10 Current Trends in Filtration and Separation

The industrial filtration market will persistently expand worldwide, showing a substantial growth rate in the near future. Amidst worldwide crises, the sector’s growth in 2023 remained steady, further validated at the FILTECH event. A comprehensive analysis of emerging trends will drive growth and shape the industry for the upcoming year.

How is separation technology developing? One thing is certain: Separation and filtration will become even finer, more precise, digitally intelligent, and sustainable. As industry players anticipate the defining trends, their focus shifts towards the industry’s pivotal platform. FILTECH’s trade fair and congress in November 2024 will facilitate idea exchange, technological discoveries, and the shaping of separation technology for experts across sectors.

Apart from digitalization and sustainability, what other topics will dominate the industry? A comprehensive overview reveals ten significant developments that will influence diverse applications in separation technology.

Ai: Boost For Soft Drinks

With expected growth rates of more than 30 per cent over the next few years, it is clear that artificial intelligence (AI) has enormous potential for practically all industries and areas of application. This also applies to filtration: AI can monitor and optimize filtration systems’ operating parameters in real-time. Researchers at FILTECH 2023 showcased how AI aids in optimising filtration efficiency by controlling pressure, flow rates, and other variables while conserving energy. The team from RWTH Aachen University presented their findings on employing AI for quality control and enhancing work standards when manufacturing filters for the automotive sector.

Moreover, AI enables adaptive filtration systems that effortlessly adapt to fluctuating conditions, which is especially valuable in settings where the composition of substances to be filtered frequently varies. With AI’s broader capabilities, filtration systems can be developed to meet specific requirements effectively and adapt to diverse scenarios. Possibilities range from adapting to different particle sizes to considering specific chemical properties of the substances to be filtered.

Predictive maintenance, higher filtration accuracy, greater energy efficiency, data analysis and pattern recognition – AI in filtration technology offers numerous potentials for improving filtration systems’ efficiency, reliability, and adaptability.

Air Separators: High Demands On Air Filtration

Air classifiers are vital across multiple industries, dividing materials by specific weight or particle size. They are especially vital in recycling, facilitating the separation of plastic, paper, glass, and metals, thereby supporting the shift towards a circular economy. In agriculture, windsifters are invaluable in efficiently separating grains and seeds from impurities like dust or leaves, ensuring a secure supply. 


Regardless of the industry, the proper functioning of air classifiers relies heavily on effective air filtration. This is crucial to reliably separate unwanted elements and prevent them from being released into the environment. 

Manufacturers continually strive to enhance air ducting and filter systems, moving away from point filters to concentrate conveyor technology in a single location. Contaminated air is effectively collected using large filter systems, and dust and other impurities are efficiently removed. These central dedusting systems operate continuously and possess self-cleaning capabilities, giving operators confidence in meeting legal requirements.

Mobile Screening Plants: Electrification Is Picking Up Speed

The progress in electrifying passenger vehicles is remarkable, but it is a different story for commercial vehicles and mobile equipment. However, manufacturers of screening plants and separating machines know the potential of electric drives to reduce emissions. Separating aggregates demands significant energy, so more operators seek on-site systems with zero CO2 emissions. 

Electric drives reduce environmental impact and benefit users in quarries, sand pits, and demolition sites. Manufacturers are focusing on dual drive systems, with the option of external power supply through a transformer station. Battery-electric systems are becoming increasingly available, while hybrid drives serve well in diverse locations with high peak loads. 

Unlike the passenger car sector, screen and classifier operators have diverse requirements, making it impossible to have a standardised solution. Therefore, suppliers must adapt to various needs and consider all potential applications, highlighting the need for separation technology and energy supply expertise.

Filtration As A Service

In the future, operators of separation technology systems may no longer purchase filter elements but instead opt for booking throughputs. “Filtration as a Service” (FaaS) is a concept that applies the “as-a-service” model to filtration technology. Similar to other service-based offerings, FaaS could provide demand-oriented filtration solutions. 

Customers would be able to access filtration services without the need for equipment ownership and maintenance. Companies can focus on their core competencies by outsourcing filtration using specialized solutions. This approach eliminates the need for large initial investments while benefiting from advanced filtration technology. FaaS may also include the incorporation of monitoring systems and data-driven optimization solutions. This innovative concept aims to deliver filtration solutions that meet each company’s unique requirements.

