Blue Pacific Minerals, the largest natural zeolite processor in the southern hemisphere, is working with Callaghan Innovation on ground-breaking research extending its knowledge into its zeolite products, quarried from two sites near Ngakuru in the Waikato.

The Tokoroa-based company’s zeolite has a range of beneficial chemical properties, which stands in stark contrast to erionite, a very unusual asbestos-like mineral, the subject of University of Auckland research.

Bicycles and tanks are both made of steel, and there the resemblance ends. So it is with zeolites, highly water adsorbent aluminosilicates, divided between at least 245 different types, all under the zeolite group and very diverse in their geological, physical, and microporous make-up.

The Blue Pacific Minerals zeolites have been safely sold domestically and internationally into many market sectors, across > 40 years based on demand for their unique properties. The markets serviced include animal feed, animal bedding, domestic and industrial absorbents, water treatment, odour control, soil amendment, fertilizer enhancement, agri-chem granular carriers, biological carriers etc.

Other potential applications under investigation are reducing nitrogen emissions from dairy farming, cleaning up nutrient-rich waterways, and odour control from municipal water treatment.

This BPM zeolite is a weathering product of volcanic rocks in the Taupo Volcanic Zone, a geological setting of a very different age and type to the Auckland setting where the presence of erionite is suspected.

Dave Hill,

When Zeolites are good