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The US membrane modules market (used in gas and liquid separations) has been forecast to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.9% over the next five years, rising from a value of $2.1 billion in 2012, to hit a market value of $3.3 billion by 2017.
Membranes generally are thin sheets or surface films, natural or man-made, with apertures through which small molecules may pass while larger ones are retained.
At its most basic, a membrane serves as a sieve, separating solids from liquids forced through it. Membranes fabricated from various materials (mainly synthetic polymers) can efficiently filter particles down to the size range of molecules or ions.
Separated chemicals are not destroyed but are concentrated to facilitate reclamation. The membranes are called semipermeable because some substances will pass through while others will not.
Usually, small ions, water, solvents, gases, and other very small molecules can pass easily through a membrane, while other ions and macromolecules, like proteins and colloids, are retained.
To use a membrane in a given application it has to be installed in a proper device which is generally referred to as membrane module.
Membrane modules must meet certain requirements as far as their production costs, their packing density, energy consumption, and especially the control of concentration polarisation and membrane fouling is concerned.
The US membrane modules market can be broken down into two main segments: conventional liquid separations and other separations.
The segment made up of conventional liquid separations is expected to have a value of $1.9 billion in 2012 and $2.9 billion in 2017, a CAGR of 8.9%.
As a segment, all other separations should reach $218 million in 2012 and $329 million in 2017, a CAGR of 8.6%.
For more information on the US membrane module market, see the latest research: US Membrane Module Market
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