Reverse Osmosis Membrane Market

Reverse Osmosis Membrane Market Size by Material Type (Cellulose-Based Membranes and Thin Film Composite Membranes), Filter Module (Hollow-Fiber Membranes, Plate and Frame (PF), Spiral-Wound Membranes and Tubular-Shaped Membranes), Application (Desalination, Process Water, Utility Water Treatment, Wastewater Treatment & Reuse, and Others), End-Use Industry (Industrial Processing and Water and Wastewater Treatment), Regions, Global Industry Analysis, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2023 to 2032

Base Year: 2022 Historical Data: 2020-21
  • Report ID: TBI-13858
  • Published Date: Dec, 2023
  • Pages: 238
  • Category: Chemicals & Materials
  • Format: PDF
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The global Reverse Osmosis Membrane market generated USD 3.48 billion revenue in 2022 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 10.25% from 2023 to 2032. The market is expected to reach USD 9.23 billion by 2032. The main factor driving the market's growth is the escalating contamination levels in global water bodies, triggering apprehensions related to waterborne diseases. Furthermore, the reverse osmosis membrane market has experienced noteworthy growth, propelled by the rising need for clean and secure water access. This surge is primarily attributed to population growth, urbanization, and industrialization. Anticipated to experience an upswing, the market is expected to benefit from diverse government initiatives mandating water purification, thereby fostering increased demand for reverse osmosis (RO) membrane solutions.

Market Introduction:

A reverse osmosis (RO) membrane is a specialized filtration component integral to the reverse osmosis water purification process. It is a semi-permeable material that permits water molecules to pass through while obstructing the passage of bigger particles, impurities, and contaminants. The RO membrane operates on selectively permeable barriers, separating water from dissolved salts, minerals, and other pollutants. As water is pressurized through the membrane, undesired substances are retained, producing purified water. The RO membrane plays a crucial role in addressing concerns related to water quality, offering an effective solution for removing salts, minerals, and other pollutants, and providing safe and clean water. This technology is widely used for various applications of desalination, water treatment, and purification processes, ensuring the removal of impurities to achieve high-quality, clean water suitable for consumption or industrial use.

Reverse Osmosis Membrane Market Size

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Recent Development
  • In September 2023: LG Chem is set to enhance its business footprint through a strategic expansion initiative, boosting the capacity of its Cheongju plant—an integral production hub of reverse osmosis membranes. The company has unveiled plans to invest approximately 0.095 billion USD (KRW 124.6 billion) by July 2025 to augment the Cheongju facility, incorporating a new unit capable of manufacturing 400,000 reverse osmosis membranes annually. This expansion project is projected to contribute to the desalination of an impressive 1.57 billion tons (equivalent to 4.32 million tons per day) of water each year. With this increased capacity, the purified water can potentially cater to the needs of approximately 16 million people, constituting around one-third of the Korean population.  
  • In April 2023: Toray has recently confirmed an order for RO (Reverse Osmosis) membranes destined for Hong Kong's renowned Tseung Kwan O Desalination Plant. This order proves the company's achievements over the last two decades, consistently delivering RO membranes to desalination facilities globally and offering essential technical support to ensure these plants' reliable and stable operations.  
  • In October 2022: Mitsui O.S.K Lines, Ltd. and EnviroNor AS have officially signed a memorandum of understanding to explore potential collaboration on a Floating Desalination Vessel (FDV). This innovative vessel is designed as a floating infrastructure, complete with seawater desalination equipment, including reverse osmosis (RO) membranes. Its primary function is to generate fresh water and facilitate its supply to the shoreline.  

Market Dynamics:


Increasing Water Scarcity - The global water scarcity crisis is a primary driver propelling the reverse osmosis membrane market. With the growing demand for clean and potable water, especially in regions facing water scarcity, reverse osmosis technology has become an effective solution for water purification.

