The global natural zeolites market size is expected to reach USD 8.01 billion by 2025, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc. It is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 2.7% over the forecast period. Increasing investments in development of new infrastructure in the global construction industry are expected to propel the product demand. The usage of natural zeolites is prominent in construction materials owing to their hygroscopic qualities and the ability to balance pH. Natural zeolites are pozzolanic materials, which are used to enhance strength of the structure.
The construction industry is witnessing considerable growth not only in emerging economies but also in developed countries such as the U.S. In 2017, construction spending in U.S. was 4.5% higher than in 2016. The growth of global construction industry has led to the increased use of cement. Cement manufacturing is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, and thus, natural zeolites are used in construction materials as a partial replacement for cement.
Soil remediation and water treatment applications are expected to augment growth of the natural zeolites market. Soil contamination is a major concern in the European and Asian countries. According to the European Environment Agency, Europe had approximately 2.5 million potentially contaminated land sites in 2014. Similarly, almost one-fifth of the land in China is rich in cadmium. In 2013, it was reported that rice grown in Hunan province of China was contaminated with cadmium. Also, 44% of rice samples were found to be contaminated with cadmium in Guangzhou. Owing to the increasing soil contamination, materials such as natural zeolites, are being used in soil amendment applications to improve the overall health and quality of soil and the crops.
China has been a major producer and consumer of natural zeolites on a global scale since many years. Their usage is prominent in China owing to an increase in the demand for construction materials and the requirement for soil amendment products. China is the largest cement producer in the world and has been witnessing high use of natural zeolites such as Pozzolan cement.
The growth of the natural zeolites market is affected by presence of substitutes. Both minerals and non-minerals are a threat to the market in major applications including construction materials, water treatment, and soil amendment. For example, activated carbon in water treatment and bentonite clay in soil amendment can hinder demand. Major players in the global market are increasing their production capacities by establishing new plants; joint ventures; and through acquisitions to increase their customer reach in the international markets.
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Further key findings from the report suggest:
- Construction materials is anticipated to remain the largest segment throughout the forecast period, in terms of revenue, on account of benefits such as improved strength and durability of structures obtained due to the use of natural zeolites
- The soil remediation segment is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 3.4% in terms of value over the forecast period due to increasing land contamination
- In terms of volume, animal feed accounted for a share of 14.3% in 2017, owing to the increasing animal feed production in North America and South America
- Asia Pacific is anticipated to be the leading region in the market throughout the forecast horizon, owing to rapid infrastructural developments
- Some of the key companies operating in the natural zeolites market are KMI Zeolite, Zeocem a.s., United States Antimony Corporation, and Zeotech Corporation. They are attempting to increase their consumer base, for instance, in December 2017, Canadian Zeolite Corp. acquired Earth Innovations Inc., which has an established distribution network in Canada.