What is Natural Clinoptilolite? Structure,Properties,Facts
What is zeolite clinoptilolite? Today There are many natural zeolites identified in the world. Clinoptilolite, mordenite, phillipsite, chabazite, stilbite, analcime, and laumontite are very common forms whereas offsite, paulingite, barrerite, and mazzite, are much rarer. There are over 50 types of natural zeolite minerals and over 200 synthetic zeolites in the world. Among the zeolites, Clinoptilolites (from the heulandite group) are the most abundant natural zeolite and is widely used and suitable natural zeolites type for commercial and industrial applications in the world.
According to the world's annual production of natural zeolite approximates 3 million tonnes, More than 80% of the world's zeolite production is clinoptilolite type of natural zeolite mineral. Apart from natural ones, many synthetic zeolites are being developed around the world for custom applications. However, only 232 synthetic zeolites of these structures have been discovered and synthesized so far, so many zeolite scientists question why only this small fraction of possibilities are being observed. Natural zeolites are abundant and low-cost resources, which are crystalline hydrated aluminosilicates with a framework structure containing pores occupied by water, alkali, and alkaline earth cations. Because of their high cation-exchange ability as well as molecular sieve properties, natural zeolites have been widely used as adsorbents in separation and purification processes in the past decades.
Zeolite Clinoptilolite Structure
Currently, most natural zeolite manufacturers process clinoptilolite at the market. However, not all zeolite products have a high content of clinoptilolite. The quality of a zeolite mineral depends on the clinoptilolite content of the product since the active agent (that can exchange cations) in the mineral is the clinoptilolite. Unfortunately at the market, some products have clinoptilolite content as low as 50%, even sometimes 40%, so the rest of the product is regular stone or clay.
Clinoptilolite possesses a tetrahedral framework and forms a continuous compositional series referred to as the Zeolitemin zeolites. For known more technical information about zeolite (Clinoptilolite), please visit International Zeolite Association(IZA)'s website. They found an informing 3D animation of clinoptilolite's tetrahedral structure from their website and how it absorbs the cations into its cage like a magnet.It forms a series with heulandite:
- Clinoptilolite-Ca – heulandite-Ca solid solution series
- Clinoptilolite-K – heulandite-K solid solution series
- Clinoptilolite-Na – heulandite-Na solid solution series
Specific physicochemical zeolite properties:
- high ion exchange selectivity
- reversible hydration and dehydration
- high gas sorption capacity
- high thermostability
- resistance to aggressive media
Natural zeolites clinoptilolite are hydrated aluminosilicate minerals of a porous structure with valuable physicochemical properties, such as cation exchange, molecular sieving, catalysis, and sorption. Using natural zeolites for environmental applications is gaining recent research interests mainly because of their properties and significant worldwide occurrence.
The clinoptilolite quality from Xiamen Zeolitemin Biotech Co., Ltd was passed by SGS laboratory, Top 1 in Asia. The Purity of Clinoptilolite mineral is about 91% content. High-quality Clinoptilolite is used in animal feed, aquaculture, agricultural, water treatment, and construction markets. Otherwise, Low-quality Clinoptilolite is mostly used as aggregate.
Types of clinoptilolites
Clinoptilolite series comprises three species. Clinoptilolite-K, Clinoptilolite-Na, Clinoptilolite-Ca named after their dominant elements. These elements are exchanged during cation exchange in favor of heavy metals, toxins, ammonia etc. which have a higher attraction for the mineral. To check how these elements are placed inside the clinoptilolite structure please check The Virtual Museum of Minerals and Molecules.
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