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Agriculture -Animal Nutrition and Health

Agriculture -Animal Nutrition and Health

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Chapter VIII
Using Zeolites in
Agriculture
Frederick A. Mumpton
Department of the Earth Sciences
State University CollegeBrockport, NY 14420
 
Contents
Page 
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127Natural
Zeolites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
127Chemistry and Crystal Structure of Zeolites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128Properties of Zeolites. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129Applications in Agronomy ......,,.,.. . . . 133Fertilizer and Soil Amendments . . . . . . . . 133Pesticides, Fungicides, Herbicides. ,,.... 135Heavy Metal Traps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135Applications in Animal Husbandry . . . . . . . 136Animal Nutrition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136Poultry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136Swine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .+....... 136Ruminants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139Excrement Treatment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141Malodor and Moisture Control . . . . . . . . . 141Methane Purification. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142Aquacultural Applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143Nitrogen Removal From Closed orRecirculation Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143Aeration Oxygen Production . . . . . . . . . . . 144Fish Nutrition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144Occurrence and Availability of NaturalZeolites .....,...,,.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144Geological Occurrence. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144Geographic Distribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146Mining and Milling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149Discussion, ..,,.... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150Agronomic Applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150Animal Nutrition Applications ., ..,.,.., 151Excrement Treatment Applications . . . . . . 152Conclusions and Recommendations . . . . . . . 152References .,.. . . . . . . . .,..,..+, . . . . . . . 155
Tables
Table No.Page
l. Representative Formulae and SelectedPhysical Properties of ImportantZeolites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1292. Growth Response of Radishes toAmmonium-Exchange Clinoptilolite . . . . 1343, Growth Response of Radishes toNatural Clinoptilolite Plus Urea ,....., 1344. Caloric Efficiencies of ZeoliteSupplements in Poultry Feeding . . . . . . . 1365. Apparent Caloric Efficiency of Zeolitein Chicken Rations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1376. Caloric Efficiency of ZeoliteSupplements in Swine Feeding . . . . . . . . 1377. Effect of Zeolite Diets on Healthof Swine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1388. Effect of Prenatal Zeolite Diet onNewborn Pigs, .,, . . ., ..,,.,.., ..,.,. 1389. Effect of Zeolite Supplementing theDiets of Early Weaned Pigs . . . . . . . . . . . 139
10.
11.
12.
13.14.15.16.17.18.19.
Effect of Zeolite Supplement inMolasses-Based Diets of Young Pigs .,. 139Effect of Clinoptilolite Supplementalin the Diet of Swine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140Occurrence of Diarrhea and Soft-FecesAmong Calveson Diets SupplementedWith 5% Clinoptilolite . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141Effect of Zeolite Additions to ChickenDroppings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142Effect of Clinoptilolite Additions to theDiet of Trout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144Reported Occurrences of SedimentaryZeolites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148Countries Engaged in Zeolite Mining . . 150Organizations Engaged in Zeolite/ Agronomic Investigations . . . . . . . . . . . . 151Organizations Engaged in AnimalNutrition Studies Using Zeolites . . . . . . . 152Zeolite Property Holders andZeoagricultural Research Efforts. ..,,,. 153
Figures
FigureNo.Page
l. Simple Polyhedron of Silicate and
. .
2.3.
4.
5.6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
Aluminate Tetrahedra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130Arrangements of Simple Polyhedra toEnclose Large Central Cavities .., ...,, 130Solid Sphere Models of SyntheticZeolite and Chabazite . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131Stylized Illustration of the Entry of Straight-Chain Hydrocarbons andBlockage of Branch-Chain Hydrocarbonsat Channel Apertures ,, ......,,,,,,., 131Langmuir-Type Isotherm for Adsorptionon Crystalline Zeolites IllustratingAlmost Complete Saturation at LowPartial Pressures of the Adsorbate ,,... 131Types of Ion-Exchange Isotherms for theReaction A
s
+ B
Z
= A
Z
+ B
s
, . . . . . . . . . 132Change of Soil Nitrogen of Paddy SoilWith Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133Yield of Chrysanthemums as a Functionof Potassium Level Supplied by One-TimeAdditions of Clinoptilolite . . . . . . . 134Cumulative Leachate NO
3
-N for BandedNH
4
-Exchanged Clinoptilolite andBanded Ammonium Sulfate ..,,,,,. . . . 135Methane-Purification System, PalesVerde Landfill . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142Field Exposure of Zeolite Beds ,,, ,,,.. 145Scanning Electron Micrograph of Clinoptilolite Laths With Minor MordeniteFrom a Saline-Lake Deposit Tuff NearHector, CA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146
 
Chapter Vlll
Using Zeolites in Agriculture
AS
agriculturalists the world over increasetheir effort to expand crop and animal produc-tion, more and more attention is being paid tovarious mineral materials as soil amendmentsand as dietary supplements in animal hus-bandry. The close relationship between theagricutura1 and geological sciences is notnew--crop production depends on the exist-ence and maintenance of fertile soil andagronomists rely on knowledge of mineralogyand geochemist}’ of clays and other soil con-stituents. In the animal sciences, the additionof crushed limestone to chicken feed tostrengthen egg shells is well known, as is theuse of bentonite as a binding agent in pelletizedanima1 feed stuffs.Recently, one group of minerals has emergedas having considerable potential in a wide va-riety of agricultural processes. This group of minerals is the zeolite group. The unique ion-exchange, dehydration-rehydration, and ad-sorption properties of zeolite materials prom-ise to contribute significantly to many years of agricultural and aquacultural technology (60).Most of the initial research on the use of zeo-lites in agriculture took place in the 1960s inJapan, Japanese farmers have used zeolite rock for years to control the moisture content andmalodor of animal wastes and to increase thepH of acidic volcanic soils. The addition of small amounts of the zeolites clinoptilolite andmordenite to the normal protein diet of pigs,chickens, and ruminants gave noticeable in-Zeolites are crystalline, hydrated aluminosil-icates of alkali and earth metals that possessinfinite, three-dimensional crystal structures.They are further characterized by an ability tolose and gain water reversibly and to exchangecreases in the body weight and general “health”of the animals (52). The use of zeolites in ra-tions also appeared to reduce odor and asso-ciated pollution problems and to provide ameans of regulating the viscosity and nitrogenretentivity y of animal manure. These same zeo-lites were also found to increase the ammoni-um content of rice paddy soils when addedwith normal fertilizers.Although most of these were preliminary re-sults and often published in rather obscure journals or reports from local experiment sta-tions, they did suggest that zeolites could actas traps or reservoirs for nitrogen both in thebody and in the soil. The growing awarenessof such phenomena and of the availability of inexpensive natural zeolites in the WesternUnited States and in geologically similar partsof the world has aroused considerable commer-cial interest. Zeolites are fast becoming the sub- ject of serious investigation in dozens of agri-cultural laboratories both here and abroad.Some of the ways in which zeolites can con-tribute to more efficient crop and livestock pro-duction are discussed below, along with theirrole in the rapidly expanding areas of fishbreeding and aquiculture. At this stage, thenumber of published papers dealing with “zeo-agriculture“ is quite small, and hard data arefew; however, the potential of these materialsin such areas is apparent, and zeolites showpromise of contributing directly to increasedagricultural productivity in the years to come.
ZEOLITES
some of theirconstituent elements without ma- jor change of structure. Zeolites were discov-ered in 1756 by Freiherr Axel Fredrick Cron-stedt, a Swedish mineralogist, who namedthem from the Greek words meaning “boiling
127 

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