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Natural Zeolites in Southwestern Wyoming
Zeolite is the name for a group of chemical compounds that have a wide variety of applications, from kitty litter to petroleum refining. Natural zeolites are a development opportunity for the State of Wyoming, similar to that which occurred in the trona industry since the 1950s. That is, the mining of a less expensive natural product as a substitute for one produced synthetically. Several efforts are presently needed to promote the development of Wyoming's zeolite resources: 1) documentation of the beneficial properties of specific Wyoming zeolites (e.g., Hulbert, 1987); 2) basic exploration in Tertiary rocks for new zeolite deposits; 3) a more complete assessment of the extent and grade of known zeolite deposits in the State; and 4) a marketing plan that will enable natural zeolite products from Wyoming to meet the growing demand in the chemical and radioactive pollution control industries, and to possibly compete with the synthetic zeolite industry (i.e., Mumpton, 1988; Eyde and Eyde, 1984; Holmes, 1994).
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