Document Type


Publication Date



Department of Chemistry; Department of Chemical Engineering


Four naturally occurring zeolites were examined to verify their assignments as chabazites AZLB-Ca and AZLB-Na (Bowie, Arizona) and clinoptilolites NM-Ca (Winston, New Mexico) and NV-Na (Ash Meadows, Nevada). Based on powder X-ray diffraction, NM-Ca was discovered to be mostly quartz with some clinoptilolite residues. Treatment with concentrated HCl (12.1 M) acid resulted in AZLB-Ca and AZLB-Na, the chabazite-like species, becoming amorphous, as confirmed by powder X-ray diffraction. In contrast, NM-Ca and NV-Na, which are clinoptilolite-like species, withstood boiling in concentrated HCl acid. This treatment removes calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, aluminum, and iron atoms or ions from the framework while leaving the silicon framework intact as confirmed via X-ray fluorescence and diffraction. SEM images on calcined and HCl treated NV-Na were obtained. BET surface area analysis confirmed an increase in surface area for the two zeolites after treatment, NM-Ca 20.0(1) to 111(4) m2/g and NV-Na 19.0(4) to 158(7) m2/g.29Si and27Al MAS NMR were performed on the natural and treated NV-Na zeolite, and the data for the natural NV-Na zeolite suggested a Si:Al ratio of 4.33 similar to that determined by X-Ray fluorescence of 4.55. Removal of lead ions from solution decreased from the native NM-Ca, 0.27(14), NVNa, 1.50(17) meq/g compared to the modified zeolites, 30 min HCl treated NM-Ca 0.06(9) and NVNa, 0.41(23) meq/g, and also decreased upon K+ ion pretreatment in the HCl modified zeolites.

Publisher's Statement

© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// 4.0/). Publisher’s version of record:

Publication Title


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Publisher's PDF



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.