Zeolite constitutes a group of porous silicate minerals with very open crystalline structures which are built of interlinked tetrahedra of silica (SiO4) and alumina (AlO4) and contains exchangeable ions. There are two main categories of zeolites, of which are synthetic zeolite and natural zeolite. As the names suggest, natural zeolite is formed naturally from the reaction of volcanic ash with alkalic lakes. They can also be found in shallow marine basins formed after thousands or millions of years.
Mining techniques are utilized to extract the zeolite from its deposits – for example, scrapers and loaders are used to mine the zeolite bed. The ore is blasted and stripped before further processing, which may include crushing, drying or milling to produce a smaller sized zeolite to be able to accommodate various industries.
Zeolites are commonly used as filter, molecular sieves and as an ion exchange material across many processing equipment. This is due to the fact that zeolites contain water in the spaces between the tetrahedra silica and alumina molecules. The water is able to easily move in and out of the crystal, which consequently allow similar sized (to water) molecules to pass through while larger molecules are not able to travel through. Likewise, gases can pass through these pores or spaces. Therefore, this property is widely utilized in the neutralization of acidic water, cation exchange, gas absorption and gas adsorption
Zeolite improves water quality and reduce toxic gases such as ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, nitrite and others. Zeolite decomposes heavy metals present at ponds which reduces its toxicity.
Zeolite is used as a absorbents for oil and spill & Gas separations. Industrial uses focus on the liquid and vapour absorbing characteristics of zeolite. It can be an ideal granular oil/chemical spill cleanup; it is inert and safe to use.
Wastewater treatment Industry
Zeolite is used as a Ammonia/ammonium removal in municipal sludge/wastewater, Heavy metal removal,Septic leach fields