Zeolites are microporous, aluminosilicate minerals commonly used as commercial adsorbents and catalysts. The term zeolite was originally coined in 1756 by Swedish mineralogist Axel Fredrik Cronstedt, who observed that rapidly heating the material, believed to have been stilbite, produced large amounts of steam from water that had been adsorbed by the material. Based on this, he called the material zeolite, from the Greek ζέω (zéō), meaning "to boil" and λίθος (líthos), meaning "stone". The classic reference for the field has been Breck's book Zeolite Molecular Sieves: Structure, Chemistry, And Use.
Zeolites occur naturally but are also produced industrially on a large scale. As of December 2018, 245 unique zeolite frameworks have been identified, and over 40 naturally occurring zeolite frameworks are known. Every new zeolite structure that is obtained is examined by the International Zeolite Association Structure Commission and receives a three letter designation.
Zeolites have a porous structure that can accommodate a wide variety of cations, such as Na+, K+, Ca2+, Mg2+ and others. These positive ions are rather loosely held and can readily be exchanged for others in a contact solution. Some of the more common mineral zeolites are analcime, chabazite, clinoptilolite, heulandite, natrolite, phillipsite, and stilbite. An example of the mineral formula of a zeolite is: Na
10·2H2O, the formula for natrolite. These cation exchanged zeolites possess different acidity and catalyse several acid catalysis.
Natural zeolites form where volcanic rocks and ash layers react with alkaline groundwater. Zeolites also crystallize in post-depositional environments over periods ranging from thousands to millions of years in shallow marine basins. Naturally occurring zeolites are rarely pure and are contaminated to varying degrees by other minerals, metals, quartz, or other zeolites. For this reason, naturally occurring zeolites are excluded from many important commercial applications where uniformity and purity are essential.
Zeolites are the aluminosilicate( and ) members of the family of microporous solids known as "molecular sieves", and mainly consist of Si, Al, O, and metals including Ti, Sn, Zn, and so on. The term molecular sieve refers to a particular property of these materials, i.e., the ability to selectively sort molecules based primarily on a size exclusion process. This is due to a very regular pore structure of molecular dimensions. The maximum size of the molecular or ionic species that can enter the pores of a zeolite is controlled by the dimensions of the channels. These are conventionally defined by the ring size of the aperture, where, for example, the term "8-ring" refers to a closed loop that is built from eight tetrahedrally coordinated silicon (or aluminium) atoms and 8 oxygen atoms. These rings are not always perfectly symmetrical due to a variety of causes, including strain induced by the bonding between units that are needed to produce the overall structure, or coordination of some of the oxygen atoms of the rings to cations within the structure. Therefore, the pores in many zeolites are not cylindrical.
Industrially important zeolites are produced synthetically. Typical procedures entail heating aqueous solutions of alumina and silica with sodium hydroxide. Equivalent reagents include sodium aluminate and sodium silicate. Further variations include changes in the cations to include quaternary ammonium cations.
Synthetic zeolites hold some key advantages over their natural analogues. The synthetic materials are manufactured in a uniform, phase-pure state. It is also possible to produce zeolite structures that do not appear in nature. Zeolite A is a well-known example. Since the principal raw materials used to manufacture zeolites are silica and alumina, which are among the most abundant mineral components on earth, the potential to supply zeolites is virtually unlimited.
Conventional open-pit mining techniques are used to mine natural zeolites. The overburden is removed to allow access to the ore. The ore may be blasted or stripped for processing by using tractors equipped with ripper blades and front-end loaders. In processing, the ore is crushed, dried, and milled. The milled ore may be air-classified as to particle size and shipped in bags or bulk. The crushed product may be screened to remove fine material when a granular product is required, and some pelletized products are produced from fine material.
