$3 Billion Ultrapure Water Market in Asia Next Year

17.08.2012

The market for ultrapure water systems and consumables in Asia next year will reach $3.1 billion according to the latest forecast in Ultrapure Water: World Markets published by the McIlvaine Company.

Asia will comprise more than 50 percent of the total world market in 2013 thanks to the big growth in coal-fired power and electronics in the region. China and India will build more coal-fired power plants than the rest of the world combined. Each power plant needs extensive systems to purify source water. This includes preliminary filtration followed by ion exchange and reverse osmosis. Electrodeionization (EDI) has carved out a niche at the expense of ion exchange. EDI avoids the use of cleaning chemicals and, therefore, is viewed as superior from an environmental standpoint. EDI also claims lower maintenance costs.

Washing the chips in a semiconductor operation requires the highest purity water. There are similar requirements in the manufacture of solar photovoltaic cells, flat panels and disk drives. Most of the new investment in all these electronics factories is in Asia. Expensive materials are needed to assure that pumps, piping and valves do not contaminate the ultrapure water.

Sophisticated monitoring is needed to ensure that dissolved oxygen and various contaminants are kept within acceptable operating limits.

The report also includes a new section on pure water which is cleaner than required for drinking water but does not meet the requirement for ultrapure operations. Water used in bottled water plants and beverages falls within this category. Ultraviolet radiation and reverse osmosis are often used in these operations. Cosmetics manufacturers and hospitals also need pure water.

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