Bigger isn’t always better, at least when it comes to zeolite. In August 2022, the journal Nature Synthesis published a review which summarizes methods used to prepare state-of-the-art zeolites over the past decade. The conclusion: smaller is better and structure is critical.
Industrial and Environmental Applications of Zeolite
Zeolite is a naturally occurring mineral compound that lends itself to multiple applications. Aside from its use in water softeners, cat litter, and animal feed zeolite is used in a range of industrial products. It serves as a ‘catalytic cracker’ by breaking large hydrocarbon molecules into gasoline, kerosene, wax, diesel and other petroleum byproducts.
It also functions as a highly effective means of sequestering and removing everything from heavy metals to nuclear material from toxic waste sites. Its unique properties, including its porous nature, negative magnetic charge and capacity for ion exchange make it ideally suited for removing toxins both within the environment and in the human body. Scientists have been experimenting with zeolite for over ten years in attempts to maximize its effectiveness.
Focus of Review
Jeffrey Rimer, Abraham E. Dukler Professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of Houston, wrote the review. His focus was on how to speed up the process of crystallizing zeolites as well as the reactions of the zeolites themselves during catalysis. Catalysis is the process of adding a catalyst, in this case zeolite, to facilitate a reaction that allows the bonds between atoms in molecules to break, rearrange and rebuild themselves, ultimately recombining into new molecules.
How Zeolite Processes Other Substances
To understand his findings, it helps to know what aspects of zeolite scientists have been working to enhance. Zeolite’s negative magnetic charge attracts substances like heavy metals, pesticides, petrochemicals and other toxins. Its porous nature allows smaller molecules to pass through, traps some and blocks larger ones from entering. “A zeolite can remove unwanted molecules from gases and liquids, or trap them temporarily and then release them, or hold them while they undergo rapid chemical reactions,” says Nancy W. Stauffer, writing for MIT News.
Naturally occurring zeolite has variable-sized pores and can take unpredictable forms, meaning it can’t be relied upon to consistently create the same chemical reaction or trap a specific molecule or particle. When scientists synthesize zeolite, their goal is to create consistency and purity that matches whatever particle they want to capture. “Unlike natural zeolites, which occur in random forms and mixed sizes, synthetic zeolites are manufactured in very precise and uniform sizes,” says Chris Wofford, author of Why Air Pollution Matters and How it Affects You. “In other words, they're made a certain size to trap molecules of a certain (smaller) size inside them.”
In his report, Rimer zeroed in on size and structure as the most important aspects of synthesizing zeolite effectively. “These features are critical to their performance in a wide range of industrial applications,” he says. “Notably, the small pores of zeolites impose diffusion limitations for processes involving catalysis or separations where small molecules must access pores without obstruction from the accumulation of residual materials like coke, which is a carbonaceous deposit that blocks pores.” Diffusion limitations mean that zeolite’s ability to trap other molecules is constrained by its surface area and relative size.
He also examined ways in which data analytics and machine learning are advancing zeolite design, helping to make it more uniform and less subject to trial and error. Moving toward these methods will result in socioeconomic advantages, Rimer maintains.
“Improved zeolite design includes the development of improved catalysts for energy applications (including advancements in alternative energy), new technologies for regulating emissions that impact the environment and separations to improve industrial processes with impact on petroleum refining, production of chemicals and water purification,” he says.
Health Applications of Zeolite
While Rimer’s focus was on zeolite’s environmental and industrial use, other studies hail its therapeutic applications for human health. In 2019, a group of researchers from the University of Brescia’s Department of Molecular and Translational Medicine published a review examining the geochemical and therapeutic potentials of zeolite clinoptilolite (ZC), a naturally occurring form of zeolite, and its modified forms. Specifically, they looked at its potential for promoting brain health and overall wellness.
The group concluded that modified zeolite (double tribomechanically activated zeolite or PMA-ZC) is capable of improving the ecosystem of intestinal microbial flora in humans. They also speculated that ZC and especially PMA-ZC’s detoxifying, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action in the intestine is responsible for a general state of wellbeing and called for more research into synthesized zeolite’s potential health applications.
Vitality Release Drops and Health
The product experts at Vitality True Health are well aware of both the science behind their product and its benefits. Anecdotally, clients regularly share stories of how they have used the product to remove environmental toxins from their systems, thereby reducing inflammations and its many symptoms in conditions ranging from Lyme disease to cancer. Vitality’s nano-sized form of synthesized ZC is the most effective on the market, according to healthcare practitioners like Michael Cawley, an acupuncturist who cured himself of multiple sclerosis through a combination of dietary changes and detox protocols and now assists others who are struggling with the disease.
Recently, Vitality’s developers strengthened the formula to increase its effectiveness in attracting and removing environmental toxins from organs and tissues. During the catalysis process, Vitality Release Drops target those toxins and exchange them for silica which is the building block for all systems. This exchange provides the materials for systems within the body to begin rebuilding themselves.
As Dr. Rimer’s findings suggest, the most effective forms of synthesized zeolite are the smallest. Vitality Release Drops are nano-sized, meaning they can permeate the blood-brain barrier and gain access to areas larger particles cannot enter. This increases their ability to remove toxins from even the deepest recesses of the human body.
Building the Best Zeolite by Laurie Fickman, University of Houston, August 11, 2022
Designing zeolites, porous materials made to trap molecules by Nancy W. Stauffer, MIT Energy Initiative, MIT News, August 24, 2022
Zeolite Clinoptilolite: Therapeutic Virtues of an Ancient Mineral by Francesca Aria, Sara Anna Bonini, Alessandra Gianocelli, Amit Kuma, Giuseppina Maccarinelli, Andrea Mastinu, Maurizio Memo and Marika Premoli, National Library of Medicine, April 24, 2019