As of 2016 the world's annual production of natural zeolite approximates 3 million tonnes. Major producers in 2010 included China (2 million tonnes), South Korea (210,000 t), Japan (150,000 t), Jordan (140,000 t), Turkey (100,000 t) Slovakia (85,000 t) and the United States (59,000 t). The ready availability of zeolite-rich rock at low cost and the shortage of competing minerals and rocks are probably the most important factors for its large-scale use. According to the United States Geological Survey, it is likely that a significant percentage of the material sold as zeolites in some countries is ground or sawn volcanic tuff that contains only a small amount of zeolites. Some examples of such usage include dimension stone (as an altered volcanic tuff), lightweight aggregate, pozzolanic cement, and soil conditioners.
There are over 200 synthetic zeolites that have been synthesized by a process of slow crystallization of a silica-alumina gel in the presence of alkalis and organic templates. Many more such structures could theoretically be made. In addition to variations in structures, zeolites can also be made with a variety of other atoms in them to make them chemically interesting and active. Some examples of the so-called heteroatoms that have been incorporated include germanium, iron, gallium, boron, zinc, tin, and titanium. One of the important processes used to carry out zeolite synthesis is sol-gel processing. The product properties depend on reaction mixture composition, pH of the system, operating temperature, pre-reaction 'seeding' time, reaction time as well as the templates used. In sol-gel process, other elements (metals, metal oxides) can be easily incorporated. The silicalite sol formed by the hydrothermal method is very stable. The ease of scaling up this process makes it a favorite route for zeolite synthesis.
Computer calculations have predicted that millions of hypothetical zeolite structures are possible. However, only 232 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. This problem is often referred to as "the bottleneck problem". Currently there are a number of theories attempting to explain the reasoning behind this question.
Zeolites are widely used as ion-exchange beds in domestic and commercial water purification, softening, and other applications. In chemistry, zeolites are used to separate molecules (only molecules of certain sizes and shapes can pass through), and as traps for molecules so they can be analyzed.
Zeolites are also widely used as catalysts and sorbents. Their well-defined pore structure and adjustable acidity make them highly active in a large variety of reactions.
Zeolites have the potential of providing precise and specific separation of gases, including the removal of H2O, CO2 and SO2 from low-grade natural gas streams. Other separations include noble gases, N2, O2, freon and formaldehyde.
On-board oxygen generating systems (OBOGS) and Oxygen concentrators use zeolites in conjunction with pressure swing adsorption to remove nitrogen from compressed air in order to supply oxygen for aircrews at high altitudes, as well as home and portable oxygen supplies.
Synthetic zeolites, as other mesoporous materials (e.g. MCM-41), are widely used as catalysts in the petrochemical industry, for instance in fluid catalytic cracking and hydrocracking. Zeolites confine molecules in small spaces, which causes changes in their structure and reactivity. The acidic forms of zeolites prepared are often powerful solid-state solid acids, facilitating a host of acid-catalyzed reactions, such as isomerisation, alkylation, and cracking.
Catalytic cracking uses reactor and a regenerator. Feed is injected onto hot, fluidized catalyst where large gasoil molecules are broken into smaller gasoline molecules and olefins. The vapor-phase products are separated from the catalyst and distilled into various products. The catalyst is circulated to a regenerator where air is used to burn coke off the surface of the catalyst that was formed as a byproduct in the cracking process. The hot regenerated catalyst is then circulated back to the reactor to complete its cycle.
Zeolites have uses in advanced nuclear-waste reprocessing methods, where their micro-porous ability to capture some ions while allowing others to pass freely allows many fission products to be efficiently removed from the waste and permanently trapped. Equally important are the mineral properties of zeolites. Their alumino-silicate construction is extremely durable and resistant to radiation even in porous form. Additionally, once they are loaded with trapped fission products, the zeolite-waste combination can be hot pressed into an extremely durable ceramic form, closing the pores and trapping the waste in a solid stone block. This is a waste form factor that greatly reduces its hazard compared to conventional reprocessing systems. Zeolites are also used in the management of leaks of radioactive materials. For example, in the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, sandbags of zeolite were dropped into the seawater near the power plant to adsorb radioactive caesium which was present in high levels.
