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Glauconite – a valuable versatile industrial raw material

Glauconite - originated from the Greek word "glaukos" (green earth) - it is an autogenic monodomatic mineral of aluminum silicate group with high absorption and cation-exchange properties. Сation exchange capacity is 390-550 mg  equivalent for 1gram of batch. Specific surface area totals 120-160m2 , 0.09-0.65mm of size. Concentrated glauconite intergranular porosity makes 40-45%, and 68-72% for the granulated material.

         On evidence of the Ural Mineralogy Institute,  chemical composition of glauconite found at Karinskoye field of Chelyabinskaya oblast is as follows (in %): SiO2 - 52.8; Al2O3 - 11.9; Fe2O3 - 16.7; MnO - 0.03; MgO - 4.4; CaO - 0.83; Na2O -0.14; K2O - 8.6. The ultimate absorbing capacity in relation to heavy metals is: Ni - 342.4; Cu - 781.2;  Zn - 827.7;  Fe - 1317.8 mg equivalent per 1 kg of mineral, i.e., it increases in the range of Ni >Cu>Zn>Fe. The power of glauconite to recover heavy metals from the solutions is as follows (in %): Pb - 99; Hg - 64; Co - 97; Cu - 96; Cd - 96; Mn - 95; Cr - 92; N - 90; Zn -90; Fe - 99, etc. The recovery ratio of  90Sr, 137Cs, 234Pu radionuclides totals 96-98% both in static and dynamic conditions.

         Distinguished from zeolite, glauconite has a rather stratified structure than framed.  However, the intramolecular forces are not balanced by interreaction with the chemical ions found in the vesicle of any of such strata. These forces can interreact with the chemical ions contained in the solutions or in the air. It results in their accumulation on the active surfaces of the wafers that compose a crystal. The active surface area increases sufficiently and this is the main distinctive feature between the glauconite and the zeolite.


         1. Agriculture:

         Cattle breeding, poultry keeping, fish-breeding, land-reclamation, production of organic and mineral fertilizers.

         In cattle breeding and poultry keeping disciplines glauconite is used as a food additive. It improves the exchange processes, increases the digestibility and accessibility rate of food, lowers the ammonia concentration as well as of other toxic components forming in the body in the process of digestion and vital functions, as well as heavy metals, radionuclides and other toxic matters beared by food; as for the birds, it adjusts the calcium-natrium ratio and improves the feeding of the body with ferrum. When applied to the bedding, glauconite improves the hygienic conditions  (it reduces the concentration of ammonia and other harmful gases, decreases offensive smell) in the livestock houses.


            Being applied as a food additive for the pigs, glauconite produces positive effect on the reproductive functions of the breeding sows, large fetuses, keeping of sucking piggery, additional liveweight gain of fattening livestock. Thus, without supply of glauconite the average multiple pregnancy totaled 12.2 pigs for a breeding sow, and 13.8 pigs and more (by 13.1%) for the breeding sows fed with glauconite. The safety rate of the piggery starting from the moment of their birth and until the ablactation composed 76% for the piggery deprived of glauconite and 93% for the piggery fed with glauconite - this totals 42% of the piggery for the moment of ablactation. The total liveweight gain for those pigs fed with glauconite (0.25% of the food mass) is 19.8% higher than for those deprived of this food additive.

         Addition of glauconite in the food of the young stock cattle provides the daily average weight gain of 49.3% and more as compared to the cattle deprived of such food additive (with 0.15g of glauconite per 1 kg of animal live weight).

         Addition of glauconite to the main diet of the growing sheep stimulates the increase of autarcesis, reduces the food consumption as well as metabolizable energy for 1 kg of liveweight gain and genuine wool, improves cooking qualities of meet, stimulates sheep antibrucellar immunity.

         Addition of glauconite to the water bodies has a stimulating effect on the phytoplankton as well as increase of growth rate of young fish.

             The experiment carried out in the Selyayevskoye fish-farm of the Argayashskiy district has shown that provided the equal batch of peled baby fishes into the water bodies, in autumn there were more young fishes in the water body with the glauconite (by 54% more) than in the water body without it. The fish in the water bodies was fed equally.

         The numerous researches and practice has proved that application of glauconite as a chlorous-free fertilizer provides the increase of capacity of cereal crops, potato and the vegetables. Distribution of glauconite for feeding crop provides the height growth of the plants and has a positive effect on plant dry matter accumulation, increase of protein content, fat, crude protein and ash constituents. Its application for growing of potato and sugar beet increases the crop capacity by 30-55%, at that the potato starch content and beet sugar content increase.

         The effect of glauconite provided on the plants crop capacity becomes apparent in the different fields: it improves the soil consistency, increases its porosity, what is especially important for the heavy land; having a high selective ability on the large-size cations (К+, NH4+, etc.), glauconite accumulates the most important plant food elements such as nitrogen and potassium in a form of massive cations and sorbs NH3, then it slowly releases these matters during the plant growth acting like a prolongation substance. Moving forms of fertilizers adsorbed by glauconite are preserved from being washed out; volatilization and nitrification cause the decrease in  loss of ammonium nitrogen. 