Stringent Environmental Regulations - The escalating awareness of environmental conservation and the implementation of stringent regulations regarding water quality have significantly boosted the demand for reverse osmosis membranes. Governments across the globe are enforcing stricter standards for water treatment and purification, thereby driving the adoption of advanced filtration technologies.

Rising Industrial Applications - The expanding industrial sector, particularly in the pharmaceutical, F&B, and chemical industries, has increased the demand for high-quality water for various manufacturing processes. Reverse osmosis membranes are widely employed in these industries to ensure the removal of contaminants and impurities from water, fostering market growth.


High Initial Costs - One of the primary restraints for the reverse osmosis membrane market is the high initial investment required to install reverse osmosis systems. The cost of purchasing and setting up the necessary infrastructure, including pumps and membranes, can be a considerable obstacle, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and developing regions.

Energy-Intensive Process - Reverse osmosis is energy-intensive, requiring substantial amounts of electricity to operate the pumps and maintain the pressure for water filtration. The high energy consumption contributes to operational costs, making it a challenge for widespread adoption, particularly in regions with volatile or high energy prices.


Advancements in Membrane Technology - Ongoing advancements in membrane materials and design create opportunities for improved performance and efficiency in reverse osmosis systems. Innovations such as high-flux membranes, nanocomposite materials, and novel membrane configurations enhance water treatment capabilities, opening avenues for market expansion and technological differentiation.

Rising Awareness of Water Quality - Increasing awareness among consumers and industries regarding the importance of water quality is driving the adoption of advanced water treatment solutions. The reverse osmosis membrane market can capitalize on this trend by offering systems that ensure the removal of contaminants, providing safe and high-quality water for various applications, including drinking, industrial processes, and agriculture.

Government Initiatives for Water Infrastructure - Government initiatives and investments in water infrastructure projects, especially in developing countries, create reverse osmosis membrane market opportunities. Funding for water treatment and purification projects and regulatory support for adopting advanced technologies can stimulate market growth.


Membrane Fouling and Degradation - Membrane fouling, caused by the accumulation of impurities, scaling, and biological growth, remains a persistent challenge in the reverse osmosis membrane market. This fouling leads to a decrease in membrane efficiency, necessitating regular cleaning and replacement. Addressing fouling issues is crucial for maintaining the effectiveness and longevity of the membranes.

Limited Effectiveness for Certain Contaminants - While reverse osmosis effectively removes many contaminants, it may have limitations in addressing certain contaminants, such as volatile organic compounds and some dissolved gases. This limitation can restrict the applicability of reverse osmosis in specific industrial processes, creating challenges for market expansion.

Regional segmentation analysis:

The regions analyzed for the market include North America, Europe, South America, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa. Asia Pacific emerged as the most prominent global Reverse Osmosis Membrane market, with a 40.85% market revenue share in 2022.

Asia Pacific has been undergoing rapid industrialization and urbanization, leading to increased demand for clean water in various industrial processes and for the burgeoning urban population. Reverse osmosis membranes are widely adopted in manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and power generation industries, driving the market's growth. Additionally, the Asia Pacific region is home to a massive percentage of the world's population, with huge populated countries such as China and India experiencing substantial demographic growth. The rising population increases demand for domestic and industrial applications, creating a substantial market for water treatment technologies like reverse osmosis. Many countries in the Asia Pacific region face water scarcity and contamination challenges. Governments and industries in these nations are increasingly investing in water treatment and purification technologies to address water scarcity concerns, with reverse osmosis being a preferred choice due to its effectiveness in removing contaminants. In addition, countries in the Asia Pacific region have recognized the importance of ensuring water security and quality for their growing populations. Consequently, significant initiatives and investments in water infrastructure have been made, including implementing advanced water treatment technologies. Government support has played a crucial role in adopting reverse osmosis membranes. North America held a significant market share in the reverse osmosis membrane market in 2022. North America has stringent regulations governing water quality and safety. Adherence to these regulations has driven the demand for advanced water treatment technologies, with reverse osmosis being a preferred choice for its effectiveness in removing a wide range of contaminants. The regulatory framework creates a conducive environment for developing the reverse osmosis membrane market. Furthermore, increasing awareness of water scarcity and the need for sustainable water management practices has heightened North America's demand for efficient water treatment solutions. Reverse osmosis membranes are recognized for their ability to produce high-quality, purified water, making them a key technology in addressing water scarcity concerns. North America also has a robust industrial sector, including pharmaceuticals, chemicals, power generation, and electronics. These industries have a substantial demand for purified water in their processes and reverse osmosis membranes are extensively used to meet these requirements. The industrial growth contributes significantly to the adoption of reverse osmosis technology.

