Zirconium Chemical Industry
In the region of 20% of zircon output is used in the production of zirconium chemicals and this is expected to grow by 25% over the next 5 years as demand for added value zirconium products continues to grow.
China now produces in the region of 90% of the basic zirconium chemicals used as they are or for further added value processing around the world.
The global output for all added value zirconium products, including basic chemicals, fused and chemical zirconias is around 200,000mts based on ZrO2 units and this is forecast to grow to 250,000mts over the next 5 years.
Global output of zirconium chemicals and fused zirconias on a ZrO2 basis:-
Zirconium chemicals ZOC, ZBS, ZBC are used in the production of paper coating, antiperspirants, pigments, paint driers, metals treatment, printing inks, textile coatings, flames retardants.
Fused monoclinic ZrO2 is used in ceramic colours, abrasives, glazes
Fused stabilised zirconia is used in refractories, foundry, barrier coatings
Chemical grade ZrO2 is used in electronics, engineering ceramics, catalysts and oxygen sensors
The global market for zirconium products is in the region of USD 3-4B.