Currently, the world's annual zeolite production is 4 million tons. Of this quantity, 2.6 million tons are allotted for the Chinese market for building their infrastructure (the concrete industry). By comparison, 40,000 tons of zeolite (only 1% of the world's current production) is produced in North America - natural zeolite is used in many parts of the world but is only fairly new to North America. Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Australia, and Asia are world leaders in supplying the world's growing demand of zeolite and only recently has North America realized zeolites potential for current and future markets.
Zeolite and the Environment
Zeolite contributes to a cleaner, safer environment in a
great number of ways. In fact nearly every application of zeolite has
been driven by environmental concerns, or plays a significant role in
reducing toxic waste and energy consumption.
Clinoptilolite is the specific mineral that provides extremely high CEC properties on the zeolite
Differences in Zeolite Suppliers
The zeolite industry is as competitive within itself as are most innovative technologies. Within the zeolite community it is well understood that specific zeolite sources are better suited for their respective niche applications. One important factor to determine a natural zeolites quality is the percentage and quantity of a primary mineral within the zeolite matrix - called "clinoptilolite". Clinoptilolite is the specific mineral that provides extremely high CEC properties on the zeolite surface. The highly porous zeolite matrix provides the absorption qualities.
Clinoptilolite has a cage-like structure consisting of SiO 4 and AlO 4 tetrahedra joined by shared oxygen atoms. The negative charges of the AlO 4 units are balanced by the presence of exchangeable cations - notably calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium. These ions can be readily displaced by other substances such as heavy metals and ammonium ions. This phenomenon is known as cation exchange, and it is the very high cation exchange capacity of clinoptilolite which provides many of its very useful properties.
While zeolite as a whole is likely very beneficial for your application - there are premium and sub-par quality zeolite suppliers so use caution when sourcing your zeolite.
Zeolites are 100% natural minerals. OSHA has determined that zeolite products are: Non-Toxic, Non Corrosive, Non Flammable, Stable, Not Caustic, Non Irritating, Not a sensitizer in oral, dermal, and ocular as per Federal Hazardous Substances Act (15 CFR 1500).