Blog - Increased Use of Zeolites in Agriculture and Construction Sectors

2021-02-05

DMI segments the Global Zeolite Market by geography into – North America, South America, Europe, Asia-Pacific (APAC), and Middle East and Africa.

There is an increased demand from agriculture and soil remediation. Zeolites are use predominantly in fertilizers as they have the capacity to retain nutrients in the soil and are released gradually over a period of time. Because of their high porosity, Zeolites can store larger amounts of water. Hence, Zeolites have the ability to maintain water levels in soil by hydrating and rehydrating, which prevents soil drying during drought and times of water deficit. The chief reasons behind the preference for Zeolites over natural zeolites are, with the help of chemical properties and pore sizes, they can be engineered and will possess greater hydrothermal stability. In the construction industry, they are mainly used as additives in the process of mixing asphalt concrete as they help in lowering the temperature during the manufacturing and laying of asphalt. This helps to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels and minimize the discharge of CO2 and aerosols.

New processes with renewable sources of energy are rising, yet a large proportion of non- renewable energy sources are included in production. Environmental preservation is an important aspect of sustainable development. For instance, coal is used for power generation and is a non- renewable source of energy found across the world. Acidic water is formed in the process of power generation through coal, and emissions after combustion generate potential toxic waste, which creates an adverse effect on the environment and mankind. Coal ash contains alumina and silica, and can be converted into synthetic zeolite materials by hydrothermal treatment. This conversion of ashes into synthetic zeolites has gained significant importance due to the growth of zeolites in geological materials such as clay minerals and volcanic rock. Hence, the use of synthetic zeolites is highly favorable as carbon emissions can be controlled substantially.

Synthetic zeolites have found application across many industries. Vendors now have realized the potential of synthetic zeolites in applications such as water purification, whereby they are successful in the removal of arsenic content (which causes skin cancer) from water.

The synthetic market was valued at USD 11,568.33 million in 2018 and the market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 2.79% in the forecast period to reach a market value of USD 14,349.96 million by 2026.

The growth of the synthetic zeolites market can be attributed to the increased consumption of detergents due to the growing population and demand for zeolites for use in specialty applications. The increasing demand and R&D activities to manufacture advanced adsorbents, due to the growing environmental concerns and the growing demand from the automotive and air conditioning industries. This in turn, will drive the growth of the market during the forecast period since synthetic zeolites is used as an absorbent in the automotive, compressed gas, and air conditioning industry for removing impurities and for drying gases and fluids. For instance, in December 2017, Albemarle Corporation launched Granite, a new technology for the Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) catalyst market. The line of products introduced under this technology include PEAK, Everest, and Denali. Granite expands catalyst formulation and enables refiners to maximize their profitability.

Synthetic zeolites have proved their efficacy in catalytic cracking, whereby they help in breaking large hydrocarbons into gasoline, which is possible due to their porous structure. Detergents and adsorbents are other chief applications in which synthetic zeolites are used significantly. As a result of the growing demand for synthetic zeolites, major vendors are investing heavily in the exploration and development of new production sites to cater to the rising demand. Moreover, vendors looking at the catalyst manufacturing sector, which is currently growing at a fast pace, are investing in synthetic zeolite production to cater the needs of catalyst manufacturing.

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