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Top Technologies in Environment & Sustainability 2016

Top Technologies in Environment & Sustainability 2016

This research report highlights the top ten environmental technologies that increases the earth’s sustainability and are projected to make the highest impact in the near and medium terms. The technologies have been filtered from a wide spectrum of atmospheric, land-based, water and general environmental technologies using TechVision’s proprietary selection methodology. The assessment criteria cover patenting activity, funding, market potential, Mega Trend impact, regional adoption potential, sectors of economic impact, technology disruptiveness, and the environment and sustainability cluster evolution. Each section on the top technologies present an overview of market trends and potential, patent landscape, funding, application impact, Mega Trend impact, disruptiveness, regional trends, innovators, and key strategic planning points. The top ten technologies in environment and sustainability are food waste upcycling, membrane biofilm wastewater treatment, micro irrigation, off-grid desalination, particulate air pollution control, point source carbon dioxide reduction, precision agriculture, waste-to-energy, wastewater membrane filtration and wastewater nutrient recovery.


  • Executive Summary
    • Research Objectives and Scope
    • Top Technologies Selection Methodology
    • Top Ten Environment & Sustainability Technologies
    • Current Issues and Solutions
    • Key Findings
  • Food Waste Upcycling
    • Market potential is high due to the major contribution of food waste to municipal solid waste, especially in developing countries.
    • The highest number of patents filed are in the United States. Funding by governments is driving faster adoption in developed economies.
    • The technology has a high positive impact on the agriculture and food, energy and utilities, and environment and climate sectors.
    • There is a high level of development of the step-changing technology in the North American region.
    • Food waste is being used to produce a variety of valuable products.
    • Globally, partnerships among stakeholders and innovative business models are key for successful food waste upcycling strategies.
  • Membrane Biofilm Wastewater Treatment
    • Increased concerns for wastewater nutrient pollution and high aeration energy cost are the main drivers for the technology.
    • Intellectual property activity is low but shows healthy technology development; funding sources are varied.
    • The technology is rated as "Disruptive" for its high environmental and socio-economic impacts.
    • Europe has been growing fast in technology adoption, while North America and Asia-Pacific are high-potential markets.
    • Oxygen-based systems dominate the market.
    • The commercially nascent technology presents very strong value propositions for a convincing market entry.
  • Micro Irrigation
    • Markets are growing rapidly globally as emphasis on sustainable agriculture increases.
    • Developing countries benefit mainly from generous government funding for sustainable agriculture.
    • Micro irrigation positively impacts agriculture and food production, while preserving the environment.
    • High levels of adoption is observed globally, especially in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.
    • Innovations strive to meet the various needs of the farming community.
    • Micro irrigation using drip applications has high potential for larger adoption, especially in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.
  • Off-grid Desalination
    • Markets are growing rapidly as water and energy stresses loom large.
    • Funding by governments and global organizations is driving adoption especially in emerging economies.
    • Agriculture and food production, the environment, and the energy and utilities sectors will experience high positive impact.
    • The highest rate of adoption is observed in the MENA region.
    • Most off-grid desalination innovations utilize solar power.
    • Large-scale solar PV off-grid desalination systems will be the emerging trend. The Middle East will see the highest growth.
  • Particulate Air Pollution Control
    • Purification equipment for personal use are expected to contribute a larger share to the exponentially growing market.
    • The largest number of patents were filed in the United States. Funding by governments is driving faster adoption in developed economies.
    • The technology has high positive impact on the health and wellness, manufacturing, environmental, chemicals, and automotive sectors.
    • There is a high level of development of the step-changing technology in North America and immense adoption potential in Asia-Pacific.
    • Particulate air pollution is being majorly removed and addressed indoors.
    • Governments in emerging economies are placing increasing emphasis on air pollution abatement.
  • Point Source CO2 Reduction
    • Point source CO2 removal is set to see huge growth in the next few years.
    • The US sees the most patents filing. A number of research initiatives are funded by governments and global organizations across the globe.
    • The technology has high positive impact on the environment and climate, energy and utilities, oil and gas, and chemicals sectors.
    • There is active development of the step-changing technology in North America and high potential for adoption in the Asia-Pacific region.
    • Chemical solutions are found to play a major role in carbon capture from point sources.
    • Stakeholder inclusiveness is necessary for sustained carbon removal strategies.
  • Precision Agriculture
    • Market growth fueled by environmental and economic concern is set to digitize the farming industry.
    • North America leads technologically, but Asia-Pacific has the most inventions.
    • The disruptive technology has influence on six key sectors and will contribute to four Mega Trends.
    • Asia-Pacific and Latin America are fast-growing markets.
    • Data management and processing are key to maximizing profits while preserving environmental sustainability through precision agriculture.
    • Precision agriculture has shown positive results and has good potential even for smallholdings and the farmer.
  • Waste-to-Energy
    • High growth will be observed for the biogas liquefaction segment.
    • Government funding is spearheading technology development globally especially in the United States and Europe.
    • Fuel production and waste management aspects influence sector adoption.
    • Europe is the leader of the WtE market.
    • Most waste-to-energy innovations are related to thermal technologies.
    • High growth for the technology is expected in the agricultural and municipal sectors. Plasma gasification is an emerging technology.
  • Wastewater Membrane Filtration
    • High growth sector is industrial wastewater treatment, driven by wastewater reuse and resource recovery.
      • Table Water & Wastewater Membrane Filtration Market: Projected Revenue and Growth Rates, Global, 2015-2020
    • Asia-Pacific leads in intellectual property but lags in offering public funding.
    • Stepwise technological advancements has enabled more significant impacts on other sectors.
    • Increased adoption is expected in all regions as water scarcity becomes a bigger threat.
    • Innovations with improved performance increase overall energy efficiency, reduce costs, and offer operational flexibility.
    • Cost is the key enabler to address social challenges due to climate change especially in emerging economies.
  • Wastewater Nutrient Recovery
    • Markets are growing rapidly globally as emphasis on resource efficiency increases.
    • The US leads in the number of patents and funding activities.
    • Wastewater nutrient recovery has high positive impact on agriculture and food production and the environment.
    • The game-changing technology has high levels of development and adoption in North America.
    • A mix of innovative biological and chemical technologies are available for nutrient removal.
    • Wastewater nutrient recovery finds increased importance due to finite fertilizer resource availability.

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