email: tfl3543@blackfoot.net

BEAR RIVER ZEOLITE CO., INC.
4005 East Glendale Road
Preston, ID 83263

tel: 406-827-3523
fax: 406-827-3543

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ANHYDROUS AMMONIA CONTROL 

 WHAT IS IT?

BRZ™ is a naturally occurring volcanic rock that contains the zeolite mineral called “clinoptilolite”. The rock is drilled, blasted, crushed and screened to a granular size (14 x 40 mesh) that is not dusty and flows well. It contains no crystalline silica and is not a cause for silicosis. BRZ™ is a natural cation exchange agent that is inexpensive. It has two ways of holding cations (positive ions such as ammonium, calcium, sodium, and potassium). The first way is in its crystal lattice where the ammonium (the product of ammonia and water) is exchanged instantly. The second way is in its channel-ways where BRZ™ can hold up to 55% of its weight in water. BRZ is an excellent desiccant. In this case the cations are more loosely held and are water-soluble. BRZ was used to clean up the largest spill of anhydrous ammonia gas in the history of the United States (Canadian Pacific Railroad, Minot, North Dakota, 2001, where 12 railcars ruptured, 80 people were hospitalized and one was killed).

PROBLEMS WITH AMMONIA GAS

  • The first problem with ammonia is that it is a health hazard than can be lethal to humans. In low levels it severely effects a man’s ability to work. In higher levels it can cause lasting respiratory problems. High concentrations of ammonia combine so rapidly with tissue water in the lungs that it can cause death by drowning.
     
  • Ammonia quickly becomes ammonium in water and this oxidizes to nitrites and nitrates that contaminate the water table and make water undrinkable. It is one of the most major environmental problems in the world.

APPLICATIONS

  • BRZ™ FOR AMMONIA CONTROL IN BLASTING (Patent Pending)
    It has been found that applying about 30% of the weight of the ANFO used in the form of BRZ™ significantly reduces ammonia after loading and shooting. The weight of the BRZ™ must be determined on a case by case basis. The product is sold in 25 kg plastic bags for easy application, 1 metric tonne totes, and in bulk. The ammonia is a result of incomplete detonation, spillage, and fugitive dust from loading operations. Reducing the ammonia after shooting means getting back to the face faster, less health problems, and greater production.
  • SHAFTS AND WINZES
    BRZ™ is sprinkled around the blast area prior to loading. The product can also be used to top dress the muck pile. It has reduced ammonia from 180-220 ppm to less than 20 ppm.
     
  • DRIFTS, SCRAMS, STOPES, RAMPS, RAISES
    BRZ™ is spread on the floor in front of or under the drilled area prior to loading, and it can also be used to top dress the muck pile.
     
  • OPEN PIT OPERATIONS AND SEISMIC BLASTING
    Here human health is not as critical as in underground mining, however, the environmental impact of the ammonia can be mitigated by applying BRZ™ around the drill holes or as stemming in the drill holes. The product should not be mixed with the ANFO because it will become saturated with ammonium and will loose its effectiveness.
     
  • BRZ™ FOR AMMONIA CONTROL IN MAGAZINES AND STOCKPILES
    ANFO is hygroscopic. As it pulls water from the atmosphere, the ammonia quickly forms ammonium that leaks from the stockpile or magazine area. This creates environmental and health problems. BRZ™ can be applied on the floor around the stockpile, in a trench outside the storage area, or in various other configurations.
     
  • BRZ™ AS A DESICCANT AND FLOW AGENT
    BRZ™ is an effective desiccant that can mixed in small amounts in fine particle sizes (minus 40 mesh) to keep ANFO dry and easily flowing. It will prevent caking and clumping.
     
  • BRZ™ FOR CONTROL OF NITROUS OXIDE
    The surface of the zeolite can be modified to a positive charge so that it will adsorb NO3 and NO2 gas. This is referred to as an “SMZ” (surface modified zeolite). Testing will be necessary to determine the best application method, but top dressing the blast area should be adequate.