Last edited 06 May 2016

Membrane separation cleaning chemicals

Membrane separation technology has been widely adopted in the industry and households for water softening and water treatment due to its cost-effectiveness. It is also gaining popularity in wastewater treatment applications.

One of the key issues which affects the performance of membrane separation technology is membrane fouling, in which unwanted solute or elements such as scalants, colloidal impurities and microbes found in feed water, are deposited onto the membrane surface and membrane pores during the water treatment process which affects the water processing speed and causes a downfall in performance of the membrane separation process.

Membrane fouling can produce severe flux weakening and change in the quality of the water. Severe membrane fouling ultimately requires membrane replacement.

To ensure uninterrupted, faster and cost-effective operation, membrane cleaning can be carried out with chemicals such as antiscalants and other cleaners.

Membrane cleaning chemicals market can be categorised as; Caustic, Oxidants or Disinfectants, Acids, Surfactants and Chelating Agents.

Caustic chemicals are used in hydrolysis and solubilisation of membranes, acids are used as solubilisers for membranes. Surfactants are used in emulsification, dispersion and surface conditioning.

Based on application, membrane cleaning chemicals can be classified as; antiscalants, cleaners and pre-treatment chemicals.

North America is the largest market for membrane cleaning chemicals market, followed by Europe and Asia Pacific. The increasing adoption of membrane separation technology in waste water treatment plants in industries and municipalities in North America is the key reason behind its growth in this region. Asia Pacific and Middle East countries are expected to witness highest growth due to the increasing demand for drinking water and regulation .

The global membrane cleaning chemicals market has been witnessing a double digit growth in the recent past. Increasing adoption of membrane separation technologies in countries such as China, India, the U.S., Brazil, Australia and Middle East countries has boosted membrane cleaning chemicals market in recent years. Increasing urbanisation and increasing population in developing countries is escalating the demand for drinking water. Waste water treatment demand from growing allied industries such as food and beverages paper and pulp (uses fresh water in high consistency pulp bleaching and medium consistency pulp bleaching) and electronics (uses processed water at various stages of silicon wafer) is driving membrane separation technology and hence membrane cleaning chemicals market in this region.

Some of the leading global players operating in membrane cleaning chemicals market include Veolia Water Solutions and Technologies, GE Water and Process Technologies, BWA Water Additives, Ecolab Inc. and Kemira Oyj.