The global diatomite market is expected to witness substantial growth owing to increasing use in industrial applications including filter aid and filler material. Natural filtering characteristics due to its unique honeycomb structure and its rising use in filtration application as well as food and beverage market are key drivers for the market growth. Superior filtering characteristics of diatomite owing to its unique physical structure and its increasing use in filtration application is expected to be key market driver in the forecast period. Physical and chemical characteristics of diatomite including high surface area, abrasiveness and high silica content promote its use in various applications including filtration, functional additives, absorbents and pharmaceuticals which is expected to drive market growth over the forecast period..
Filtration market is the largest consumer of diatomite owing to high levels of purifying capabilities. In addition growing use of diatomite in industries such as paints, plastics, insecticides, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, adhesives, sealants, paper is expected to propel diatomite market growth over the forecast period. Filtration industry accounts for largest market share among diatomite application owing to widespread use as a filter media. Superior filtration properties of diatomite promote use in water treatment, beer and wine making, motor oil processing and pharmaceutical manufacturing. As functional additives, diatomite is used in paint industry where it is added as a whitening agent and extender. In addition, its use in plastic industry as an anti-blocking agent assists in separation of plastic parts during manufacturing and separation of plastic bags. Absorbent application include use of diatomite in clean up of spills in automotive, industrial and waste remediation industries owing to its characteristics such as porosity and high surface area. Growing use of diatomite as mild abrasives in toothpastes, facial scrub and metal polishes is on a rise owing to characteristics such as small sized silica particles, high surface area, angular in shape and friable. Cosmetics application of diatomite includes its use in cosmetic powder such as talc to absorb the oils. Pharmaceutical application of diatomite includes its use as an absorbent with adsorbent properties which is used to regulate the release of cationic drugs. Diatomite is increasingly used in agriculture segment in fungicides, insecticides and rodenticide owing to its dehydration properties. Other diatomite applications include its use as a growing medium in hydroponic gardens wherein its characteristics such as inertness, water holding capability and porosity allows the soil to breathe. Preserving and protecting the available diatomite reserve is expected to be a major restraint owing to factors including microbial degradation and degradation due to abrasion. Microbial degradation involves certain bacteria species which can accelerate the rate of dissolution of silica in dead and living diatoms thereby degrading the available diatomite reserves. Degradation of diatomite reserves by abrasion involves depletion of reserves due to various natural phenomenon including, sand storms and floods. Growing health and safety concerns associated with inhalation of crystalline silica during diatomite processing is expected to affect diatomite market growth over the forecast period.
North America accounted for largest market share in terms of demand owing to large amount of diatomite reserves available in the region. In addition, increasing demand from various industrial applications including water treatment, absorbents and crop protection chemicals is expected to augment diatomite market growth over the forecast period. United States had the highest demand for diatomite in North America owing to growing demand in manufacturing crop protection and water treatment chemicals. Asia Pacific accounted for second largest market share owing to increasing demand from crop protection chemicals and industrial applications particularly in China Furthermore, demand from countries including India, Korea, Japan and Australia are expected to provide better opportunity for diatomite market over the forecast period. Europe contributed for a significant share for diatomite owing to increasing demand from crop protection and water treatment particularly in Spain, Germany and United Kingdom. Middle East is expected to witness significant growth owing to increasing use of diatomite in various stages of oil & gas exploration. In addition, use of diatomite in water treatment is on a rise owing to its superior filtration properties.
Major players in the diatomite market include Grefco Minerals, Inc., EP Minerals, Imerys, Celite Corp., Showa Chemical Industry Co. Ltd., Damolin, Moltan Co., CECA and Eagle-Picher Industries Inc.
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