The German group Fraunhofer e.V. announced that they had developed a zeolite substance for use in the biogas industry for long-term storage of energy at a density 4x more than water. Ultimately, the goal is to be able to store heat both in industrial installations and in small combined heat and power plants such as those used in larger residential buildings.
Zeolites can be used as solar thermal collectors and for adsorption refrigeration. In these applications, their high heat of adsorption and ability to hydrate and dehydrate while maintaining structural stability is exploited. This hygroscopic property coupled with an inherent exothermic (energy releasing) reaction when transitioning from a dehydrated to a hydrated form make natural zeolites useful in harvesting waste heat and solar heat energy. Zeolites are also used as a molecular sieve in cryosorption style vacuum pumps.
The largest single use for zeolite is the global laundry detergent market. This amounted to 1.44 million metric tons per year of anhydrous zeolite A in 1992.
Synthetic zeolites are used as an additive in the production process of warm mix asphalt concrete. The development of this application started in Germany in the 1990s. They help by decreasing the temperature level during manufacture and laying of asphalt concrete, resulting in lower consumption of fossil fuels, thus releasing less carbon dioxide, aerosols, and vapours. The use of synthetic zeolites in hot mixed asphalt leads to easier compaction and, to a certain degree, allows cold weather paving and longer hauls.
When added to Portland cement as a pozzolan they can reduce chloride permeability and improve workability. They reduce weight and help moderate water content while allowing for slower drying which improves break strength. When added to lime mortars and lime-metakaolin mortars, synthetic zeolite pellets can act simultaneously as pozzolanic material and water reservoir.
Debbie Meyer Green Bags, a produce storage and preservation product, uses a form of zeolite as its active ingredient. The bags are lined with zeolite to adsorb ethylene, which is intended to slow the ripening process and extend the shelf life of produce stored in the bags.
Thomsonites, one of the rarer zeolite minerals, have been collected as gemstones from a series of lava flows along Lake Superior in Minnesota and to a lesser degree in Michigan, U.S. Thomsonite nodules from these areas have eroded from basalt lava flows and are collected on beaches and by scuba divers in Lake Superior.
These thomsonite nodules have concentric rings in combinations of colors: black, white, orange, pink, purple, red, and many shades of green. Some nodules have copper inclusions and rarely will be found with copper "eyes". When polished by a lapidary the thomsonites sometimes display a "cat's eye" effect (chatoyancy).
Research into and development of the many biochemical and biomedical applications of zeolites, particularly the naturally occurring species heulandite, clinoptilolite and chabazite has been ongoing.
Zeolite-based oxygen concentrator systems are widely used to produce medical-grade oxygen. The zeolite is used as a molecular sieve to create purified oxygen from air using its ability to trap impurities, in a process involving the adsorption of nitrogen, leaving highly purified oxygen and up to 5% argon.
In agriculture, clinoptilolite (a naturally occurring zeolite) is used as a soil treatment. It provides a source of slowly released potassium. If previously loaded with ammonium, the zeolite can serve a similar function in the slow release of nitrogen. Zeolites can also act as water moderators, in which they will absorb up to 55% of their weight in water and slowly release it under the plant's demand. This property can prevent root rot and moderate drought cycles. Clinoptilolite has also been added to chicken food: the absorption of water and ammonia by the zeolite made the birds' droppings drier, less odoriferous and hence easier to handle.
Pet stores market zeolites for use as filter additives in aquaria, where they can be used to adsorb ammonia and other nitrogenous compounds. They must be used with some care, especially with delicate tropical corals that are sensitive to water chemistry and temperature. Due to the high affinity of some zeolites for calcium, they may be less effective in hard water and may deplete calcium. Zeolite filtration is also used in some marine aquaria to keep nutrient concentrations low for the benefit of corals adapted to nutrient-depleted waters.
