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  • Published In : Dec 2023
  • Code : CMI6131
  • Pages :140
  • Formats :
      Excel and PDF
  • Industry : Bulk Chemicals

The Environmental Silica Market size is estimated  to value at US$ 2.45 Bn in 2023 to US$ 4.71 Bn by 2030, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate  (CAGR) of 9.8% during the forecast period. The growth of the environmental silica market is driven by the increasing demand for silica in a variety of applications, such as water treatment, air purification, and soil remediation.

Silica is a naturally occurring substance that is inert and non-toxic. It has a variety of properties that make it ideal for environmental applications. For example, silica is a good adsorbent, which means that it can trap and remove pollutants from water and air. Silica is also a good flocculant, which means that it can help to clump together small particles, thus making them easier to remove from water.

Environmental Silica Market Regional Insights

  • Asia Pacific is the largest market for environmental silica, accounting for 35% of the global market share. The market growth is driven by the increasing demand for environmental protection products in the region, such as water treatment chemicals, air purification devices, and soil remediation agents.
  • North America is the second largest market for environmental silica, accounting for 25% of the global market share. The market growth is driven by the stringent environmental regulations in the region, which are driving the demand for environmentally friendly products.
  • Europe is the third largest market for environmental silica, accounting for 15% of the global market share. The market growth is driven by the increasing awareness of the environmental impact of pollution, which is driving the demand for pollution control products.

Figure 1. Environmental Silica Market Share (%), By Region, 2023


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Environmental Silica Market Drivers

  • Water filtration and purification: Silica is used in various forms, such as silica gel and silica sand, for water filtration and purification applications. With increasing concerns about water quality and the need for safe drinking water globally, the demand for environmental silica for water treatment purposes has been on the rise.
  • Air pollution control: Silica-based products are used in air pollution control systems to remove pollutants like sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter from industrial emissions. As environmental regulations become stricter, industries are investing in air pollution control technologies, thus driving the demand for silica-based solutions.
  • Agriculture and horticulture: Silica-based products, like diatomaceous earth, are used in agriculture and horticulture to improve soil quality, increase nutrient absorption, and protect plants from pests. Growing focus on sustainable agriculture practices has led to an increased use of silica-based products in the farming sector.
  • Rubber and plastics industry: Silica is used as a reinforcing agent in rubber and plastic products, thus enhancing their mechanical properties and reducing the amount of raw materials required. As the automotive and consumer goods industries grow, the demand for silica as filler in rubber and plastic compounds also increases.

Environmental Silica Market Opportunities

  • Sustainable and eco-friendly products: There is a growing demand for sustainable and eco-friendly products across various industries. Environmental silica, being a natural and abundant material, can find opportunities in applications that prioritize environmental consciousness. Manufacturers can leverage this demand by developing innovative eco-friendly products, such as biodegradable silica-based materials for packaging, single-use plastics alternatives, and sustainable construction materials.
  • Nanotechnology applications: Silica nanoparticles have unique properties that make them suitable for various cutting-edge applications in nanotechnology. These applications include drug delivery systems, nanocomposites, optoelectronics, and sensors. The development of nanotechnology-related products can open up new markets and opportunities for environmental silica manufacturers.
  • Waste recycling and reuse: Environmental silica can be derived from various waste materials, such as rice husk ash, sugarcane bagasse, and other agricultural and industrial byproducts. The recycling and utilization of these waste materials for silica production offer not only economic benefits but also contribute to waste reduction and resource conservation.
  • Green construction: As sustainable construction practices gain traction, environmental silica products can find applications in green building materials. Silica-based additives can enhance the properties of concrete, thereby reducing its carbon footprint and increasing its durability. Using silica in insulating materials and coatings can improve energy efficiency in buildings.

Environmental Silica Market Report Coverage

Report Coverage Details
Base Year: 2022 Market Size in 2023: US$ 2.45 Bn
Historical Data for: 2018 to 2021 Forecast Period: 2023 - 2030
Forecast Period 2023 to 2030 CAGR: 9.8% 2030 Value Projection: US$ 4.71 Bn
Geographies covered:
  • North America: U.S. and Canada
  • Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America
  • Europe: Germany, U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Russia, and Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific: China, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, ASEAN, and Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa: GCC Countries, Israel, South Africa, North Africa, and Central Africa and Rest of Middle East
Segments covered:
  • By Product Type: Precipitated Silica, Silica Gel, Fused Silica, Colloidal Silica, and Silica Fume
  • By Application: Water Filtration, Air Purification, Soil Remediation, Waste Management, Chemical Spill Control, and Catalysts and Adsorbents
  • By End Use Industry: Water Treatment Plants, Air Purification Systems, Environmental Remediation Companies, Oil and Gas Industry, Chemical Manufacturing, and Manufacturing and Industrial Processes
  • By Market Size: Volume (Kilotons) and Value (USD Million)
Companies covered:

U.S. Silica Holdings Inc., Sibelco Group, Fairmount Santrol Holdings Inc., Emerge Energy Services LP, Badger Mining Corporation, Covia Holdings Corporation, Preferred Sands LLC, Hi-Crush Partners LP, SCR-Sibelco N.V., and Pattison Sand Company

Growth Drivers:
  • Water filtration and purification
  • Air pollution control
  • Agriculture and horticulture
  • Rubber and plastics industry
Restraints & Challenges:
  • Price volatility
  • Environmental and health concerns
  • Competition from alternative materials
  • Technological challenges

