Zeolites

Zeolites were formed millions of years ago when volcanoes erupted enormous amounts of ash–aluminosilicates of alkaline and alkaline earths. Some of the wind borne ash settled to form thick ash beds. In some cases the ash fell into lakes and in others, water percolated through the ash beds. In all cases, the chemical reaction of volcanic ash and salt water resulted in the formation of natural zeolites.
The characteristics of a zeolite deposit are determined by their genetic mode ofoccurence. Natural influences such as temperature, geographic location and ash/water properties impart a slightly different composition and therefore some unique properties to zeolites depending on the location of the deposits. These genetic differences account for  the unique properties of some deposits. The alumina and silica from the ash stack into a stable, open and three dimensional honey-comb structure–there are over forty other natural zeolite structures.

Zeolite is a crystalline mineral capable of adsorbing and absorbing many different types of gases, moisture, petrochemicals, heavy metals, low-level radioactive elements and a multitude of various solutions. Their pore channels provide large surface areas on which chemical reactions can take place. The cavities and channels within the crystal could occupy up to 50% of its volume.

Zeolites are inert,microporous crystalline hydrated aluminosilicates with well-defined structures. They are characterized by high surface areas and high cation exchange capacities. Generally they contain silicon, aluminium and oxygen in their framework and cations, water or other molecules wthin their pores. Many occur naturally as minerals, and are extensively mined in many parts of the world. Others are synthetic, and are made commercially for specific uses, or produced by research scientists trying to understand more about their chemistry.
Because of their unique porous properties, zeolites are used in a variety of applications with a global market of several milliion tonnes per annum. In the western world, major uses are in petrochemical cracking, ion-exchange (water softening and purification), and in the separation and removal of gases and solvents. Other applications are in agriculture, animal husbandry and construction.
Zeolites have been used as components of animal feeds in many parts of the world with significant complementary benefits.  From the experience of agronomists from Cuba, Japan, Slovakia and the former Soviet Union, the benefits of zeolite supplements have long become well known.  First-hand evaluation of some of the foreign experiences led the Company to seek and obtain governmental approval and registration for its product as an ingredient in animal feeds.
Adjusting the additive rates used by others in the context of South Moravian animal feed compositions resulted in formulations suitable for swine, poultry, hog range cattle and dairy cattle applications.
·        Many animal growers now included zeolite in the diets of grower feedlot cattle.  In addition, the study demonstrated a clear advantage in the use of zeolites to control bovine manure odour and sequester valuable nitrogen nutrients.
 
·        Including zeolites in the rations of range cattle assists with moisture management and inhibits mycotoxin formation.  It is now also reported to control toxicity of nitrates in forages.
 
·        Zeolites fed to hogs at rates up to 5% of feed in studies at McGill University showed improved net food conversion as well as improved air quality and reduced ammonia levels.  Depending on the feed programs there is a calculated net financial benefit per finished hog.
 
·        Pork producers in southern Moravian town of Znojmo, in the Czech Republic (200 + animals) have reported improved growth rates, higher feed conversion rates, lower incidents of scours and healthier environments.  In addition, manure malodours are reduced and nitrogen is retained by feeding zeolite to hogs.
 
·        Poultry farmers are reporting higher egg grades because of harder, better shaped shell and less breakage.
 
·        Fish food producers have field-tested the addition of zeolites to feed pellets manufactured for salmon farms.  Early results show healthier fish due to absorption of non-protein nitrogen in the digestive tract.  Water quality also improved due to denser fecal waste which settles out of the water more quickly and lower ammonia levels in the water.
In feeds, Rations and Forages:
·        FLOW FREE is an excellent flowing / anti-caking agent for feeds and rations
·        Desiccant properties are used for drying hay and controlling moisture in grains
·        Binding capability is used for feed and ration pelletizing
As a Digestive Aid:
·        Reduces production of mycotoxins in feeds
·        Absorbs toxins in digestive tract (mycotoxins/afatoxins)
·        Reduces incidence of scours in pigs
·        Improves food conversion efficiencies
·        Increase growth rate and decreases finishing time for pigs
·        Increases weight gain, maturity and onset of laying in poultry
·        Lower disease and mortality rates
Zeolites in Barn Environments
To Improve Barn Environment:
·        Zeolite in manure makes it dryer and cleaner
·        Zeolite in bedding absorbs ammonia and other noxious compounds
·        Barn and stable atmosphere is cleaner and less malodorous
·        Animals are healthier with fewer respiratory problems and less stress
·        Environment is healthier for workers
·        Zeolite on barn floors improves traction
For Manure Management:
·        Manure odor is absorbed
·        Fly populations are reduced
·        Manure pile composts more rapidly
·        Loss of nitrogen to atmosphere as ammonia is inhibited
Zeolites in Horticulture
Soil Enhancement:
·        CEC of soil is increased
·        Zeolites retain and moderate moisture and nutrients
·        Soil texture, aeration, porosity and permeability is improved
Organic Fertilizer:
·        Zeolites acts as a substrate for nutrients in organic fertilizer
·        Fertilizer is dryer and odor-free
·        Zeolite, when incorporated as part of organic fertilizer, improves soil quality by enhancing texture, iron exchange capacity, moisture retention and nutrient retention and moderation
·        Helps control and manage valuable nutrient assets by inhibiting release and loss to environment
Environmental Improvement:
·        Cleaner air - reduced NH3 loss, odor and white haze
·        Cleaner run-off and ground water - reduced NH3 and NO3 loss
Spill control

Agricultural aplication

The studies suggest that zeolites used in a dietary and antibiotic capacity with its properties to target ammonium will aid in the digesting and absorbing of nutrients from the feed.

Ecological aplication

Permeable barriers incorporate sorbent materials, including zeolite, to selectively contain contaminants that are percolating from shallow land burial sites of low-level radioactive waste...

Industrial aplication

In construction material production, application of Zeolite leads to cost savings of 20 - 40% of cement in heavy concrete. It allows full excluding of lime application in silicate brick production...

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