Where and how the zeolite was formed is an important consideration for aquarium applications. Most Northern hemisphere natural zeolites were formed when molten lava came in contact with sea water, thereby "loading" the zeolite with Na (sodium) sacrificial ions. The mechanism is well known to chemists as ion exchange. These sodium ions can be replaced by other ions in solution, thus the takeup of nitrogen in ammonia, with the release of the sodium. A deposit near Bear River in southern Idaho, (US) is a fresh water variety (Na < 0.05%). Southern hemisphere zeolites are typically formed in freshwater and have a high calcium content.
Analcime or analcite (from the Greek analkimos - "weak") is a white, gray, or colorless tectosilicate mineral. Analcime consists of hydrated sodium aluminium silicate in cubic crystalline form. Its chemical formula is NaAlSi2O6·H2O. Minor amounts of potassium and calcium substitute for sodium. A silver-bearing synthetic variety also exists (Ag-analcite).
Analcime is usually classified as a zeolite mineral, but structurally and chemically it is more similar to the feldspathoids. Analcime occurs as a primary mineral in analcime basalt and other alkaline igneous rocks. It also occurs as cavity and vesicle fillings associated with prehnite, calcite, and zeolites.Babingtonite
Babingtonite is a calcium iron manganese inosilicate mineral with the formula Ca2(Fe,Mn)FeSi5O14(OH). It is unusual in that iron(III) completely replaces the aluminium so typical of silicate minerals. It is a very dark green to black translucent (in thin crystals or splinters) mineral crystallizing in the triclinic system with typically radial short prismatic clusters and druzy coatings. It occurs with zeolite minerals in cavities in volcanic rocks. Babingtonite contains both iron(II) and iron(III) and shows weak magnetism. It has a Mohs hardness of 5.5 to 6 and a specific gravity of 3.3.
It was first described in 1824 from samples from Arendal, Aust-Agder, Norway (which is its type locality) and was named after the Irish physician and mineralogist William Babington (1757–1833).It is the official mineral (mineral emblem) of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The first published report of babingtonite in Massachusetts was by Francis Alger in 1844, who credited Thomas Nuttall with its discovery in Charlestown (now Somerville). The location was the Granite Street quarry, formerly known as the Milk Row quarry.Erionite
Erionite is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral that belongs to a group of minerals called zeolites. It usually is found in volcanic ash that has been altered by weathering and ground water. Erionite forms brittle, wool-like fibrous masses in the hollows of rock formations and has an internal molecular structure similar to chabazite. Some properties of erionite are similar to the properties of asbestos; however, erionite is not currently regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and there are no occupational exposure limits for erionite fibers. Erionite was first described by A.S. Eakle in 1898, as white woolly fibrous masses in cavities in rhyolite lava near Durkee, Oregon. It was originally thought to be another relatively rare zeolite named offretite, which is very similar to erionite in appearance and chemical composition.Faujasite
Faujasite is a mineral group in the zeolite family of silicate minerals. The group consists of faujasite-Na, faujasite-Mg and faujasite-Ca. They all share the same basic formula: (Na2,Ca,Mg)3.5[Al7Si17O48]·32(H2O) by varying the amounts of sodium, magnesium and calcium. It occurs as a rare mineral in several locations worldwide and is also synthesized industrially.Gyrolite
Gyrolite, NaCa16(Si23Al)O60(OH)8·14H2O, is a rare silicate mineral (basic sodium calcium silicate hydrate: N-C-S-H, in cement chemist notation) belonging to the class of phyllosilicates. Gyrolite is also often associated with zeolites. It is most commonly found as spherical or radial formations in hydrothermally altered basalt and basaltic tuffs. These formations can be glassy, dull or fibrous in appearance.Gyrolite is also known as centrallasite, glimmer zeolite or gurolite.Hemostatic dressing
Hemostatic dressing, such as QuikClot, is a wound dressing that contains an agent that promotes blood clotting.Metamorphic facies
