Zeolite Exploration with a Field Spectrometer

Zeolites are silica and aluminum hydrated tectosilicates. They have a high cation exchange capacity (CEC) that makes them useful as fertilizers and soil amendments in agriculture. They have a cage-like structure that makes them useful in water softeners and filters. They are also used as catalysts in the pharmaceutical and petrochemical industries.

Zeolites form in both volcanic and sedimentary rocks. The most commonly mined zeolites include chabazite, clinoptilolite and mordenite.

Field identification and mineral mapping during zeolite exploration can be done using the oreXpress high resolution/high sensitivity NIR field spectrometer. The oreXpress covers the UV/VIS/NIR spectral range from 350-2500nm. It is portable and lightweight with an all solid state photodiode array design with no movable optical parts for reliable rugged field use.

Take spectral measurements in the field with a contact probe for fast and accurate mineral mapping. Two lithium-ion batteries provide portable scanning power for the unit and the contact probe with its built-in light source. There are two contact probe options: our standard 10 mm mineral contact probe and the 3mm Miniprobe for focusing on smaller sample features.

Optional EZ-ID mineral identification software matches to known samples from three libraries of 2600 spectra and more than 1100 minerals. Geologists can use EZ-ID’s match regions and score tables to unmix minerals within samples for better identification of dominant minerals.

EZ-ID has known samples of clinoptilolite in its libraries with absorption features at 630nm, 1425nm, 1915nm and 2430nm. The libraries also contain samples for mordenite.

In addition to matching to known samples, EZ-ID allows a geologist to build their own libraries while scanning known samples and include all metadata relevant to those samples such as location, operator, sample type, color, and other descriptive details. The result is a project/site specific library of known samples.

Identifying clinoptilolite  with EZ-ID mineral identification software

EZ-ID mineral identification software matches your samples against three libraries of more than 2600 mineral spectra. Here you see a sample of clinoptilolite (blue) matched to a library sample (red).