Medium efficiency air filter growth drive sector

Paul Boughton

The market for indoor air filtration and purification will reach $7 billion in 2010 up from $5.6 billion. Much of that growth will come from the medium efficiency segment. This is the conclusion of the McIlvaine Company in its continually updated online, Air Filtration and Purification World Markets.

The medium efficiency filter market (F5-9) is a step above the spun glass furnace filters, but not as efficient as the micro fiber glass high efficiency (HEPA) filters.

Commercial buildings and residences continue to upgrade to the medium efficiency filters from the previously used low efficiency filters.

The result is that by 2010 the medium efficiency filters will represent 50 per cent of the total market. The rest of the market is shared by the high efficiency filters, low efficiency filters, electronic filters, and gas phase filters.

The portable room air units are not included in the forecasts. The electronic units which are included are the whole house and commercial electronic precipitators which are placed in the recirculating air systems.

The US will still be far and away the major purchasing country in 2010.

Country 2010
United States 1,263
China 344
Japan 251
Germany 119
India 103
South Korea 93
United Kingdom 92
France 87
Russia 72
Italy 71
Brazil 67

However, the rest of the world is adopting recirculating air heating and cooling systems. As a result, the US share will continue to shrink. China with its gigantic office building programme will replace Japan as the second largest purchaser by 2010.

One of the challenges for the industry will be capture of nano particles. Nanotechnology promises to be a $ trillion industry. However, one big stumbling block will be protection of the workers from inhalation of nano particles. The ratings of even the highest efficiency filters are based on particles 0.1 micrometres in diameter. (This is 100 nanometres). What is the removal efficiency on a 10 or 5 nanometre diameter particle? No one as yet has answers to this question.

The one negative segment of the industry is the filtration of the combustion air for gas turbines. The high prices of natural gas have negatively impacted sales of turbines. In the latest forecast McIlvaine projects a market of only $334 million for filter sales to this market in 2010.

For more information, visit www.mcilvainecompany

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