15 July 2009 16:37 [Source: ICIS news]
By Feliza Mirasol
NEW YORK (ICIS news)--Rising global demand for clean water is driving growth in the water membranes market, an industry executive said on Wednesday.
“We see a bright future in water treatment technology, specifically in membranes themselves, which is why we’re investing highly in technology development,” said David Klanecky, global R&D director for Dow Water & Process Solutions, a unit of US-based Dow Chemical.
“The ability to re-use water is, at least in my perspective, driven by technology. Many industries are being forced to re-use water,” he added.
Klanecky noted that the global population is projected to expand from 6bn now to 9bn in 2050, further driving demand for water, and that conservation is playing a critical role.
In June, Dow launched two new brackish water reverse osmosis (RO) membranes.
The purpose of these membranes is to reduce cleaning frequency and improve permeate water quality. They are also better at rejecting unwanted solutes like salt, chemicals and organic contaminants for cleaner water, Klanecky said.
Dow also said that it has reduced its water footprint by over 35% in the last five years as the result of using technology to re-use water.
For example, the company has achieved a 20% increase in water recovery while reducing operational costs by 50% at its manufacturing site in Terneuzen, the ?xml:namespace>
The Terneuzen plant was re-engineered in 2006 with an integrated membrane system that consisted of a continuous microfiltration unit and a two-pass RO unit, he said.
“The level of quality of water that is desired by the end user is what really dictates which type of membrane will be used and that, in turn, dictates the type of technology advances needed,” said Klanecky.
Global demand for the $10bn (€7.2bn) membrane industry is projected to grow 8.6% annually through 2012, according to a report published in April by US-based consultancy Freedonia Group.
($1 = €0.72)
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