A metamorphic facies is a set of mineral assemblages in metamorphic rocks formed under similar pressures and temperatures. The assemblage is typical of what is formed in conditions corresponding to an area on the two dimensional graph of temperature vs. pressure (See diagram in Figure 1). Rocks which contain certain minerals can therefore be linked to certain tectonic settings, times and places in the geological history of the area. The boundaries between facies (and corresponding areas on the temperature v. pressure graph) are wide because they are gradational and approximate. The area on the graph corresponding to rock formation at the lowest values of temperature and pressure is the range of formation of sedimentary rocks, as opposed to metamorphic rocks, in a process called diagenesis.Natrolite
Natrolite is a tectosilicate mineral species belonging to the zeolite group. It is a hydrated sodium and aluminium silicate with the formula Na2Al2Si3O10 • 2H2O. The type locality is Hohentwiel, Hegau, Germany.It was named natrolite by Martin Heinrich Klaproth in 1803. The name is derived from νατρών natron, the Greek word for soda, in reference to the sodium content and λίθος lithos, meaning stone. Needle stone or needle-zeolite are other informal names, alluding to the common acicular habit of the crystals, which are often very slender and are aggregated in divergent tufts. The crystals are frequently epitaxial overgrowths of natrolite, mesolite, and gonnardite in various orders.Nickel–Strunz classification
Nickel–Strunz classification is a scheme for categorizing minerals based upon their chemical composition, introduced by German mineralogist Karl Hugo Strunz (24 February 1910 – 19 April 2006) in his Mineralogische Tabellen (1941). The 4th and the 5th edition was also edited by Christel Tennyson (1966). It was followed by A.S. Povarennykh with a modified classification (1966 in Russian, 1972 in English).
As curator of the Mineralogical Museum of Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität (now known as the Humboldt University of Berlin), Strunz had been tasked with sorting the museum's geological collection according to crystal-chemical properties. His book Mineralogical Tables, has been through a number of modifications; the most recent edition, published in 2001, is the ninth (Mineralogical Tables by Hugo Strunz and Ernest H. Nickel (31 August 1925 – 18 July 2009)). James A. Ferraiolo was responsible for it at Mindat.org. The IMA/CNMNC supports the Nickel–Strunz database.North Table Mountain
North Table Mountain is a mesa on the eastern flank of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 6,555-foot (1,998 m) mesa summit is located in North Table Mountain Park, 3.4 miles (5.5 km) north by east (bearing 9°) of downtown Golden, Colorado, United States, in Jefferson County.Parthéite
Partheite or parthéite is a calcium aluminium silicate and a member of the zeolite group of minerals, a group of silicates with large open channels throughout the crystal structure, which allow passage of liquids and gasses through the mineral. It was first discovered in 1979 in rodingitic dikes in an ophiolite zone of the Taurus Mountains in southwest Turkey. The second discovery occurred in gabbro-pegmatites in the Ural Mountains, Russia. Since its discovery and naming, the chemical formula for partheite has been revised from CaAl2Si2O8•2H2O to include not only water but hydroxyl groups as well. The framework of the mineral is interrupted due to these hydroxyl groups attaching themselves to aluminum centered oxygen tetrahedra. This type of interrupted framework is known in only one other zeolite, the mineral roggianite. As a silicate based mineral with the properties of a zeolite, partheite was first described as zeolite-like in 1984 and listed as a zeolite in 1985. Partheite and lawsonite are polymorphs. Associated minerals include prehnite, thomsonite, augite, chlorite and tremolite.Paulingite
Paulingite or paulingite-K is a rare zeolite mineral that is found in vesicles in the basaltic rocks from the Columbia River near Rock Island Dam, Washington.
Paulingite was named for Linus Carl Pauling (1901–1994), professor of chemistry, California Institute of Technology and accepted by the International Mineralogical Association in 1960.
