THE BENEFITS OF NATURAL ZEOLITE TO DRINKING WATER
The world faces a water crisis due to a lack of clean drinking water (Wang & Peng, 2010). A significant volume of wastewater has been produced from industrial processes and is discharged into water systems, bringing pollutants like heavy metals and oil into contact with fresh water sources. To combat this problem, scientists have examined various zeolite applications in water purification programs because of its ability to absorb and adsorb ions and organics in wastewater (Wang & Peng, 2010).
Studies conducted around the globe demonstrate that clinoptilolite provides significant benefits to the processes of treating and purifying drinking water. In Denver, CO, the mineral reduced the ammonia content of sewage effluent down to potable standards (Mumpton, 1999). In Logan, UT, adding a layer of crushed zeolite to a slow-sand filtration process for drinking water tripled the filtration rate. Clinoptilolite beads are used regularly to upgrade river water to potable standards at Ryazan, Russia and Uzgorod, Ukraine; the beads remove lead through ion exchange and provides an inexpensive means of purifying drinking water (Mumpton, 1999).
A study by Turan and Celik (2003) examined the impact of clinoptilolite on ammonia removal from reservoir water. Clinoptilolite samples were regenerated three times during the experiment to determine if adsorption capabilities decreased over time. The results indicate that twice-regenerated clinoptilolite with 30 g/l NaCL solution at pH 11.5 activated the mineral and increased the ion exchanged performance (Turan & Celik, 2003). Overall adsorption performance did not decrease after the mineral was regenerated. Researchers concluded that clinoptilolite has potential to remove ammonia from contaminated reservoir water.