© 2020 The Society of Powder Technology JapanA new process route for obtaining zeolite 4A from kaolin was realized by subjecting all raw materials needed for hydrothermal synthesis to thermal activation in one pot method. For that purpose, different routes of activation steps for kaolin, which are metakaolinization, alkali fusion and one pot fusion were investigated for a wide range of kaolin sources in order to obtain zeolite 4A product with highest crystallinity. The influence of Si/Al ratio in addition to the chemical composition of raw kaolin, i.e. quartz and iron impurity content, on the product 4A was investigated following all three activation routes. It was found that alkali fusion process allows incorporation of quartz as silicon source during the hydrothermal synthesis of zeolite 4A, which may result in a variety of products such as zeolite P and zeolite 13X. In this study, a novel approach was developed by thermal activation of a mixture of kaolin, alkali and alumina sources at once in one pot route, which was followed by hydrothermal synthesis. The current study indicates the possibility of adjusting Si/Al ratio adding Al(OH)3 during the activation step in one pot fusion process, which resulted in synthetic zeolite 4A of higher than 90% crystallinity using low quality kaolin.