Membrane air dryers are used to remove water vapor and other contaminants from compressed air. Membrane air dryers reduce relative humidity and lower dew point of air. The mechanical design of membrane used in air dryers consist of a group of tiny hollow fibers generally made of polysulfone. When the compressed air is passed through fibers, water vapor is filtered by selective diffusion through semi-permeable membrane walls of fiber, thus providing dry air from the other end, which continues downstream. These fibers are designed in such a way that the water vapor permeates and passes through membrane walls faster than air due to differential gas pressure on inside and outside of hollow fibers. A small amount of ‘sweep’ air is taken from dry air to purge and remove water vapors from inside the dryer. Atmospheric air that is taken in naturally contains water vapors. Upon compression of this air, water becomes concentrated and retains its vapor form as the air is heated due to compression of air. This vapor begins to condense into water droplets as air cools down further downstream in the system. This may cause rust and corrosion in the system due to exposure to contaminated air or air with high moisture content. Membrane air dryers are thus important as the air that travels through the membrane is dry and clean. Membranes are also commonly used to separate gases, such as removing nitrogen from air. This is used for production of nitrogen to be used in nitrogen flushing process employed in food storage applications. Membrane air dryer is used to replace oxygen with nitrogen in a food storage bag by virtue of the fact that oxygen filters through semi-permeable membrane faster than nitrogen. Since nitrogen, unlike oxygen, does not react with food or affect the flavor or texture, this process is used in food preservation application to keep the food fresh for longer period of time. Membrane air dryers are also being used in various applications such as pneumatic components of medical equipment, air bearings, air guns, air spindles, and pneumatic brakes for vehicles and trains. Membrane air dryers require no electricity to operate and thus have low running costs and can be operated continuously. With proper maintenance these systems can have long service life. Membrane air dryers have no moving parts, which make them lightweight and compact, thus saving space and cause no vibration or heat discharge.
COVID-19 scenario analysis:
- COVID-19 pandemic has forced many companies including manufacturers and service providers in the HVAC market to halt their business operations to comply with new government rules and regulations. This halt in operations directly impacts the revenue flow of the market players and thereby the global HVAC market.
- Moreover, research scientists are unable to rule out the possibility of spread of coronavirus through heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.
- Consumers around the world are confused whether HVAC air filtration systems can protect them from COVID-19 exposure.
- Some systems like germicidal wavelength UV fixtures were capable of filtering air in previous cases of SARS and MERS viruses but the same cannot be scientifically claimed for COVID-19, as research is still ongoing.
- Installation and servicing operations would be impeded as contact prevention norms reduce the number of orders that can be handled per day by HVAC companies.
- Therefore, the membrane air dryers market is expected to get negatively affected in 2020.
Top impacting factors: Market Scenario Analysis, Trends, Drivers, Opportunities, Restraints and Impact Analysis
Membrane air dryers remove water vapor and other contaminants from air and also lower the dew point of the. These helps to increase the life of equipment, improve operational efficiency of a system and reduce maintenance cost as the risk of rust and corrosion is reduced. Membranes are also commonly used to separate gases, such as removing nitrogen from air. This feature is a major driving factor behind the surging demand for membrane air dryers from various end use applications areas such as the global healthcare, pharmaceutical, food & beverage, transportation and manufacturing industries. However, the major restraining factor for the global membrane air dryers market is that these systems can only be used in the low-capacity compressed air systems. Hence, they are not suitable for heavy industrial equipment. Operational problems such as inability to achieve the desired dew point due to excessive loss of purge air, fouling of the membranes due to oil and moisture are also some of the restraining factors. The opportunity for growth of the global membrane air dryers market comes from its increasing adoption in the global healthcare and food & beverage industries due to the growing need for clean and dry air for better health and preservation of materials.
The global membrane air dryers market trends are as follows:
Growth in application in global healthcare industry
Growth in importance of sterile and contaminant free air in healthcare facilities, medical & pharmaceutical research laboratories, and other industries such as food & beverage industry, hospitality sector including hotels and food service establishments is expected to help the global membrane air dryers market grow in the future. With rise in number of healthcare facilities, the number of end users who require critically monitored and controlled air supply is growing at a rapid pace. Supply of clean and dry air in the healthcare industry is very important for maintaining the quality of indoor air and providing a safe, contaminant free environment for patients and staff. Hospitals need clean and dehumidified air to maintain environment for critical and sensitive applications such as operating theatre, intensive care unit, or a clean room. The amount of air-exchange, level of humidity, air pressure, and temperature have to be controlled precisely as per specifications in such environment to minimize the risk of infection and aggravating critical conditions of patients. Air treatment systems employed in this sector contribute greatly to the purpose of suppressing infections and maintaining sterile environment free of bacterial growth. Rise in number of hospitals, individual clinics, pharmaceutical laboratories, and medical research centers around the world is anticipated to accelerate the market growth of the global membrane air dryers market.
Growth of global food & beverages industry
With growth in population, rise in urbanization, and increased standard of living of consumers around the world, the global food & beverage industry is also expected to expand. This factor is expected to aid the global membrane air dryers market grow. With increasing population and rising disposable income of consumers consumption of various food & beverage products is increasing around the world. The growth of online grocery and food delivery companies is also helping the growth of food service and food retail industries grow. Adoption of membrane air dryers for food storage and transportation applications is growing as a result. The food industry requires maintenance and control of the quality of air to avoid contamination and maintenance of cleanliness and purity standards. The presence of water vapor or moisture in compressed air or steam used in food processing is highly unwanted. Various hygiene standards imposed by regulatory bodies around the world is also an important driving factor behind the growing adoption of membrane air dryers in the food & beverage industry. The global meat and dairy industries need to adhere to stringent hygiene standards and regulations in food storage and preparation applications. In addition, food storage processes such as nitrogen flushing process require use of membrane air dryers to separate gases.
Key benefits of the report:
- This study presents the analytical depiction of the global Membrane air dryers industry along with the current trends and future estimations to determine the imminent investment pockets.
- The report presents information related to key drivers, restraints, and opportunities along with detailed analysis of the global Membrane air dryers market share.
- The current market is quantitatively analyzed to highlight the global Membrane air dryers market growth scenario.
- Porter’s five forces analysis illustrates the potency of buyers & suppliers in the market.
- The report provides a detailed global membrane air dryers market analysis based on competitive intensity and how the competition will take shape in coming years.
Membrane Air Dryers Market Report Highlights
By Product Type
Key Market Players
Pentair PLC, Gardner Denver Inc., Kaeser Compressors Inc., Festo., Atlas Copco Corp., Ingersoll-Rand Inc., Bellex International Corp., SMC Corp., Parker Hannifin Corp., Donaldson Company Inc.