The global membrane microfiltration market is growing at a significant rate, due to increase in stringent water quality legislation. As the awareness about safety and health is growing among the consumers, certain standards of quality, considering safety and hygiene are being demanded by the consumers. The increasing technological innovation in the field of membrane microfiltration is expected to support the growth of the global membrane microfiltration market in the coming years. With the technological advancements, the membrane microfiltration productsare becoming more effective in offering better solutions for suspended particle separation, which is again fuelling the growth of the global membrane microfiltration market.
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The major trends observed in the global membrane microfiltration market are product development and cost-effective solutions. One of the major factors restraining the growth of the global membrane microfiltration market is high initial investment, which poses as significant barrier for the new entrants, who want to expand their product lines.
Microfiltration is used to apply dead-end filtration upon aseptic pharmaceuticals, sterile fruit juices and wine, and water. Microfiltration functions as a post-treatment for granular media filtration, and pre-treatment for other separation processes, such as ultrafiltration. The particle size in microfiltration ranges from 0.1 to 10 micrometer. Particles such as protozoa, algae, sediment and large bacteria can be prevented with the use of specially designed filters, by passing the fluid through the filters. However monovalent species, such as chloride or sodium ions; ionic or atomic materials such as water, small colloids and viruses; and natural or dissolved organic matter are able to pass through the filter.
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In the process of membrane microfiltration, fluid is passed through membranes with very small pores for separating bacteria, micro-organisms, and suspended particles among others. The membranes are used in the pre-treatment for desalination technologies, such as nano-filtration and reverse osmosis. The membranes are also used to eliminate turbidity from fluid. Some of the materials used in the membrane microfiltration are fluorinated polymers, stainless steel, polyamides, polypropylene, cellulosics, ceramics and polysulfones. Membrane microfiltration can be manufactured by various methods, such as stretching, phase separation, sintering, and track etching. Some of the factors considered while choosing the membrane for a particular process are operating temperature, disposal of process residuals, membrane flux, quality of fluid to be treated, monitoring and maintenance of the system, fluid characteristics, and cost of material procurement and manufacturing.
On the basis of filtration modes, the global membrane microfiltration market can be categorized, as cross-flow filtration and direct-flow filtration. In cross-flow filtration, fluid is passed tangential to the membrane. In direct flow filtration, all the particles larger than pore sizes of the membrane, and all of the process fluid flows are stopped at its surface. Cross-flow is a unit operation rather than a process, whereas direct-flow filtration is used for semi-continuous or batch filtration of low concentrated solutions. On the basis of application, the global membrane microfiltration market can be categorized, as industrial process water, biotech, bioprocessing, pharmaceuticals, industrial wastewater, semiconductor and electronics manufacturing, municipal drinking water, food and beverage manufacturing, and municipal or domestic wastewater.
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Some of the competitors in the global membrane microfiltration market are Asahi Kasei Corporation, EMD Millipore Corporation, Culligan International Company, Koch Membrane Systems Inc., GE Water & Process Technologies, Applied Membranes Inc., EnviroTech Molded Products Inc., 3M Purification Solutions, Graver Technologies, Alfa Laval AB, Siemens Water Technologies Corp., and Merck Millipore Limited.
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