the desalination process. As fresh water demand rises due to growing population and industrialization, the costs of desalination using reverse osmosis technology is becoming prohibitive for many regions. Membrane fouling during desalination further affects permeation flow and adds operational and maintenance challenges.

 Market Opportunities: Increasing Water Scarcity, Research & Development, and Wastewater Reuse

Increasing fresh water scarcity and depletion of existing water resources around the world has opened up significant opportunities for the reverse osmosis membrane market. Continuous research and development is improving membrane properties to reduce energy usage and costs.

Global Reverse Osmosis Membrane Market By Type

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Insights, By Type: Technological superiority propels thin-film composite segment growth

In terms of type, thin-film composite segment is estimated to contribute the 61.4% share of the market in 2024, owing to its technological advantages over other membrane types. Thin-film composite membranes offer superior permeability and selectivity as compared to traditional cellulose-based membranes. Their thin polymeric film and ultra-porous support layer structure allows for high flow rates while effectively blocking dissolved salts and other contaminants. Additionally, thin-film composite membranes are more durable and resistant to fouling than cellulose membranes, reducing maintenance and replacement costs.

Insights, By Filter Module: Spiral wound modules' space efficiency and ease of scaling boosts its dominance

In terms of filter module, spiral wound segment is estimated to contribute the 37.8% share of the market owing to its compact design and simple scalability. Spiral wound modules offer the highest available membrane area per volume through their rolled configuration of membrane sheets and feed spacers. This maximizes space efficiency and significantly reduces capital costs for larger desalination and water treatment plants. Spiral wound modules can also be easily scaled up by adding more membrane leafs and feed channels to the rolls. In contrast, other module types require additional costly infrastructure and retrofitting to increase capacity. Spiral wound modules also provide stable long-term performance through their durable closed-loop piping network. Their market dominance is expected to continue as water scarcity increases the need for large-scale, economical reverse osmosis solutions.

Insights, By Application: Wastewater reclamation drives growth in process water treatment applications

In terms of application, wastewater treatment & reuse segment is estimated to contribute the 39.8% share of the market due to the growing recognition and implementation of water recycling initiatives globally. Reverse osmosis plays a critical role in advanced wastewater treatment by removing dissolved salts, heavy metals, and other impurities to potable or near-potable standards. With freshwater scarcity on the rise, many industrial facilities and municipalities are adopting water reuse and reclamation practices to supplement their process water needs. Reverse osmosis allows for multiple stages of wastewater treatment and purification to achieve stringent quality criteria for non-potable reuse in cooling towers, boilers, and industrial processes. Rising environmental regulations regarding water discharge quality are also propelling the use of reverse osmosis in industrial wastewater treatment applications. As water scarcity concerns intensify worldwide, wastewater reclamation through reverse osmosis membrane technology is expected to be a major driver of segment growth.

Regional Insights

Global Reverse Osmosis Membrane Market Regional Insights

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North America has established itself as the largest regional market for reverse osmosis membranes globally with estimated 42.1% share in 2024. The region enjoys a strong presence of major membrane manufacturers along with robust demand from the industrial and municipal sectors. Stringent environmental regulations regarding water reuse and recycling have propelled the installation of desalination plants and purification systems across cities, thereby, boosting demand for membrane. Moreover, countries like the U.S. are one of the leading exporters of desalinated water to Latin America and the Caribbean, augmenting regional requirements. With capacity expansions underway, membrane suppliers are geographically well-positioned to cater to North American customers.

The Asia Pacific region has emerged as the fastest growing market for reverse osmosis membranes in recent years. Rapid industrialization and population growth have intensified the need for secure and sustainable water supplies. This has encouraged both international and domestic membrane manufacturers to boost their presence in the region. Countries like China, India and Saudi Arabia are at the forefront in terms of installing large-scale desalination plants based on reverse osmosis technology. Meanwhile, burgeoning water treatment activity across industrial units such as power, chemical and food & beverage has stimulated membrane imports. With supportive government initiatives and growing awareness, the APAC reverse osmosis membrane landscape is expected to flourish further in the coming years.

Market Report Scope

Global Reverse Osmosis Membrane Market Report Coverage

Report Coverage Details
Base Year: 2023 Market Size in 2024: US$ 4.14 Bn
Historical Data for: 2019 to 2031 Forecast Period: 2024 to 2031
Forecast Period 2024 to 2031 CAGR: 10.1% 2031 Value Projection: US$ 8.11 Bn
Geographies covered:
  • North America: U.S. and Canada
  • Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America
  • Europe: Germany, U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Russia, and Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific: China, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, ASEAN, and Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa : GCC Countries, Israel, and Rest of Middle East & Africa
Segments covered:
  • By Type: Thin-film composite and Cellulose-based membranes
  • By Filter Module: Spiral Wound, Hollow Fiber, Tubular, Plate and Frame
  • By Application: Desalination, Utility water treatment, Wastewater treatment & reuse, Process water
  • By End Use: Water & wastewater treatment and Industrial Processing 
Companies covered:

Alfa Laval, Axeon, Dupont Water Solutions, Hydramem, Hydranautics, KeenSen, Koch Separation Solutions, Lenntech, LG Chem, Mann+Hummel Water & Fluid Solutions, Membranium, Merck, Pall Water, Parker Hannifin Corporation, Suez Water Technologies & Solutions, Toray Industries, Inc., Toyobo Co. Ltd., Lenntech, Hi-Tech, Samco Technologies, Inc , Nitto Denko Corporation 

