The competitive landscape of the global membrane separation market is dominated by multinational companies such as Koch Membrane Systems, 3M Company, Dow Chemical Company, Sartorius AG, Xylem Inc., Pall Corporation, and Merck Millipore. According to Transparency Market Research, ue to the large number of companies operating in various niches of the membrane separation market, the competition in the market is set to remain intense in the coming years.
Buyers of membrane separation products have a relatively low bargaining power in the global market at present, as membrane separation products are quite similar to each other. However, the increasing number of companies expanding beyond their original region is set to make the market more competitive in the coming years, boosting the power of the buyers.
Increasing Demand for Water in Emerging Regions Beneficial for Membrane Separation Market
Several emerging countries, such as India and China, are witnessing chronic water shortage problems due to improper management and insufficient availability of water treatment facilities. Membrane separation has emerged as a promising solution in these regions, albeit with the caveat of high costs. The chemical-free nature of membrane separation technology also makes it suitable for use in water reuse and wastewater treatment facilities, which is another rapidly growing industry in emerging economies.
The rapid growth of the industrial sector in emerging economies is also beneficial for the global membrane separation market, as many industries require purified water and most produce significant quantities of wastewater. Membrane separation allows the wastewater to be reused for non-consumptive purposes.
The growing population of emerging countries, with China, India, and Brazil being three of the five most populous countries in the world, is also crucial for the membrane separation market. The growing population in these countries has ensured steady demand for membrane separation technology in the coming years. This has made these regions a lucrative target for global giants in the membrane separation industry.
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Lack of Cost-effectiveness of Membrane Separation Leads to Threat from Alternatives
Despite being safe and environmentally viable, membrane technology is hamstrung by its high installation costs, which render it less cost-effective than conventional methods of water treatment. Despite the growing government support, membrane separation remains out of reach for many consumers in developing economies, leading to conventional methods often being preferred due to their higher cost-effectiveness.
The promising performance of conventional methods, which currently outweighs the threat posed by the chemicals used in them, has created a significant challenge for manufacturers of membrane separation technology. As a result, actively working on increasing public awareness about the safety benefits of membrane separation is a crucial strategy for market players.
Ultrafiltration to Exhibit Highest CAGR, Microfiltration to Retain Dominance
Of the various types of membrane separation technologies, microfiltration is likely to remain dominant through the forecast period, with the segment expected to reach a valuation of US$13.1 bn by 2019. Despite its dominance, microfiltration is on the wane, as ultrafiltration technology is expected to exhibit a robust 12.1% CAGR from 2013 to 2019 – the highest of all product segments of the membrane separation market.
Geographically, Europe is the leading consumer of membrane separation technology, due to the presence of several environmentally conscious and prosperous nations in the region. However, due to the increasing government support to the water and wastewater treatment sector in developing countries, Asia Pacific is likely to become a dominant regional market for membrane separation technologies by the end of the decade. The Asia Pacific membrane separation market is expected to be valued at US$13.1 bn by 2019