Zeolites are a group of minerals consisting of hydrated aluminosilicate minerals. They are made from interlinked tetrahedra of alumina and silica. Zeolites occur naturally, but can also be manufactured by using raw materials like aluminium, silica, and kaolin. Zeolite is known as an exceptionally stable compound that is mainly used as a cation exchanger and molecular sieve.
Due to its porous molecular structure, zeolite is used as an ion exchanger in water filters and water softeners. It is also used in petroleum refining for separating hydrocarbons, drying of gases and liquids, and for pollution control through selective molecular adsorption.
Natural zeolites are used in fertilizers and soil amendment procedures as well. Zeolites have several excellent properties such as high resistance to oxidization, high melting point, and high pressure resistance. Moreover, they do not dissolve easily in water and inorganic solvents.
The global zeolite market is predicted to grow at a CAGR of over 2.4% during 2019 to 2024. The market will get a major boost from the water treatment industry, as zeolite is being increasingly used for cleaning waste water. It is also being used as a refrigeration adsorbent, which will also boost the growth of the zeolite market.
Apart from these, many commercial detergents contain synthetic zeolites which increase their washing efficiency. Synthetic zeolites are characterized by high adsorption capacity for liquid components, especially surfactants. They are mainly used for making compact and super compact detergents. So, growing demand for detergents and increasing awareness about hygiene will drive the growth of the global zeolite market.
Zeolite is also used for antimicrobial protection and increasing use of zeolite antiseptics is expected to increase the demand for zeolite in the coming days. In petroleum refining of products like diesel, gasoline, and other fuels, zeolite is used as a catalyst. Therefore, rising refining output will impact the zeolite market positively.
Stringent environmental protection regulations enacted by governments of various countries will give a major boost to the global zeolite market. The increasing use of natural zeolites by the agricultural sector for trapping heavy metals will also increase the global demand for zeolites.
Geographically, the Asia-Pacific region is dominating the global zeolite market. It is the largest and the fastest growing region in the global market. The dominance of the region can be explained by the presence of several water treatment and detergent industries. In the Asia-Pacific region, the largest consumption has been recorded in China and India.
Major companies operating in the global zeolites market include Albemarle Corporation, BASF SE, Honeywell International, Inc., Arkema Group, Clariant AG, W.R. Grace & Co., TOSOH Corporation, Union Showa KK, Zeochem AG, Zeolyst International, Huiying Chemical Industry, KNT Group, Chemiewerk Bad Kostritz GMBH, National Aluminium Company Limited, and PQ Corporation.