X-Ray Diffraction Analysis and Chemistry Evaluation of Two Zeolite Samples

A shipment of two zeolite samples was received from the Synthetic Grass Warehouse Company for mineral composition by x-ray diffraction (“XRD”) analysis and X-ray Fluorescence (“XRF”) chemistry.   The samples are labeled: Competitor and Zeolite Max.  Both samples have been evaluated and the results are reported herein.

In summary, Sample A is composed of 98+% clinoptilolite (zeolite), and 1.6% quartz.  Sample B is composed of 100% clinoptilolite with no detected quartz present.  Neither zeolite sample contains smectite clay, a common accessory mineral of commercial zeolite products.  The chemistry of the major components of Sample A is consistent clinoptilolite and quartz; and the chemistry of Sample B is consistent with clinoptilolite.   No trace elements are present in significant concentrations.

X-Ray Diffraction Analysis:

Each sample was initially dried to constant weight at 50°C, then pulverized with a ceramic mortar and pestle to less than 200 mesh for XRD and XRF analyses.  The XRD range is from 3 to 70 degrees 2theta with a step scanning XRD goniometer.  Each sample was evaluated by XRD as a randomly oriented powder.

Because smectite clays are commonly associated with zeolites, each sample was slurried in water and the slurry was coated on a glass slide.  As the slurry dries, any laminar (sheet-like) clay minerals orient parallel to the glass plate, enhancing the layer spacing (0,0,x) of clay minerals for XRD analysis.   After XRD analysis, each oriented film sample is exposed to ethylene glycol vapor at 50°C for a minimum of 4 hours.  With exposure to ethylene glycol vapor, the layer spacing of smectite clays expand to about 17 Angstroms when each sample is re-examined by XRD.

The XRD results show that the competitor is composed of 98% clinoptilolite and 2% quartz.  Zeolite Max is composed of 100% clinoptilolite.  There are several peaks assignable to heulandite, an isomorph of clinoptilolite that differs in exchangeable cations.  No smectite or other clays were detected in each sample.  The results of the XRD analyses are reported in Table 1.

Table 1: Mineral Composition by X-Ray Diffraction Analysis
Sample% Clinoptilolite% Quartz% Smecitite Clay
Competitor98%~2%None Detected
Zeolite Max100%0%None Detected

X-ray Fluorescence Chemistry:

The complete chemistry of mayor elements and trace elements was carried out on each sample.  The chemistry of the major elements is consistent with an aluminum iron silicate with exchangeable cations such as clinoptilolite (a zeolite) as the primary mineral present in each sample.  Exchangeable cations include sodium, potassium and calcium.  The remaining major elements are all present at less than 1% concentrations.  There are no significant concentrations of toxic trace elements detected in either sample.