Global zeolite 4A industry is expected to witness notable growth in the coming years owing to the increasing adoption of phosphate-free materials in detergent formulations. Phosphate is considered hazardous to water bodies, due to which its usage in detergents is restricted by several environmental norms and stringent regulations in regions like India, China, Brazil, and the EU.
Zeolites usage in detergents retain the drainage of essential ions, which makes it the most favored alternative to phosphate in detergents. This apart, the product is witnessing strong demand as an absorbent in chemical, oil & gas, and wastewater treatment industries. The crystalline structure of zeolite 4A complements its absorbent property and makes it an ideal material for drying and purifying applications in various end-use industries.
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According to Global Market Insights, Inc., global zeolite 4A market size is predicted to surpass USD 2 billion by 2024.
There have been increasing applications of zeolite 4A as a catalyst in the petroleum sector. The amorphous material plays a crucial role in fluid cracking process used for petroleum refining and downstream oil production. Growing demand and consumption of oil globally is likely to positively impact the demand for zeolite 4A in petroleum production.
As per the International Energy Agency (IEA), global oil demand is estimated to reach around 2.5 mb/d in 2025. Easy availability, low cost, and high yield features make zeolites the most favored fluid catalyst used in the oil & gas industry. Owing to this, global zeolite 4A industry share from catalyst applications is anticipated to expand at over 3% through 2024.
The laundry detergent industry is the largest end-user of detergent-grade zeolite 4A. It is used as a water softener in laundry detergent to retain calcium and magnesium ions. The presence of these ions increases detergents’ effectiveness even in hard water.
Rising awareness about personal hygiene has led to significant adoption of liquid, powder, and soap-based detergents to a large extent, resulting in a tremendous demand for detergent-grade zeolites crystals.
Global zeolite 4A industry share from the U.S. is projected to reach over USD 340 million by 2024. This is attributed to rising product demand in asphalt concrete mix formulations, broadly used in various infrastructural applications. Growing emphasis of the federal government towards the overall infrastructural development in the country is augmenting the demand for asphalt concrete mix and other construction materials.
According to the Council on Foreign Relations, in March 2021, the U.S. government introduced a USD 2 trillion infrastructure plan, which includes the development of physical infrastructures, such as roads & bridges, railways, airports, water systems, and others. Along with this, booming residential and commercial construction sector would further complement zeolite 4A business expansion across the U.S.
Henkel SPIC India, Nokan, Tosoh Corporation, National Aluminum Company Limited, Zeolite and Allied Products Pvt. Ltd., BASF, and PQ Corporation, among others, are the leading companies of global zeolite 4A industry. The zeolites suppliers are eyeing strategic mergers, acquisitions, and new product launches to strengthen their position in global market.
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In a nutshell, the crystalline structure of zeolite 4A makes it an excellent amorphous material, which opens up huge application scope in various sectors, such as chemical, laundry detergent, construction, and others. Along with this, growing R&D activities to enhance product quality and applications would complement global zeolite 4A industry forecast through 2024.