Zeolites are hydrated aluminosilicate minerals with a three-dimensional and open crystal structure made from the elements of oxygen, zinc and aluminium. These can either be synthesised industrially from aluminosilicate gels or mined from volcanic rocks. Zeolites are largely present in oceans as well as metamorphic rocks. Additionally, these are known as molecular sieve as they are capable of ion-exchange and reversible dehydration. Other than this, zeolites are capable of holding cation and water along with other molecules. They are stable solids that exhibit an optimum resistance against oxidation, and high temperature and pressure. Moreover, zeolites are unaffected by various environmental conditions that can be harmful for other materials. A new research report by IMARC Group, titled “Zeolite Market: Global Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast 2018-2023”, estimates that the global zeolite market was worth US$ 3.4 Billion in 2017. The report further anticipates the market to reach a value of nearly US$ 5 Billion by 2023, at a projected CAGR of more than 5% over the forecast period.
Global Zeolite Market Drives/Constraints:
- Zeolites are being increasingly utilised in the form of refrigeration absorbents on account of their natural availability coupled with non-poisonous and non-flammable nature. This is one of the primary factors which is driving the growth of the market.
- They are also used as an eco-friendly alternative to sodium tripolyphosphates which are prohibited by several governments as they decline the quality of water. This, in turn, has contributed towards an augmented demand for zeolites across the globe.
- Some of the growth inducing factors which have been positively influencing the global zeolite market include mounting disposable incomes, rising environmental concerns and increasing usage of zeolite for antimicrobial protection owing to their non-toxicity properties.
- However, there is a presence of metals, enzymes and other chemical compounds which can be used in the form of a substitute to zeolite catalysts. This acts as a major hindrance which has been impeding the growth of the market.
On the basis of type, the market has been segmented into natural and synthetic zeolite. Currently, natural zeolite holds the majority of the market share as it has high silica content which is required for holding the structure together.
Zeolite currently finds myriad applications in various segments including detergent, catalyst and adsorbent. Amongst these, detergent is the most common application of zeolite on account of the rising need for protecting marine ecologies and biodiversity.
On a geographical front, North America enjoys the leading position in the global zeolite market. It is followed by Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East and Africa. The report has also analysed the import and export trends of the market. At present, Germany represents the largest importer, whereas, the Netherlands is the largest exporter of zeolite.
The market is fragmented in nature with the presence of numerous small and large manufacturers who compete in terms of prices and quality. Some of the leading players operating in the market are:
- Honeywell International
- Tosoh Corporation
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