The early formation in the crystallization sequence and the high water content suggest that paulingite forms from relatively dilute pore fluids. They have a large unit cell of 3.51 nanometers and an isometric crystal system. This is the largest known inorganic unit cell apart from protein structures. Paulingite's characteristic structure can be observed while the remaining water content decomposes. A single crystal X-ray refinement of this chemically different sample material derived three main cation positions, which are inside a so-called paulingite or Calcium (Ca), between 8-rings of neighbouring Barium (Ba), and in the centre of the non-planar 8-rings of the -cage Potassium (K).Phase-boundary catalysis
In chemistry, phase-boundary catalysis (PBC) is a type of heterogeneous catalytic system which facilitates the chemical reaction of a particular chemical component in an immiscible phase to react on a catalytic active site located at a phase boundary. The chemical component is soluble in one phase but insoluble in the other. The catalyst for PBC has been designed in which the external part of the zeolite is hydrophobic, internally it is usually hydrophilic, notwithstanding to polar nature of some reactants. In this sense, the medium environment in this system is close to that of an enzyme. The major difference between this system and enzyme is lattice flexibility. The lattice of zeolite is rigid, whereas the enzyme is flexible.Pollucite
Pollucite is a zeolite mineral with the formula (Cs,Na)2Al2Si4O12·2H2O with iron, calcium, rubidium and potassium as common substituting elements. It is important as a significant ore of caesium and sometimes rubidium. It forms a solid solution series with analcime. It crystallizes in the isometric - hexoctahedral crystal system as colorless, white, gray, or rarely pink and blue masses. Well formed crystals are rare. It has a Mohs hardness of 6.5 and a specific gravity of 2.9. It has a brittle fracture and no cleavage.Silicate
In chemistry, a silicate is any member of a family of anions consisting of silicon and oxygen, usually with the general formula [SiO(4−2x)−4−x]n, where 0 ≤ x < 2. The family includes orthosilicate SiO4−4 (x = 0), metasilicate SiO2−3 (x = 1), and pyrosilicate Si2O6−7 (x = 0.5, n = 2). The name is also used for any salt of such anions, such as sodium metasilicate; or any ester containing the corresponding chemical group, such as tetramethyl orthosilicate.Silicate anions are often large polymeric molecules with an extense variety of structures, including chains and rings (as in polymeric metasilicate [SiO2−3]n), double chains (as in [Si2O2−5]n, and sheets (as in [Si2O2−5]n.In geology and astronomy, the term silicate is used to mean silicate minerals, ionic solids with silicate anions; as well as rock types that consist predominantly of such minerals. In that context, the term also includes the non-ionic compound silicon dioxide SiO2 (silica, quartz), which would correspond to x = 2 in the general formula. The term also includes minerals where aluminium or other tetravalent atoms replace some of the silicon atoms, as in the aluminosilicates. Such silicates comprise most of Earth's crust and mantle, as well as the other terrestrial planets, rocky moons, and asteroids.Silicates are extremely important materials, both natural (such as granite, gravel, and garnet) and artificial (such as Portland cement, ceramics, glass, and waterglass), for all sorts of technological and artistic activities.