Environmental Silica Market Trends

  • Growing demand for silica gel in water filtration: Silica gel is a highly porous form of silica which has been experiencing increased demand in water filtration applications. Silica gel's ability to selectively adsorb and remove impurities, such as moisture and various pollutants, from liquids and gases, has made it a popular choice in water treatment systems.
  • Increasing use of silica in sustainable construction: Silica-based materials have found applications in sustainable construction practices. Silica fume, a byproduct of silicon metal production, is being used as a supplementary cementitious material in concrete to improve its strength and durability. This trend aligns with the construction industry's growing focus on eco-friendly and energy-efficient building materials.
  • Rise in silica nanotechnology applications: Nanotechnology, which involves manipulating materials at the nanoscale, has opened up new opportunities for silica-based nanoparticles. Silica nanoparticles are being explored for drug delivery, targeted therapies, biosensors, and other advanced applications in various industries.
  • Shift towards renewable energy storage solutions: Silica has exhibited promise in improving the performance and stability of energy storage devices, such as lithium-ion batteries. With the increasing adoption of renewable energy sources and electric vehicles, there is a growing demand for efficient and reliable energy storage solutions, which can benefit the environmental silica market.

Environmental Silica Market Restraints

  • Price volatility: Silica production is influenced by various factors, including raw material availability, energy costs, and production processes. Fluctuations in these factors can lead to price volatility for silica-based products, which can affect profit margins for manufacturers and potentially limit market growth.
  • Environmental and health concerns: While silica is a naturally occurring mineral, certain forms, such as crystalline silica, can pose health risks if inhaled as fine dust particles. Occupational safety and health regulations govern the use of silica in industrial settings to protect workers from exposure. Concerns about the environmental impact of silica mining and processing can lead to regulatory scrutiny and public resistance.
  • Competition from alternative materials: In some applications, environmental silica faces competition from alternative materials that may offer similar or improved properties. For instance, the development of advanced nanomaterials or synthetic substitutes could potentially replace traditional silica-based products in specific applications.

Counterbalance: To overcome this challenge, the market players should engage in manufacturing of advanced environmental silica to keep pace with alternative synthetic substitutes.

  • Technological challenges: The production and processing of environmental silica can involve complex technologies. Developing innovative and cost-effective processes to extract, purify, and functionalize silica may present technical challenges that slow down market growth of environmental silica market?

Counterbalance: Technological challenges needs to be overcome along with undertaking of innovative processes to extract, purify, and functionalize silica.

Analyst View of the Environmental Silica Market:

The environmental silica market is expected to witness steady growth in the near future. The market is driven by increasing demand from construction industries where silica is used in applications such as concrete, plaster, mortar, and stucco. Rising infrastructure development activities across both commercial and residential sectors will further boost the consumption of environmental silica. Stringent regulations regarding emissions from industrial operations are also resulting in higher utilization of precipitated silica as a filter media for removing pollutants.

However, availability of substitutes could impact the demand for environmental silica adversely. Regulations related to mining activities may add to production costs. Issues pertaining to silica dust exposure during mining pose serious health hazards. Volatility in raw material prices remains a key challenge.

The Asia Pacific region dominates the environmental silica market and is expected to continue its dominance in the near future. This is due to rapid urbanization and industrialization in countries such as China and India. North America will witness significant growth due to stringent norms from EPA regarding industrial emissions. Recovery in construction expenditure is augmenting the environmental silica consumption in Europe. Key market players could gain opportunities by improving production efficiencies and pursuing strategic expansion in developing markets through collaborations.

Recent Developments

New product launches

  • Cabot Corporation launched a new dual phase filler of carbon-silica type (CSDPF 2000) in 2021. This product is designed for use in elastomers, plastics, and other applications where high performance and durability are required.
  • Evonik Industries launched a new line of fumed silica products in 2022. These products are designed for use in a variety of applications, including paints, coatings, and adhesives.
  • Solvay launched a new line of precipitated silica products in 2022. These products are designed for use in a variety of applications, including food, personal care, and pharmaceuticals.

Acquisition and partnerships

  • In 2020, Huber Engineered Materials acquired the environmental silica business of Solvay for $800 million.

Figure 2. Environmental Silica Market Share (%), By Product Type, 2023


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Top Companies in Environmental Silica Market

  • S. Silica Holdings Inc.
  • Sibelco Group
  • Fairmount Santrol Holdings Inc.
  • Emerge Energy Services LP
  • Badger Mining Corporation
  • Covia Holdings Corporation
  • Preferred Sands LLC
  • Hi-Crush Partners LP
  • SCR-Sibelco N.V.
  • Pattison Sand Company

Definition: The environmental silica market refers to the industry that deals with the production, distribution, and use of silica-based materials and products, which have eco-friendly applications in areas such as water filtration, construction, electronics, and other environmentally conscious sectors.

Frequently Asked Questions

Price volatility, environmental and health concerns, competition from alternative materials, and technological challenges are the key factors hampering growth of the environmental silica market.

Water filtration and purification, air pollution control, agriculture and horticulture, and rubber and plastics industry is the major factors driving the market growth.

The leading product type segment in the market is colloidal silica.

U.S. Silica Holdings Inc., Sibelco Group, Fairmount Santrol Holdings Inc., Emerge Energy Services LP, Badger Mining Corporation, Covia Holdings Corporation, Preferred Sands LLC, Hi-Crush Partners LP, SCR-Sibelco N.V., Pattison Sand Company are the major players operating in the market.

North America leads the market.

The CAGR of the market is 9.8%.

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