The physical properties of zeolite are useful in various ways. Natural zeolite is a natural absorbent, which can be used for purification in digestion and wastewater. Anaerobic digestion is a series of biological processes in which microorganism break down the biodegradable absence of oxygen. Zeolite has been widely used as an ion exchanger for the removal of ammonium in anaerobic digestion.
This study tested the efficiency of clinoptilolite on improving digestion and reducing manure mineral content. One of the many ways that zeolite is beneficial is how porous it is, that enables the anaerobic reactor to retain high biomass concentrations. Higher concentrations are capable because of the increased surface area available made by using a fixed bed reactor. A big problem in anaerobic processing of wastewater is the loss of biomass in systems with high hydraulic loading rates.
The purpose of this study was to examine the uses of zeolite in the anaerobic digestion processes. According to these different characteristics, a zeolite is found to be successfully supporting anaerobic digestion. The different characteristics consist of high capacity for immobilization of microorganism, capacity for improving the ammonia ion equilibrium, and finally the possibility of reducing the ammonia and ammonium ion in-solution.
(Silivio Montalvo et al. 2012)