Locations and Tonnage
Currently, the world’s annual production of natural zeolite is about 4 million tons. Of this quantity, 2.6 million tons are
shipped to Chinese markets to be used in the concrete industry. Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Australia, and Asia are world leaders in supplying the world’s demand for natural zeolite.
- most current usages are in low-value applications
- normally, zeolite is not readily considered to be freightable as it is bulky and price sensitive in terms of overall freight cost verses various low-cost applications By comparison, only 57,400 metric tons (source: U.S. Geological Survey, 2004) of zeolite (only 1% of the world’s current production) is produced in North America; only recently has North America realized the potential for current and future markets.
- North American markets are more geared toward higher end value-adding applications in the environmental and building sectors.
- Worldwide zeolite is gaining interest as a rival to activated carbon applications which often have side-effects where zeolite does not. More research is ongoing in this area. Also zeolite has been found simply to be more adsorbent than activated carbon in various high-end applications.