Natural zeolite is a naturally occurring zeolite used as a moisture adsorbent and other molecules in agriculture, swimming pools, water treatment, filtration and other applications in an ecological way.
Description of natural zeolite
Zeolites are crystalline microporous aluminosilicates, which allow to adsorb water and other cations, thus filling the micropores. There are more than 40 different types of natural zeolites, and each has a slightly different composition that allows the adsorption of one or other molecules. They have a high capacity of cationic exchange facilitating the adsorption of water molecules, ammonium and heavy metal ions.
Natural zeolites have the exceptional quality of ion exchange, incorporating cations such as cadmium, mercury, nickel or arsenic (heavy metals) and releasing calcium, magnesium or phosphates (minerals that are healthy for the human body). This fact makes the natural zeolite used for various natural applications related to agriculture, animal nutrition, water purification, gas filtration or human health.
As we have pointed out above, natural zeolite has properties that facilitate its use in many applications. The particularity is that it carries out processes in a natural or ecological way, being able to substitute different synthetic chemicals by being able to perform the same processes but naturally and without creating chemical residues. Some of its uses are the following:
- Agriculture and crops: Mineral used to improve the soil of cultivation as it has the capacity to accumulate water and nutrients when it rains or water, and then release slowly when water or dry season. It is an excellent regulator of water that plants need. In addition, it retains minerals like potassium, calcium, magnesium and nitrogen and then release it by ion exchange. Therefore it is used to improve soils of crops or simply to optimize them in an ecological way, allowing to extend the irrigations leaving the natural zeolites to work. They are used in greenhouses, as an additive in substrates for garden plants and pots, in fields, on golf courses or as an additive in fertilizers.
- Waste water treatment: Thanks to its natural ion exchange properties, it is a suitable product for the purification of water in a natural and ecological way, being able to retain particles of up to 5 microns. It allows adsorber heavy minerals (such as lead or arsenic), cations (such as Iron, Zinc and Ammonium) and bad odors. These characteristics make it a suitable product for purification of industrial waters or purification of waste water (for example in septic tanks or in municipal sewage treatment plants).
- Filters for swimming pools or fish farms: Zeolites are also used to purify swimming pools, being a substitute for sand (with a similar duration, obtaining a superior water quality and requiring less maintenance). It allows to retain particles of up to 5 microns and thanks to the ion exchange to adsorb toxins. This eliminates particles such as lime and chloramines, leaving the water without turbidity and with great purity. Also useful for fish farms because of their ammonia removal capacity.
- Filtration of drinking water: Another application of zeolites is for the purification of water of mouth, as it removes pollutants or toxic particles of size up to 5 microns, and by ion exchange adsorbs heavy metals and other cations (such as iron, Manganese and ammonium). It eliminates chemicals from the treatment of drinking water.
- Filtration of gases in industry: Zeolites can be used for filtration and purification of gases, since they allow to eliminate the humidity, the ammonia, the bad odors and other toxic particles. As natural molecular sieves they can be used in the same way as synthetic ones, removing moisture and other molecules from an air flow, in order to separate, dry or purify gases.
- Construction: Zeolite can be used as natural pozzolan in the formation of concrete. In countries like China it is much used, replacing part of the portland cement with natural zeolite in resistance cements up to 30 MPa. The zeolite accumulates water inside it and releases it slowly during the concrete setting stage, evenly distributing it. It can also be used as stabilizer or soil improvement for its hygroscopic properties and its ability to level the pH. It mixes with cement and creates a homogeneous porous structure of great resistance and lighter than traditional concrete. New applications are being developed in the field of zeolite construction.
- Animal nutrition: Natural zeolites (specifically clinoptilolite) are used as a food supplement for livestock, in order to make the animals more profitable. The properties of zeolite for animal consumption are the adsorption of mycotoxins and heavy metals, reduction of diarrhea, adsorption and subsequent regulation of ammonium, increased assimilation of minerals, vitamins and proteins, etc. It is used to feed cows, pigs, cattle, chickens and fish, in micronized state and mixed in percentages between 1% and 3% usually.
- Human health: In several countries natural zeolite is used for human consumption as it allows to combat diarrhea, adsorb toxins and prevent cancer. The ion exchange, one of the peculiarities of zeolite, allows adsorbing toxins and release minerals in the body. It can be used in direct contact with the feet to eliminate sweat and bad odors. Also as a cosmetic it moisturizes and improves skin tone by eliminating toxins. However, there are no sufficient medical studies to support the benefits of zeolites and the potential implications or contraindications of the consumption of natural zeolites for humans. Further studies are required to ensure the suitability of the product for both human and cosmetic purposes. It is a product used in research in various laboratories for use in humans.
Being a natural product, its chemical composition and technical characteristics vary slightly according to the place of origin. Thus, the ion exchange will be of different minerals according to one type or another of zeolite.
Consult with us the specifications of the different zeolites that we can offer them.
The natural zeolites can be supplied in different granulometries, from micronized (maximum diameter 50 microns), 0.6 – 1.5 mm, 1.5 – 3 mm or 3 – 5 mm.
For the different applications it is advisable to use one or another size.
It can be supplied in bags of 25 kg (in pallets of 1,000 kg) or big bags of 1.000 kg.