The global membrane bioreactors market was valued at USD 3.83 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach USD 6.07 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 7.94% during the forecast period. The rising use of membrane bioreactors in municipal sectors majorly drives the market. The considerable benefits of using membrane bioreactors over conventional activated sludge treatment propel the demand for membrane bioreactors (MBRs). The increasing need for treated water and the efficient elimination of pathogens from wastewater treatment plants is boosting the demand for membrane bioreactors. Rising research and development activities to create advanced wastewater treatment methods that require lesser energy and incur reasonable prices are projected to lead the membrane bioreactors market during the forecast period.
MARKET TRENDS AND DRIVERS
Increasing MBR Installations Due to Growing Urbanization
Growing urbanization affects the environment by diminishing the availability of resources due to population growth. It causes health complications due to pollution and congested living conditions. Water quality in urban areas is also low due to factory waste. Therefore, clean water has become the key objective in urban areas, boosting the demand for membrane bioreactors. With increasing awareness of the harmful effects of contaminated water, the demand for membrane bioreactors in water treatment systems is expected to rise. Moreover, increasing urbanization has increased the global demand for energy and water. With increasing production from power plants, the emission of effluents into water bodies needs to be under control, increasing the installation of membrane bioreactors. Following this, the membrane bioreactors market is expected to witness significant growth in the coming years.
Limited Availability of Clean Water
The limited availability of clean water, one of the most crucial global challenges, presents a major threat to economic growth, ecosystem health, and water security. The challenge of supplying sufficient and safe drinking water is further complicated due to climate change and the pressure of industrialization and economic development. The industrial and public sectors consume significant amounts of freshwater while generating huge quantities of wastewater. If improperly treated, wastewater emission into the aquatic environment causes pollution, affecting public health and marine ecosystems. Due to the increasing demand for water, recycling, and wastewater recovery have become popular trends. Wastewater reuse reduces the volume and environmental threat of released wastewater and lowers the pressure on the ecosystem driven by freshwater withdrawal. A membrane bioreactor is a wastewater management technology that reduces wastewater emission and increases water usage efficiency, thus balancing preserving aquatic environments and exploiting freshwater resources.
High Capital & Operational Cost of MBRs
Utilizing membrane bioreactors (MBR) for new installations enables higher wastewater flow or improved treatment performance in a smaller space than a conventional design, i.e., a facility that utilizes sand filters and secondary clarifiers. Historically, membranes have been used for smaller-flow systems due to the soaring capital cost of the equipment and high operation and maintenance (O&M) costs. At present, however, there is an increased use in larger systems. Membrane bioreactor systems are appropriate for certain commercial and industrial applications. The high-quality effluent generated by membrane bioreactors makes it suitable for reuse and surface water emission applications necessitating extensive nutrients such as phosphorus removal. However, systems operating costs are also higher for membrane bioreactors due to the higher energy costs associated with sourcing to reduce membrane fouling, acting as a barrier to the growth of the membrane bioreactors market.
INSIGHTS BY MEMBRANE TYPE
The global membrane bioreactors market by membrane type is segmented as hollow fiber, flat sheet, and multi-tubular. In 2022, the hollow fiber segment held the largest market share and dominated the membrane-type segment. Further, hollow fiber is estimated to be the most swiftly developing segment during the forecast period. Hollow fiber (HF) configurations comprise one of the three major configurations for membrane bioreactor technology. Hollow fiber membranes are almost always vertically oriented, with the aerators fitted to the frame or integrated with the membrane module. The fibers are generally offered with some slack to enable them to move laterally in the flow of air bubbles to airlift the sludge across the fiber bundle. Hollow fiber membranes are used almost entirely in immersed MBRs for municipal and industrial applications. They are mostly used in large installations based on their lower membrane aeration energy demand. Hollow-fiber membrane bioreactors (HFB) are used for culturing highly metabolic cells, especially hepatocytes, that require improved mass transfer compared to other cell types.
