Guest Column | October 18, 2017

Latest Trends And Developments In The Global Water Treatment Equipment Market

By Satyajit Shinde, Allied Market Research

Even though 70 percent of our planet is made up of water bodies, yet the world is facing a dire scarcity of water, a basic necessity of life. More than 97 percent of the water resources available are in the form of saline water in the seas and oceans. Water is always at a high risk of getting contaminated/polluted. With rapid urbanization and demographic growth across the globe, the world has seen a staggering rise in the number of industries. The harmful effluents released into water bodies, along with the wastewater generated from households, organizations, and other sectors, fuel the need for water and wastewater treatment equipment. The increasing demand for water treatment in municipalities and industries, owing to the rising health and environmental safety concerns, drive the growth of the market. Over the last few years, concerns around water scarcity have been at an all-time high. Along with the growing emphasis laid on the need for water conservation, it is equally important for water treatment plants to assess their water management systems.

Total suspended solids (TSS) level, location, and application are considered while determining the type of water treatment to be used. Suspended solids and microorganisms are removed by differentiating the chemical, physical, and biological properties of water and its constituents. Based on the requirements, disinfectants, mud treatment, process equipment, diversions & screens, filtration systems, and membranes are used for the treatment of water. According to the report published by Allied Market Research, the global water treatment equipment market is projected to garner $87,861 million by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 6.0 percent from 2016 to 2022.

Leading water treatment equipment manufacturers are constantly developing new technologies and business models to keep up with the water requirements and demands growing at an exponential rate. The latest trends and developments in the water treatment equipment segment include the development of Pall Medical’s QPoint, a water filter capsule that assists in infection control by retaining waterborne bacteria, protozoa, and fungi. The capsule also received the FDA 510 (k) clearance as a class II medical device. In other news, the work of the world’s largest water purification plant in Houston began in September 2017. Mergers and acquisitions between the leading players in the market lead to the development of efficient treatment plants. In March 2017, Ecolab partnered with Microsoft to further develop its water-monitoring product. In September 2017, Tonka Water, a major supplier of municipal and industrial water treatment systems, was acquired by U.S. Water. In the same month, SUEZ, a French organization, acquired GE Water and Process Technologies, a leading provider of water treatment technology and systems.

Evolution Of Membranes — From Reverse Osmosis And Nanofiltration To Graphene-Based Hybrid Membranes

Membrane filtration has rapidly become a widely accepted reliable water treatment technology. The technology has evolved over the years, owing to the extensive research and development. Reverse osmosis (RO) and nanofiltration (NF) membranes are used primarily for the treatment of groundwater. In September 2017, an international team of researchers from Japan, along with the director of Penn State’s ATOMIC Centre, has taken the membrane filtration technology a step further. They developed desalination membranes that are comparatively more scalable and sturdier than the nanofiltration membrane technologies, presently used on a large scale. The graphene and graphene oxide-based coating on the membranes is expected to yield optimal results as a filter for clean water solutions, protein separation, wastewater treatment, and also in pharmaceutical and food industry applications. In the development of this technology, a polysulfone support membrane, modified with polyvinyl alcohol, was coated with a mixture of graphene oxide and few-layered graphene in solution. The membrane can withstand intense cross-flow, chlorine exposure, and high-pressure flow due to the robust polysulfone membrane. It also offers high resistance to chlorine, owing to the coating of few-layer graphenes. The hybrid membranes exhibited high efficiency even in the early stages of development by displaying results that prove them fit for use in agricultural applications. It rejected about 85 percent of salt and 96 percent of dye molecules. The team is currently working on overcoming scalability issues in order to provide high-quality membranes at low costs.

Water Filter Capsules To Aid In Infection Control

Purified water is an essential factor in the healthcare sector to ensure optimal patient care. It is the major component in various applications, ranging from decontamination washers and analyzer equipment to food service and boiler rooms. To ensure the supply of water suitable for medical use and to also avert the spread of hospital-acquired infections, Pall Medical - a division of Pall Corporation, developed QPoint Water Filter Capsules. In September 2017, the firm announced that their water filter capsules had received the FDA 510 (k) clearance as a Class II medical device. The QPoint Filter Capsules are anticipated to assist in the control of infections. The fungi, waterborne bacteria, and protozoa found in in-premise drinking water systems can be retained by these capsules. The water obtained after treatment using the capsules is suitable for cleaning equipment used in medical procedures, as well as for washing, drinking, and cleansing superficial wounds. The capsules are sterile and tested for integrity while being supplied. The removal of fungi, protozoa, and other particles in the water are facilitated by the strong Supor membranes provided in the filter cartridge.

Houston To Be Home To World’s Largest Water Purification Plant

According to USA Today, at least one in five Americans has been exposed to potentially unsafe drinking water more than once in the last 10 years. With the ultimate aim to provide clean drinking water, the City of Houston has embarked on the journey of the largest water treatment project in the world. Having invested almost $1.5 billion, the total water capacity of the area will rise to 320 MGD with the implementation of the project. The Northeast Water Purification Plant Expansion venture also includes the construction of a pump station, treatment facilities, and ground storage tanks. The facility, which draws water from Lake Houston, will process five times the water compared to its current capacity. The plant is designed to process 400 MGD, as opposed to the 80 MGD processed currently. It is expected to start functioning by 2024.