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Vector Research - Global Technologies.


Both the United Nations and the World Bank have listed water as one of the most serious crises the world will face in the 21st century. Often times the problem is that there is not enough water in the right place or the water is too contaminated for people to consume safely. Thus, a variety of water treatment technologies exist to treat municipal sources as well as industrial discharges into surface water. These technologies also are used by industries in order to prevent the corrosion of machinery, by beverage produces in order to comply with federal regulations and provide a consistent product, and by consumers who install filtration systems in their homes in order not to feel as compromised about the tap water they receive.

According to a soon-to-be-released BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS, INC. study RE-088 Advanced Potable Water Treatment Technology the overall total market is projected to increase at 6.8%/yr., to reach over $5.8 billion by the year 2003. Among the various membrane technologies, reverse osmosis is one of the largest and fastest growing technologies with value estimated at $482 million in 1997 and growing at 10.6% per year to reach $889 million in 2003.

Microfiltration (MF) is a low-pressure (typically 1 to 10 psi) process that separates suspended materials from water. Its fast growing (9.8%) market value, estimated at $294 million, can be attributed to its growing use in municipal water recycling. It is also used in industrial and high tech applications such as the preparation of sterilized water in the pharmaceutical industry and the preparation of purified makeup water in the semiconductor industry.

Activated carbon is an old technology that is used in all segments of the water market. Its estimated value for 1997 is $481 million and is growing at 8.0% annually. UV and chemical treatment is widely used in municipal and industrial applications. UV treatment is used as a purifier in point-of- entry home filtration products and in some water treatment arrays in the beverage industry. The estimated market value of these technologies is $1.4 billion, growing 6.6% annually.

Ozonation is being used almost universally in the bottled water industry where it is usually one of the last steps before bottling. This application contributes to the estimated $155 million, growing at 3.9% per year.

A large part of ion exchange resinís (IERs) estimated $131 million value can be attributed to its use in steam generation in industrial and power plants. This application for IERs is growing quite slowly and contributes to the relatively slow annual growth rate of IERs, 3.7%.

Greensand and dual filtering reduces stain-causing minerals such as iron and manganese. Overall, the 1997 greensand and dual filtering market is estimated at $466 million, growing 3.5% annually.

($ Millions)

Technology 1997 2000 2003 AGGR (%)
Reverse Osmosis 486 654 889 10.6
Microfiltration 294 389 517 9.8
Activated Carbon 481 603 762 8.0
Ultraviolet & Chemical Treatment 1418 1720 2086 6.6
Depth Filtration 534 610 697 4.5
Ozonation 155 174 196 4
Ion Exchange Resings 131 146 163 3.7
Greensand & Dual filtering 466 517 573 3.5
Total 3965 4813 5883 6.8

Source: BCC, Inc.

RE-088 Advanced Potable Water Treatment Technology

PUBLISHED: September 1998

Data and analysis provided courtesy of BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS COMPANY, INC., 25 Van Zant Street, Norwalk, CT 06855,  Telephone: (203) 853-4266; ext. 309,  Email: publisher@bccresearch.com

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