AGROBIO TECHNICA Magazine farming, livestock, bioenergyyear XI, issue 7, 2023

Imerys zeolite, a high quality, natural and functional additive for agriculture

The world leader in mineral-based specialty solutions for industry, Imerys delivers high value-added, functional solutions to diversified sets of industrial sectors, from processing industries to consumer goods. Imerys agriculture product portfolio includes a wide range of minerals, based products for instance zeolite, perlite, talc, bentonite, kaolin and diatomite, which serve several segments of the agricultural market such as fertilizers, crop protection, soil improvers and growing media.Through the years, Imerys, zeolite has proven itself to be an efficient soil improver for agriculture application due to its many properties: high purity, high cation exchange capacity and high water absorption. These properties have a direct impact on the benefits offered by Imerys, zeolite to its customers: It improves the soil profile by preventing compaction, increasing infiltration and helping aeration of deep root systems due to its high surface area and porosity; it holds water up to 60% of its weight due to a high porosity of the crystalline structure ensuring a permanent water reservoir and providing prolonged moisture during dry periods; as a porous material it increases the availability of oxygen, as oxygen is able to pass through the channels within the zeolite structure; its high cation exchange capacity enables a greater loading of plant nutrients such as nitrogen and micronutrients, contributing to the improvement of fertilizer efficiency; due to this better efficiency the farmers can get significant reduction of water and fertilizer consumption, as zeolite will successfully hold nutrients and water near the root growth zone until the plant is ready to utilize them. This increases the amount of water available for plants, the length of time between irrigations and also decreases the appearance of localized dry spots; it contributes to environmental protection, as fewer quantities of water and fertilizer need to be applied, thus less pollution is caused to groundwater by fertilizer leaching. Especially, in case of nitrogen leaching, zeolite will hold significant amounts of runoff and prevent in this way the pollution of the aquifer by nitrates and nitrites.Imerys R&D teams, in its French and Bulgarian labs, are engineering zeolite and other minerals to influence their concentration, size, shape, structure to obtain the appropriate mineral properties but also developing innovative solutions for their customers challenges, while meeting the highest standards of quality, consistency and reliability.