Asia Pacific Region Reverse Osmosis Membrane Market Share in 2022 - 40.85%

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Material Type Segment Analysis

The material type segment is classified into cellulose-based membranes and thin film composite membranes. The thin film composite membranes segment dominated the market, with a share of around 67.19% in 2022. Thin film composite (TFC) membranes are known for their high water permeability, allowing efficient water filtration. This characteristic is crucial in reverse osmosis processes, as it enables the membranes to remove contaminants and impurities from water while maintaining a high flux rate. The superior water permeability contributes to the widespread adoption of TFC membranes in various applications. Furthermore, TFC membranes exhibit excellent salt rejection capabilities, preventing the passage of dissolved salts and ions through the membrane. This factor is particularly important in desalination processes, where the goal is to produce freshwater from seawater. The superior salt rejection performance of TFC membranes makes them highly desirable in applications where low salinity levels are critical. Besides, thin film composite membranes offer robust chemical and biological degradation resistance. This resistance ensures the longevity and durability of the membranes in diverse water treatment applications. The ability to withstand exposure to a range of contaminants and harsh chemical conditions contributes to the reliability of TFC membranes, making them suitable for various industrial and municipal water treatment processes.

Filter Module Segment Analysis

The filter module segment is divided into hollow-fiber membranes, plate and frame (PF), spiral-wound membranes and tubular-shaped membranes. The spiral-wound membranes segment dominated the market, with a share of around 40.25% in 2022. Spiral-wound membranes are known for their compact design, allowing for efficient space use in reverse osmosis systems. The spiral-wound configuration involves a flat sheet membrane wound around a permeate collection tube, maximizing the membrane surface area within a small footprint. This space efficiency is crucial for installations where space is limited, making spiral-wound membranes practical and preferred in various applications. The manufacturing process of spiral-wound membranes is generally cost-effective, contributing to their widespread adoption in the reverse osmosis membrane market. The simplicity of the design and the ease of production make spiral-wound membranes economically attractive, especially for large-scale water treatment projects and industrial applications. In addition, spiral-wound membranes are highly scalable, allowing customization to meet specific project requirements. This scalability makes them suitable for various applications, from small residential systems to large industrial water treatment plants. The ability to tailor the membrane size and configuration to diverse project needs enhances spiral-wound membranes' versatility and market dominance.

Application Segment Analysis

The application segment includes desalination, process water, utility water treatment, wastewater treatment & reuse, and others. The wastewater treatment & reuse segment dominated the market, with a share of around 30.82% in 2022. Wastewater treatment and reuse have become crucial global strategies for addressing water scarcity issues. Reverse osmosis membranes are vital in treating wastewater, removing contaminants, and producing high-quality water for reuse. As water scarcity becomes a pressing concern, the demand for reverse osmosis membranes in wastewater treatment applications has significantly increased. Additionally, rapid urbanization and industrialization have led to increased water demand, resulting in higher volumes of wastewater generation. Reverse osmosis membranes offer an effective solution for treating industrial and municipal wastewater, enabling the reuse of treated water for various applications. The rise in urban and industrial water stress has driven wastewater treatment and reuse dominance in the reverse osmosis membrane market. Besides, stringent environmental regulations and standards governing wastewater discharge into natural water bodies have propelled the adoption of advanced water treatment technologies. Reverse osmosis membranes provide a reliable and efficient method for achieving the required water quality standards, making them essential in complying with environmental regulations and driving their dominance in wastewater treatment.

