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ZIA identifies principal areas of research relating to zircon, zirconium and zirconia

November 2020

The Zircon Industry Association (ZIA) annually identifies the most popular areas of research relating to zircon and its downstream derivatives.

Following a review of over 2,600 peer-reviewed papers published in 2019, it has been possible to identify these areas of research and make an informed assumption as to the likely potential for industrial application.

Specialists at Centro Ceramico, Bologna (Italy) carried out the literature search and categorised the papers into subject areas. Those areas with more than 30 publications were considered to have a high potential market demand, indicating that the interest of the scientific community is high and, therefore, the application might merit exploitation at an industrial level.

The most popular fields of zircon-related research were as follows:

  1. Nanomaterials, nanorods, nanostructures and nanofabrication
  2. Advanced coating and functional materials
  3. Biomedical applications
  4. Advanced ceramics
  5. Fuel cells
  6. Catalysis

When compared to a similar review of publications in 2018, Advanced coatings, Nanoparticles, Fuel cells and Catalysis all saw their percentage share of research increase in 2019. While the areas of Biomedical applications and Advanced ceramics saw a decrease in 2019.

More detail on the results of the literature review, including graphic representations of the information, is available in the Publications Review section.

The four annual literature reviews between 2016 and 2019 offer an opportunity to identify research trends. Throughout this four-year period, the areas of advanced ceramics and biomedical research have remained popular areas of research, each with significant potential for industrial applications. While the areas of nanomaterials, nanorods, nanostructures and nanofabrication and advanced coating and functional materials have both grown in popularity based on the number of peer-reviewed publications.

ZIA Executive Director, Dr Keven Harlow, commented:

“Zircon and its derivatives play an increasingly crucial role in today’s modern world in applications ranging from industrial uses to everyday products. This annual literature review offers our members insight into the future potential of zircon to have an even greater impact through emerging technologies.

“Our work now allows us to see annual trends with nanomaterials, biomedical applications, advanced coating and functional materials as well as advanced ceramics being consistently popular areas of zircon related research. We know that zircon is increasingly used in clean energy applications where fuel cells and catalysis have also seen significant increases in research in the last year.”

Notes to editors

  1. Download the full News Release.
  2. Further graphic representation of the literature review is available on the ZIA website in the Publications Review section. Copies of the ZIA literature reviews are available to members.
  3. The Zircon Industry Association (ZIA) is an independent industry association. Its mission is to represent and support the interests of the zircon, zirconia and zirconium value chains, from zircon sand production, to a wide range of downstream products including zircon flour, opacifiers, refractory materials, friction materials, fused zirconia and zirconium chemicals, metal and alloys. Its members currently represent some 80% of the globally-produced zircon tonnage.
  4. ZIA operates a strict Code of Conduct and Antitrust Policy.

For further information, please contact:
Claire Caton / media@zircon-association.org