Cooling Compressors: Filtration Of The Lubricating Oil Is Crucial

Refrigeration compressors are vital in absorbing heat and controlling temperatures in refrigeration and air conditioning systems. Modern filtration technology faces challenges when providing pure lubricating oil, essential for these systems’ safe and efficient functioning. 

Lubricating oils in these applications contain additives that affect their properties, requiring filtration solutions to consider these components. Manufacturers need extensive expertise to ensure that filters not only withstand the refrigerant but do not negatively impact the lubricant. 

The entire refrigeration solution’s service life is enhanced by selecting the appropriate filter elements for refrigeration compressor oils. Solution providers with specialized knowledge can offer system operators pure filtration products and suitable technology for their specific applications.

Parts Cleaning: Filter Systems For Uncompromising Quality

As refrigeration systems do, parts cleaning also necessitates filtration solutions that meet high demands. Optimal cleanliness is crucial in various sectors, such as automotive applications and precision mechanics. Clean components prevent wear and damage, ensure functionality quality, and enhance production and assembly efficiency. 

Suppliers of effective filtration solutions for parts cleaning systems can meet the most rigorous quality standards and the ever-increasing demand for environmentally friendly processes by conducting analyses to remove residual dirt. This approach minimizes energy and water requirements. Efficient parts cleaning benefits the environment and reduces operating costs for users. The cleaning fluid undergoes several filtration steps, ranging from coarse to fine filtration, during the washing and rinsing cycles until the desired purity level is achieved.

Pharmaceutical production: Safe products thanks to activated carbon

Food, beverages, and pharmaceuticals production demands activated carbon for various reasons. Activated carbon is used in depth filters to separate unwanted by-products, eliminate colour, and eliminate taste or odour. 

There are two noticeable trends: first, activated carbon in powder form can be added to the process, adsorbing impurities that are then removed by another filtration unit. Second, manufacturers provide filter sheets incorporating activated carbon, offering internal surface areas similar to activated carbon powder. 

Substantiated carbon filtration allows pharmaceutical manufacturers to meet stringent product safety and purity requirements by effectively separating foreign substances. Using filter sheets with bonded activated carbon can avoid the need to dose activated carbon.

Wine: Filtration Problems Due To Botrytis- And Oidium-Contaminated Grapes

French wine harvest in 2023 caused an oversupply in the market. The government planned to remove the surplus and compensate winegrowers. However, traditional wine regions faced declining harvests due to climate change, with Botrytis and Oidium affecting many grapes. These issues also impacted the filterability of the vintage, causing poor clarification and clogged filters. To address this, wineries must adapt their filtration systems using suitable enzymes and test kits to avoid clogging. 

Grapes affected by oidium need manual separation due to their bitter taste, earthy aromas, and astringency. However, slightly contaminated grapes can undergo enzymatic clarification and fining during filtration. Winegrowers anticipate more frequent challenges in the future, with filtration specialists in viticulture already preparing for these upcoming climatic conditions.

Fruit Juice: Harvest Problems Lead To Falling Volumes

The issues surrounding harvest are impacting non-alcoholic beverage producers as well. For example, the apple and pear industry faces a projected decline in 2023 due to droughts, flooding, hail, warm nights, and a greater pest risk. These conditions are likely to affect both the quantity and quality of yields. 

To ensure the end products meet the desired standards, filtration systems in this sector must surpass previous performance levels. It is crucial for producing companies to seek guidance from suppliers regarding suitable solutions and effectively convey their requirements.

Food: Stricter Regulations Through Better Testing Procedures

The advancement of testing methods in food production considerably impacts filtration systems. Whether it’s aromatic hydrocarbons in food or brewing residues in beer, the accuracy of detection drives the demand for higher precision filtration systems. With the need to effectively remove even the smallest particles or contaminants, fine filtration technologies are expected to surge in demand. 

This could entail using filter media with finer pore sizes, high-performance filters, or advanced techniques like membrane or nanofiltration. Additionally, filtration systems will be required to meet higher performance standards and undergo regular monitoring, maintenance, and validation to ensure food purity.

Innovative Solutions For Complex Processes

In industrial production, separation technology stands out as an incredibly diverse field. With the filtration and separation market set for growth and transformation, various factors like advanced technologies, integration with IoT, and sustainability initiatives propel the industry forward. 

As businesses increasingly acknowledge the significance of filtration in maintaining product quality and environmental consciousness, the demand for cutting-edge filtration solutions will persistently rise. FILTECH, as a platform, caters to attendees by offering solutions that not only fulfil their present needs but also adapt to future requirements.


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