The name "silicate" is sometimes extended to any anions containing silicon, even if they do not fit the general formula or contain other atoms besides oxygen; such as the hexahydroxysilicate [Si(OH)6]2− or hexafluorosilicate [SiF6]2−.South Table Mountain (Colorado)
South Table Mountain is a mesa on the eastern flank of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. Castle Rock, the 6,338-foot (1,932 m) summit of the mesa, is located on private property 0.56 miles (0.9 km) directly east (bearing 90°) of downtown Golden, Colorado, United States, in Jefferson County.Transalkylation
Transalkylation is a chemical reaction involving the transfer of an alkyl group from one organic compound to another. The reaction is used for the transfer of methyl and ethyl groups between benzene rings. This is of particular value in the petrochemical industry to manufacture p-xylene, styrene, and other aromatic compounds. Motivation for using transalkylation reactions is based on a difference in production and demand for benzene, toluene, and xylenes. Transalkylation can convert toluene, which is overproduced, into benzene and xylene, which are under-produced. Zeolites are often used as catalysts in transalkylation reactions.ZSM-5
ZSM-5, Zeolite Socony Mobil–5 (framework type MFI from ZSM-5 (five)), is an aluminosilicate zeolite belonging to the pentasil family of zeolites. Its chemical formula is NanAlnSi96–nO192·16H2O (0 Zeolite facies describes the mineral assemblage resulting from the pressure and temperature conditions of low-grade metamorphism. The zeolite facies is generally considered to be transitional between diagenetic processes which turn sediments into sedimentary rocks, and prehnite-pumpellyite facies, which is a hallmark of subseafloor alteration of the oceanic crust around mid-ocean ridge spreading centres. The zeolite and prehnite-pumpellyite facies are considered burial metamorphism as the processes of orogenic regional metamorphism are not required. Zeolite facies is most often experienced by pelitic sediments; rocks rich in aluminium, silica, potassium and sodium, but generally low in iron, magnesium and calcium. Zeolite facies metamorphism usually results in the production of low temperature clay minerals into higher temperature polymorphs such as kaolinite and vermiculite. Mineral assemblages include kaolinite and montmorillonite with laumontite, wairakite, prehnite, calcite and chlorite. Phengite and adularia occur in potassium rich rocks. Minerals in this series include zeolites, albite, and quartz. This occurs by dehydration of the clays during compaction, and heating due to blanketing of the sediments by continued deposition of sediments above. Zeolite facies is considered to start with temperatures of approximately 50 - 150 °C and some burial is required, usually 1 - 5 km. Zeolite facies tends to correlate in clay-rich sediments with the onset of a bedding plane foliation, parallel with the bedding of the rocks, caused by alignment of platy clay minerals in a horizontal orientation which reduces their free energy state. Generally plutonic and volcanic rocks are not greatly affected by zeolite facies metamorphism, although vesicular basalts and the like will have their vesicles filled with zeolite minerals, forming amygdaloidal texture. Tuff can also become zeolitized, as is seen in the Obispo formation on the California coast.
("native elements and organic minerals")
"Sulfides and oxides" "Evaporites and similars" "Mineral structures with tetrahedral units"
(sulfate anion, phosphate anion,
Zeolite facies describes the mineral assemblage resulting from the pressure and temperature conditions of low-grade metamorphism.
The zeolite facies is generally considered to be transitional between diagenetic processes which turn sediments into sedimentary rocks, and prehnite-pumpellyite facies, which is a hallmark of subseafloor alteration of the oceanic crust around mid-ocean ridge spreading centres. The zeolite and prehnite-pumpellyite facies are considered burial metamorphism as the processes of orogenic regional metamorphism are not required.
Zeolite facies is most often experienced by pelitic sediments; rocks rich in aluminium, silica, potassium and sodium, but generally low in iron, magnesium and calcium. Zeolite facies metamorphism usually results in the production of low temperature clay minerals into higher temperature polymorphs such as kaolinite and vermiculite.
Mineral assemblages include kaolinite and montmorillonite with laumontite, wairakite, prehnite, calcite and chlorite. Phengite and adularia occur in potassium rich rocks. Minerals in this series include zeolites, albite, and quartz.
This occurs by dehydration of the clays during compaction, and heating due to blanketing of the sediments by continued deposition of sediments above. Zeolite facies is considered to start with temperatures of approximately 50 - 150 °C and some burial is required, usually 1 - 5 km.
Zeolite facies tends to correlate in clay-rich sediments with the onset of a bedding plane foliation, parallel with the bedding of the rocks, caused by alignment of platy clay minerals in a horizontal orientation which reduces their free energy state.
Generally plutonic and volcanic rocks are not greatly affected by zeolite facies metamorphism, although vesicular basalts and the like will have their vesicles filled with zeolite minerals, forming amygdaloidal texture. Tuff can also become zeolitized, as is seen in the Obispo formation on the California coast.