INSIGHTS BY SYSTEM CONFIGURATION
The submerged system configuration segment dominated the global membrane bioreactors market, accounting for a market share of over 57% in 2022. Submerged membrane bioreactors use a promising technology for water reclamation and wastewater treatment. It is a type of membrane bioreactor where two processes, separation and chemical reactions, occur simultaneously to produce a synergistic effect. This technology is employed in wastewater treatment for its lower sludge production and better effluent quality than conventional activated sludge processes.
INSIGHTS BY APPLICATION
The municipal application segment held the largest global membrane bioreactors market share in 2022. Globally, population growth has increased the demand for treated water. The scarcity of water resources has increased the demand for water recycling and water treatment services. Most of the wastewater treatment capacity offered by membrane bioreactors is for municipal wastewater treatment, as the overall flow of sewage is larger than that of industrial effluent. Municipal wastewater is usually treated to fulfill the statutory requirements for discharge into environmental waters.
INSIGHTS BY SYSTEM TYPE
The global membrane bioreactors market by system type is segmented into gravity-based and pressure-driven. In 2022, the gravity-based segment held the largest share of the market. Gravity-based systems are immersed and usually utilize flat sheet or hollow fiber membranes equipped in bioreactors or subsequent membrane tanks. Gravity-driven membrane (GDM) filtration is one of the most favorable membrane bioreactor configurations and runs at an ultra-low pressure by gravity, needing minimum energy. It can treat different types of water, including diluted wastewater and surface water, with varying contaminant levels. It also primarily reveals attractive potential in water reuse or seawater pre-treatment.
The APAC region was the largest market for membrane bioreactors in 2022, accounting for over 39% of the global membrane bioreactors market share. Due to the increasing adoption of technically advanced products in the region, the region is expected to witness exponential growth during the forecast period. Rapid urbanization due to the migration of people from rural to urban areas is improving the standard of living in countries such as India, which offers various opportunities to expand the market in the country. Growing investments by the public sector in developing existing water and wastewater treatment systems with membrane bioreactor technology are also boosting market growth.
North America is accelerating due to rising investments in R&D for enhanced technologies and the region's increasing demand for water treatment systems. Growth in the pharmaceutical industry has fueled the demand for membrane bioreactors, thereby supporting the growth of the membrane bioreactors market in the region. Membrane bioreactors (MBRs) are increasingly used across Europe, offering communities cleaner rivers, groundwater, lakes, and coastal beaches. Several European water companies are commissioning and considering MBRs to treat municipal wastewater to meet stringent European water standards for safe water emission. On the other hand, Latin America and the Middle East are highly potential membrane bioreactors markets with enough opportunity for growth.
The global membrane bioreactors (MBR) market is fairly fragmented, with many small and medium-sized manufacturers accounting for a major industry share. Major vendors are adopting innovative technologies to retain their position. Over the last few years, the industry has witnessed several acquisitions, strengthening companies' ability to offer multiple technologies and comprehensive solutions. However, the market is dominated by large players holding a significant industry share. Prominent players with a dominant presence in the global membrane bioreactors market include Evoqua Water Technologies, KUBOTA Corporation, Mitsubishi Chemical Aqua Solutions, and Veolia.
The growing presence of large companies is expected to continue to be a challenge for smaller companies. Further, these companies have strong financial benefits over smaller competitors in major business areas such as research, development, and marketing. Larger companies have developed capabilities to offer complete solutions under one umbrella. The companies are determined to widen their product offerings and strengthen their market position through acquisitions and partnerships. Customers are progressively looking for system suppliers who can offer complete solutions for diverse water requirements. For instance, engineering contracts that include both processed water and wastewater systems.
ABOUT THE REPORT
“Glance through the global membrane bioreactors market report of more than 200 pages comprising 100 tables and 75 exhibits to develop a deep understanding of the industry.”
The global membrane bioreactors market is provided for 2023 to 2028 and a base year of 2022. The industry is segmented by membrane type, system configuration, application, system type, and geography for the years considered. The report provides a holistic approach to the market to enable customers to analyze the market thoroughly.
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