The significant usage of zeolites for fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) in the petroleum industry is the major factor accelerating growth of the Zeolites Market. Zeolite is the major and active component of the catalyst used in the FCC process for refining petroleum. This can be attributed to their special properties such as good stability, high activity, large pore size, good resistance to attrition, cleansing ability, and low coke production, which helps in synthesis of high-quality transportation fuels and chemical products. The exponentially growing consumption of petroleum and petrochemical products is consequently increasing demand for high petroleum refining and thereby raising the usage of adsorbents and catalysts such as zeolites. According to the information furnished by Wikipedia, the total worldwide oil consumption is around 99 million barrels per day (bbl/day) on average in 2018 and the demand is increasing considerably. This has majorly propelled demand for zeolites and the market will devise abundant opportunities for itself in the coming years.
The high prevalence of wastewater across the globe and subsequent growth in the water treatment industry is likely to boost demand for the zeolites market. Zeolites are microporous aluminosilicate minerals that have a three-dimensional crystalline structure, and is also known as molecular sieve due to the gaps in it. The microporous structure of zeolite makes it suitable for wastewater treatment and water purification processes. According to the International Water Association, around 80% of all wastewater is discharged into the world's waterways and the current wastewater treatment capacity is 70% of the generated wastewater in high-income countries, and only 8% in low-income countries. Owing to the high discharge of wastewater, the government and the private sector are investing heavily to deploy water treatment facilities. Therefore the increasing demand for the water treatment industry is leading to growth of the zeolites market. The global zeolites market attained a market value of $29 billion in 2018, and is expected to grow with a CAGR of 2.55% during the forecast period of 2019-2025.
Moreover, non-toxicity and cleansing properties of zeolites make it suitable for usage as antimicrobial protection including yeasts, bacteria, and spores. Thus, the increasing zeolite antiseptics usage is expected to enhance growth over the aforementioned forecast period. The further areas of application of zeolites are ion exchange, cat litter, as water softener in detergents, self-cooling beer keg, and fertilizer additive. These aspects of zeolites are tremendously increasing growth of the global zeolite market.
Zeolites Market: Leading Segments
Geographically, Europe held the major share in the global zeolites market, and generated a share of 30% in 2018. Technological innovations that improve performance and minimize the complexity of zeolite manufacturing processes are driving the market in this region. Stringent regulations pertaining to the restriction of greenhouse emissions in Germany, France, the Netherlands, and Belgium have led to the adoption of bio-based zeolite in various applications such as refrigerants. For instance, in 2009, the European Commission passed the Renewable Energy Directive (RED), mandating that 20% share of EU energy consumption must be from renewable energy sources such as biomass, wind power, solar power, geothermal energy, and biofuels, by 2020. Additionally, abundance of natural zeolite coupled with supportive government regulations for production of bio-based chemicals is the major factor that has granted Europe the highest share.
On the basis of application, the zeolites market is segmented into catalysts, adsorbents, detergent builders, and others. Among these, detergent builders is the most significant application segment of the market. This is attributed to growing demand for detergents on account of increasing hygiene awareness among consumers, coupled with the increasing global population. Owing to its enhanced cleansing ability, there is an increasing demand for zeolite as builder in detergents. The other properties such as high dirt removal efficiency, preventing foreign particle deposition, fine dispersibility, and low abrasiveness, has ensued in increased utilization of zeolites for manufacturing detergents. As a result, detergent manufacturers have started focusing on replacing phosphorus materials with zeolites to produce effective detergents. Thus, the key application segment is anticipated to propel at a CAGR of 2.31% through to 2025.
Global Zeolites Market Growth Drivers:
· Abundant Availability of Raw Materials:
The principle raw materials used for manufacturing zeolites are silica, aluminum, and kaolin. These raw materials are among the most abundant mineral components on earth. According to the data provided by Wikipedia, silicon, and aluminum are the second and third most abundant elements on the earth’s crust respectively. The abundant availability of these raw materials is driving market growth.
· Application of Zeolite in Refrigeration:
The properties of zeolite including high heat of adsorption and ability to hydrate and dehydrate while maintaining structural stability, are exploited for the application of zeolites in adsorption refrigeration. The thriving refrigeration industry is expected to augment demand for Zeolites. According to the “Global Cold Chain Alliance,” the overall volume of cold storage around the globe, in the refrigerated storage sector, is about 616 million cubic meters in 2018, which is an increase of 2.67% over 2016. Thus, the rapidly increasing cold storage capacity is fuelling demand for the global zeolites market.
· Increasing Demand from End-User Industries:
The relatively porous structure of zeolite makes it suitable for catalytic, separation, and adsorption applications in end-user industries such as oil and gas, detergents, agriculture, automotive, aerospace, aviation, concrete, petrochemical, nuclear, refrigeration, concrete, and water treatment. With end-user industries witnessing remarkable growth in leading economies such as China, Japan, and India, the demand for zeolite products is also growing.
Global Zeolites Market: Major Players
The prominent players in the global zeolites market are BASF SE, Tosoh Corporation, Clariant, Arkema Group, Zeochem AG, UOP LLC, Interra Global Corporation, W. R. Grace, KNT Group, and Honeywell International Inc. These players are continuously focusing on strategic plans such as expansions, investments, acquisitions, partnerships, agreements, and joint ventures, to consolidate their presence in the market.
BASF SE became one of the largest producers of specialty zeolites worldwide, by expanding its zeolite production capacity with a new facility for specialty zeolites at Germany in September 2017. This facility is intended to develop emissions catalysts for heavy-duty and light-duty diesel vehicles. These specialty zeolites help in chemical, petrochemical, and refining applications.
Tosoh Corporation, in 2018, expanded its production capacity for high-silica zeolite (HSZ) at its Nanyo Complex in Yamaguchi Prefecture. Tosoh produces HSZ in Japan at its Yokkaichi Complex as well as its Nanyo Complex and overseas in Malaysia. Nanyo Complex’s new facilities will increase Tosoh’s overall HSZ production capacity by 30% of its current level.
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