             The phosphorus oxide washed out from the granules is uniformly - 0.4%. The process of NH4+ washing-out is rather more intensive (29%), the К+ ions are washed out more slowly and in a less intensively (0.22%). The NО3- ions are desorbed even more slowly.

              The field experiments carried out by the Chelyabinsk Agricultural Research and Development Establishment proved the positive affect produced by the glauconite on the crop capacity with exclusive standards to the structural form of the root zone and that have a poor growing capacity on the stiffish, poorly aerated and incrusted soils. Since the addition of glauconite to the soil with prevailing silt or muddy content (92% of the particles below 0.01mm) resulted in the increase of maize fresh yield by 46.5% as compared to the soil without distribution of glauconite; the  dry matter content raised up by 73-75%, metabolizable energy in the food - by 75%. The nutritive value of 1 kg of fresh yield deprived of glauconite totaled 0.15 of food unit, against 0.18 of food unit (+20%) of those fed with glauconite.

          The long-term production experiments carried out in the Yuzhno Ural Agricultural Research and Development Establishment for horticulture have proved the economic feasibility of glauconite for growing of potato and vegetables; one ruble spent for purchase and application of glauconite gains 8 rubles, at that, the storage capacity of potato and the vegetables increases sufficiently; the starch content of potato increases by 08-1.5% as well as its keeping quality.



          2. Power generation:

         Purification and regeneration of oil power-machinery fuel oil; water treatment for boilers.

         One ton of glauconite softens 810m of water of any hardness level by one degree.


          3. Construction activities and construction materials:

         Baffles, refractory baffles; items and materials made of foam-glass-crystallite; binding mixture component; non-shring backfill grounts.

         Addition of glauconite into the mass used for manufacture of burnt clay masonry blocks with high strength capacity as compared to the application of the initial non-modified compositions: the strength is increased by 25-28% with a minor thickening (1.5-8%). The dry pressing test enable to produce the items with higher quality grade (above 300) and increase of strength by 50% and even higher, at max. increase of thickening by 2%. In both cases the portion of glauconite added totals 5%.

         Use of glauconite as a pigment filler for PVC linoleum proved its good compatibility with the polyvinylchloride binding substances. The optimal rate of glauconite in the PVC compositions is 50 weight fractions for 100 weight fractions of PVC. Full replacement of the filler traditionally used for PVC compositions for glauconite will bear improvement in the technological process - the melt fluidity is twice increased, and thermostability increases by 50%.



         4. Water supply:

         Treatment of potable and recycle water.

         The research carried out by the Chair of Radiochemistry of the Ural State Engineering University, accredited as the Analytical test centre - Russian reference laboratory for testing of nuclear-power engineering materials (No. РОСС RU. 0001. 510417), as compared to the operational factors and sorption properties of glauconite and Manganese Greendsand (glauconite sand) has shown the following results:



Description of factors

Granulated glauconite (Gl-Gr-1)

Manganese Greendsand sorbent  (glauconite sand)

Operating characteristics


Standard < 4 %

0.16 + 0.02

7.2 +  1.0


Standard < 0,5 %

0.2 + 0.02

0,04 +  0,01

Intergranular porosity

Standard > 40 %

70.3 +  6.5

52.0 + 4.8

Sorption properties

Cesium distribution coefficient, Кd, ml/g

(3.8 + 1.2)* 103

(1.7 + 0.8)*103

Strontium distribution coefficient, Кd, ml/g

(165 + 26)

(225 + 45)

Life cycle of household filter with sorbent filling volume of 1dm3

Cesium radionuclides life cycle, m3



Strontium radionuclides life cycle, m3



Ferrum life cycle, m3, at least



Zinc life cycle, m3, at least



Copper life cycle, m3, at least




        Hence, the sorption properties of granulated quartz - concentrated glauconite - are as good as Manganese Greendsand sorbent, for all tested characteristics. At the same time it has better operating characteristics: lower caking factor, better filtration capacity, and, hence, it does not require additional activities for washing and reload of the column.



         5. Environment:

         Sanitation and reclamation of soils; waste water treatment; gas recovery; odor control; oil spill recovery; sorption of heavy metals, radionuclides and toxic substances.

         The Military Technical Centre of Research and Development Establishment for biological protection of the RF Ministry of Defense has tasted the concentrated glauconite (not granulated) as a sorbent for oil products, heavy metals and phenol. The results obtained allow to make a conclusion that the sorption capacity of glauconite, depending on the sorbed substances and ions of heavy metals is within the range of 20 to 60%. The absorbing capacity for phenol totals 40-85%.

