Geomembrane market size is forecast to reach $2.4 billion by 2025, after growing at a CAGR of 4.7% during 2020-2025. Geomembranes are made up of flexible polymeric materials which are impermeable in nature thus it creates a barrier for the flow of fluids, water, and other soluble materials. It can also be made from impregnation of geotextiles with asphalt, or multilayered bitumen geocomposites, or polymer sprays, or Elastomer. It is also referred as liners or synthetic membranes which possess very low permeability. The growth of this market can be attributed to the increasing adoption of geomembranes in waste management applications such as landfill liners.
New product developments and increasing investments in research and development of geomembranes are expected to drive the growth of this market.
Among application, mining segment is projected to lead the geomembrane market during the forecast period.
By Manufacturing Process – Segment Analysis
Blow Film segment held a significant share in geomembrane market in 2019. Blown film is the most commonly used process for manufacturing all the main types of geomembranes. In this process, a molten polymeric compound is extruded through a die to produce a sheet of the polymeric compound. The sheets can be made with a textured surface or smooth surface as per requirement. Textured surface sheets are used to increase friction on slopes.
Unreinforced geomembranes, especially those manufactured by use of semi-crystalline polymeric substances such as polyethylene, are generally manufactured by extrusion phenomenon. Increasing activities related to civil construction, water consumption and groundwater protection across the globe are expected to fuel demand for extruded geomembrane in the forecast period.
By Raw Material – Segment Analysis
High-density Polyethylene (HDPE) segment held a significant share in geomembrane market in 2019. HDPE geomembranes are well-known for their excellent properties such as chemical resistance, aging resistance from ultraviolet protection, weather stress, high durability, and inherent flexibility. This allows them to be left uncovered as well as its ability to be integrally fusion-welded by thermal methods rather than by using solvents and adhesives. Easy installation and good thermal stability during exposure is anticipated to augment the demand for HDPE as raw material for the production. Manufacturers in this sector also use HDPE as it is one of the least expensive raw materials compared to other engineering polymers including PVC and EPDM. However, HDPE based products are highly prone to stress cracking and provide low puncture resistance.
By Application – Segment Analysis
Mining segment held a significant share in geomembrane market in 2019 growing at a CAGR of XX% during the forecast period. Geomembranes is being rapidly adopted to in mining, as they possess outstanding functionalities such as excellent chemical resistance, low permeability, elevated temperature range, UV resistance, weatherability and high tear and puncture resistance. Geomembrane is used in mining industry for preventing the leakage of leachates where metal dissolution takes place. The usage of geomembrane results in providing drainage solution and protects soil from contamination. Geomembranes help in containment and recovery of leaching solution that is a strong acid. With more than 50,000 dams worldwide and a lot under construction, the use of geomembrane for water preservation is profound. The demand for geomembrane is also increasing in canal lining applications, due to the growing need for efficient usage of water and the remediate groundwater levels
The supply of water treatment chemicals shall witness shortages due to the prevalence of COVID-19 at a pandemic level. The industrial sector as a whole shall register an increase in demand for dewatering equipment, water treatment systems and membranes due to stipulated public health guidelines and greater need for sanitary environment.
Geography- Segment Analysis
North America dominated the geomembrane market with a share of more than XX%, followed by Europe and Asia Pacific. U.S. is estimated to be the largest market for geomembranes in North America. The extensive use of geomembranes for waste and hazardous chemical containment and leachate collection are the main drivers for this market in North America. The demand for geomembranes in water management application is expected to register high growth rate in North America due to their increased applicability in aquaculture and for floating covers in irrigation ditches, ponds, and lakes.
Stringent regulations aimed at implementation of waste management practices in municipal and industrial sectors by the government of Germany are expected to promote various applications over the forecast period. The increasing water treatment activity, primarily in the northern region of the Germany, is boosting the demand for geomembranes. Over the last decade, Germany has not only invested in domestic production of sewage systems, but it has also become an exporter of sewage technology. Additionally, the country’s waste management sector also contributes to sustainable production with high recycling and recovery rates, which in turn, helps to save raw materials and primary energy.
Drivers – Geomembrane Market
Growing level of environmental awareness
Growing level of environmental awareness is one of the major drivers of the geomembranes market. Geomembranes can efficiently prevent the leakage of poisonous fluids, harmful gases, among other pollutants at an affordable cost, which reduces damage to the environment. It is widely used in various landfill sites all over the world, owing to its stability and safety during use on landfill sites. Geomembranes, especially HDPE geomembranes are used as bottom liners in landfills for nearly 20 years. Moreover, it is used as floating covers and caps on leachate ponds. The geomembrane liner protects groundwater; whereas, a geomembrane cap contains landfill gas, and prevents precipitation from becoming leachate. A floating cover prevents odor emissions and evaporation or contamination of potable water. The growing population and rapid industrialization in various economies are leading to the increase in demand for fresh water resources and proper waste management projects, which will also boost demand for geomembranes.
Challenges – Geomembrane Market
Fluctuating prices of raw materials
The primary raw material required to manufacture geomembranes are HDPE, LDPE/LLDPE, PVC, PP, EPDM, and others. Moreover, additives, antioxidants, and plasticizers are also added to enhance the performance of geomembranes. The price and availability of the aforementioned raw materials are directly dependent on crude oil. The prices of materials such as polyethylene and propylene are very volatile, making the price of end products inconsistent. Also, significant price rise of EPDM materials has been witnessed due to rising synthetic rubber prices. As the raw material prices are directly related to the crude oil prices, providing cost-effective geomembranes remains a concern for the manufacturers.
Technology launches, acquisitions and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the geomembrane market. In 2019, the market of geomembrane has been consolidated by the top five players accounting for xx% of the share. Major players in the geomembrane market GSE Environmental LLC, Agru America Inc., Solmax International Inc., Nilex Inc., Carthage Mills, NAUE GmbH & Co. KG, Officine Maccaferri S.p.A., Geofabrics Australasia Private Limited, Carlisle Syntec Systems, and Huifeng Geosynthetics among others.
Product Launch/ Acquisition
In December 2017, Colloids Ltd launched two unique masterbatches for the production of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) geomembrane liners, mainly utilized in landfill and other waste disposal containment sites, and for applications in mining and water containment. This launch initiates the expansion of product portfolio of the company.
In December 2017, Groupe Solmax has completed acquisition of GSE Environmental from Littlejohn & Co. And Strategic Value Partners, LLC. GSE and Solmax will focus on geosynthetic products sector and will reshape the industry by the competitive drivers including deep R&D capabilities, operational excellence and efficiency, and superior quality products.
In April 2016, GSE Environmental, through a partnership with Texplor Group, has developed GSE Liner Integrity Monitoring System. With this development, GSE is able to bring innovative products to the customers.