Growth Drivers:
  • Increasing global water scarcity issues
  • Stringent regulatory push for wastewater reuse and minimization of discharge 
Restraints & Challenges:
  • Energy Consumption, Cost, and Membrane Fouling
  • Chemical cleaning requirements

Key Developments

  • In October 2022, Mitsui O.S.K Lines, Ltd. and EnviroNor AS entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore potential collaboration on a Floating Desalination Vessel (FDV) project. Floating Desalination Vessel is a mobile infrastructure outfitted with seawater desalination technology, such as RO (Reverse Osmosis) membranes, that is designed to generate fresh water and deliver it to coastal areas
  • In November 2022, Saudi-Abunayyan Holding and Japan's Toray Industries announced plans for a collaborative effort to establish Saudi Arabia's inaugural RO (Reverse Osmosis) membrane production facility. This groundbreaking venture aims to construct a plant with an annual capacity of 254,000 membranes, marking a significant milestone in the region's water treatment industry. Scheduled to commence operations in 2025, this initiative underscores a strategic collaboration between the two companies to enhance local manufacturing capabilities and contribute to the advancement of water treatment technologies in Saudi Arabia.
  • Koch's partnership with Waste 3R Engineering & Solutions in October 2020 is focused on advancing separation technologies for industrial water and wastewater projects in Bangladesh. This partnership aims to enhance recycling and reuse efforts by utilizing Koch's membrane products and systems.
  • In November 2020, LG Chem provided RO (Reverse Osmosis) membranes for the Al Khobar II project in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This project, with a substantial production capacity of 600 million liters per day (MLD), is designed to fulfill stringent water quality standards while emphasizing low energy consumption. By incorporating LG Chem's advanced RO membrane technology, the Al Khobar II project aims to efficiently produce high-quality water, demonstrating a commitment to sustainable water management practices and resource efficiency in the region
  • *Definition: The reverse osmosis membrane market consists of companies involved in the manufacturing and sales of reverse osmosis membranes. These membranes are semipermeable and are used in desalination systems and water purification plants to remove dissolved salts, molecules and ions from water through osmotic pressure. These find applications in home, commercial and industrial uses to provide clean potable water from brackish or sea water.

Market Segmentation

  • Type Insights (Revenue, USD Bn, 2019 - 2031)
    • Thin-film composite
    • Cellulose-based membranes
  •  Filter Module Insights (Revenue, USD Bn, 2019 - 2031)
    • Spiral Wound
    • Hollow Fiber
    • Tubular
    • Plate and Frame
  •  Application Insights (Revenue, USD Bn, 2019 - 2031)
    • Desalination
    • Utility water treatment
    • Wastewater treatment & reuse
    • Process water
  •  End Use Insights (Revenue, USD Bn, 2019 - 2031)
    • Water & wastewater treatment
    • Industrial Processing
  • Regional Insights (Revenue, USD Bn, 2019 - 2031)
    • North America
      • U.S.
      • Canada
    • Latin America
      • Brazil
      • Argentina
      • Mexico
      • Rest of Latin America
    • Europe
      • Germany
      • U.K.
      • Spain
      • France
      • Italy
      • Russia
      • Rest of Europe
    • Asia Pacific
      • China
      • India
      • Japan
      • Australia
      • South Korea
      • ASEAN
      • Rest of Asia Pacific
    • Middle East & Africa
      • GCC Countries
      • Israel
      • Rest of Middle East & Africa
  • Key Players Insights
    • Alfa Laval
    • Axeon
    • Dupont Water Solutions
    • Hydramem
    • Hydranautics
    • KeenSen, Koch Separation Solutions
    • Lenntech
    • LG Chem
    • Mann+Hummel Water & Fluid Solutions
    • Membranium
    • Merck
    • Pall Water
    • Parker Hannifin Corporation
    • Suez Water Technologies & Solutions
    • Toray Industries, Inc.
    • Toyobo Co. Ltd.
    • Lenntech
    • Hi-Tech
    • Samco Technologies, Inc
    • Nitto Denko Corporation 

Frequently Asked Questions

The CAGR of global reverse osmosis membrane market is projected to be 10.1% from 2024 to 2031.

Increasing global water scarcity issues and stringent regulatory push for wastewater reuse and minimization of discharge are the major factor driving the growth of global reverse osmosis membrane market.

Energy consumption, cost, and membrane fouling and chemical cleaning requirements are the major factor hampering the growth of global reverse osmosis membrane market.

In terms of type, thin-film composite segment is estimated to dominate the market in 2024.

Alfa Laval, Axeon, Dupont Water Solutions, Hydramem, Hydranautics, KeenSen, Koch Separation Solutions, Lenntech, LG Chem, Mann+Hummel Water & Fluid Solutions, Membranium, Merck, Pall Water, Parker Hannifin Corporation, Suez Water Technologies & Solutions, Toray Industries, Inc., Toyobo Co. Ltd., Lenntech, Hi-Tech, Samco Technologies, Inc , Nitto Denko Corporation  are the major players.

North America is expected to lead the global reverse osmosis membrane market.

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