         In the State target-oriented program aimed at  ecological rehabilitation of land contaminated by the radionuclides the glauconite is defined as a basic sorbent applied for removal of long-live radionuclides from the food chain (soil - plants - animals - human being).


         6. Petrochemistry:

         Demineralization and dehydration of oil; catalysts.


         7. Food industry:

         Treatment of food liquors; food additives; conservation.     


         8. Medicine and cosmetology:

          The clay bond of the glauconite ore (green clay) is applied as an adjuvant therapy for various diseases. Clay therapeutic action, besides thermal and mechanical influence, exchange of mineral substances, includes as well (in the opinion of biotherapeutists) rehabilitation of body energy, i.e. absorption of negative energy generated by the unsound organ. The clay is used for physiotherapeutic procedures for medical treatment of osteochondrosis, arthragra and other articulation diseases, rehabilitation after injuries, inflammatory diseases and skin allergic diseases, psoriasis, dermatitis, it eases the pain and accelerates curing of pneumonic and cardiovascular diseases.

         Application of concentrated glauconite in combination with vitamins of B group provides the following positive clinical performance:

-       increase of resistance to stress;

-       hard radiation protective properties;

-       removal of heavy metals out of the body;

-       immunity simulating effect;

-       antanemic effect;

-       antisclerotic effect;

-       improvement of reproductive function;

-       antitoxic effect;

-       optimization of endocrine system functioning;

-       antihypoxic action;

-       hepatoprotection effect;

-       normalization of lipidic, protein and carbohydrate metabolism;

-       stimulation of reclamation processes;

-       deallergizing effect;

-       increase of area of biochemical reactions in the intestinal tract (it promotes optimization of ferment activity).

         The cosmetic properties of the clay that composes the glauconite ore as well as glauconite powder and due to the rich composition of microelements, especially in earth silicon that provides the ordinary course of metabolic processes in the cellule  prevents its aging, makes the skin soft and velvety. Glauconite powder and clay helps to get rid of the capillary network.

        The scientific and research activities as well as practical tests for glauconite in various fields of application were carried out by:


        1. All-Russia Scientific-and-Development and Technological Institute of poultry keeping.

        2. Research and Development Nutrition Establishment, Academy of Medical Sciences.

        3. Research and Development Mineralogy Establishment, Ural branch of Russian Academy of Science.

        4. Research and Development Carcinogenesis Establishment.

        5. Ural State Engineering University.

        6. All-Russia Research and Development Cattle-breeding Establishment.

        7. Military Technical Centre of Research and Development Establishment for biological protection of the RF Ministry of Defense.

        8. Yuzno-Ural Research and Development Establishment  for horticulture and potato growing of the Russian Agricultural Academy.

        9. Yuzhno-Ural Research and Development Agriculture Establishment, the Russian Agricultural Academy.

      10. Chelyabinskiy centre for chemization and agricultural radiology Federal State Institution.

      12. Chelyabinsk State University.

      13. Chelyabinsk State Agriculture Engineering University.

      14. Ural State Veterinary Academy.

      15. Chelyabinsk State Medical Academy.

      16. Ural State Agricultural Academy.

      17. Independent Expert and Certification Establishment (Moscow).

         In the RF Ministry of Health and Social Development glauconite is registered as a dietary supplement.


         Further detail information may be obtained at:

Komsomolsky prospekt 64, Chelyabinsk, Russia,  454014, phone (351)   270-73-59, 793-65-02 (03,04,05). E-mail: glaukonit@bk. ru 

                                            "Glauconite" LLC


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ООО "Глауконит" награждено серебряной медалью "За разработку и производство кормовой добавки глауконит для сельскохозяйственных животных и птицы"

ООО "Глауконит" награждено серебрянной медалью За разработку "Минерал Глауконит как сорбент радионуклидов, тяжелых металлов, нефтепродуктов, реагент(гранулированный) для очистки питьевой воды и промстоков, как кормовая добавка для с/х животных и сырье для производства БАД"

Нас наградили медалью "За организацию производства кормовых добавок, БАД, сорбентов из минерала глауконит"



Glauconite – a valuable versatile industrial raw material

Получение и свойства гранулированных сорбентов. На основе природных алюмосиликатов. Автореферат диссертации на соискание ученой степени кандидата технических наук.

Использование глауконита для коррекции патологического состояния печени у кур-несушек


Вопрос: В чем главное отличее глауконита от цеолитов?

Ответ: Отличительной особенностью глауконита от цеолитов является то,что он обладает не каркасным, а слоистым строением.При этом часть внутримоликулярных сил не уравновешена взаимодействием с расположенными в полости одного такого слоя, ионами химических веществ, содержащихся в растворах и в воздухе. В результате они скапливаются на активных поверхностях пластиночек,составляющих общий крисстал. Площадь активной поверхности значительно увеличивается и в этом состоит основное отличие глауконитов от цеолитов.
© 2008 ООО Глауконит
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