End-Use Industry Segment Analysis

The end-use industry segment is split into industrial processing and water and wastewater treatment. The water and wastewater treatment segment dominated the market, with a share of around 67.13% in 2022. Increasingly stringent water quality standards and regulations worldwide have driven the demand for advanced water treatment technologies. With their high efficiency in removing contaminants, reverse osmosis membranes are well-suited for meeting and exceeding these standards. The need for compliance with strict water quality regulations has contributed to the dominance of reverse osmosis membranes in water and wastewater treatment. Reverse osmosis membranes are versatile and effective in treating various water sources, including brackish water, seawater, and wastewater. Their ability to handle different feedwater compositions and address diverse water treatment challenges makes them suitable for various applications, from potable water production to industrial processes. Furthermore, the growing concerns about water pollution, driven by industrial discharges, agricultural runoff, and urbanization, have increased the demand for reliable water treatment solutions. Reverse osmosis membranes play a crucial role in removing pollutants, contaminants, and impurities from water, making them essential in mitigating the impact of water pollution and ensuring safe water supplies.

Some of the Key Market Players:
  • Alfa Laval
  • Axeon Water Technologies
  • BNKO Environmental Technology (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.
  • Dupont
  • Freudenberg SE
  • Hydramem
  • Hydranautics (A Nitto Denko Group Company)
  • Keensen
  • Koch Separation Solutions
  • LG Chem
  • Lenntech
  • MANN+HUMMEL Water & Fluid Solutions
  • Pall Water
  • Parker Hannifin Corporation
  • Permionics Membranes Private Limited
  • Samco Technologies, Inc.
  • SUEZ Group
  • Synder Filtration, Inc.
  • The Chemours Company
  • Toray Industries, Inc.
  • Toyobo Co., Ltd.
  • Vontron Membrane Technology Co., Ltd.

Report Description: 

Attribute Description
Market Size Revenue (USD Billion)
Market size value in 2022 USD 3.48 Billion
Market size value in 2032 USD 9.23 Billion
CAGR (2023 to 2032) 10.25%
Historical data 2019-2021
Base Year 2022
Forecast 2023-2032
Region The regions analyzed for the market are Asia Pacific, Europe, South America, North America, and Middle East & Africa. Furthermore, the regions are further analyzed at the country level.
Segments Material Type, Filter Module, Application, and End-Use Industry

Frequesntly Asked Questions

As per The Brainy Insights, the size of the reverse osmosis membrane market was valued at USD 3.48 billion in 2022 to USD 9.23 billion by 2032.

The global reverse osmosis membrane market is growing at a CAGR of 10.25% during the forecast period 2023-2032.

The Asia Pacific region became the largest market for reverse osmosis membrane.

Increasing water scarcity and the rising industrial applications drive the market's growth.

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This study forecasts revenue at global, regional, and country levels from 2019 to 2032. The Brainy Insights has segmented the global Reverse Osmosis Membrane market based on below-mentioned segments:

Global Reverse Osmosis Membrane Market by Material Type:

  • Cellulose-Based Membranes
  • Thin Film Composite Membranes

Global Reverse Osmosis Membrane Market by Filter Module:

  • Hollow-Fiber Membranes
  • Plate and Frame (PF)
  • Spiral-Wound Membranes       
  • Tubular-Shaped Membranes 

Global Reverse Osmosis Membrane Market by Application:

  • Desalination
  • Process Water
  • Utility Water Treatment
  • Wastewater Treatment & Reuse
  • Others

Global Reverse Osmosis Membrane Market by End-Use Industry:

  • Industrial Processing
  • Water and Wastewater Treatment

Global Reverse Osmosis Membrane Market by Region:

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
    • Mexico
  • Europe
    • Germany
    • France
    • U.K.
    • Italy
    • Spain
  • Asia-Pacific
    • Japan
    • China
    • India
  • South America
    • Brazil
  • Middle East and Africa  
    • UAE
    • South Africa


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