is a natural zeolite
comprising a microporous arrangement of silica and alumina tetrahedra. It has the complex formula: (Na
O). It forms as white to reddish tabular monoclinic tectosilicate
crystals with a Mohs hardness
of 3.5 to 4 and a specific gravity
of 2.1 to 2.2. It commonly occurs as a devitrification product of volcanic
glass shards in tuff
and as vesicle fillings in basalts
. It was described in 1969 from an occurrence in Owl Canyon
, San Bernardino County
Use of clinoptilolite in industry and academia focuses on its ion exchange properties having a strong exchange affinity for ammonia (NH4+). A typical example of this is in its use as an enzyme based urea sensor. It is also used as fertiliser.
Research is generally focussed around the shores of the Aegean Sea due to the abundance of natural clinoptilolite in easily accessible surface deposits.