EsoSand Natural Zeolite Soil Ammendment


Reduces Nutrient Leaching

  • EcoSand holds nutrients in root zone
  • Permanent CEC Addition
  • High CEC
  • No clay

Due to the three dimensional stable honey comb structure, EcoSand Natural Zeolite Soil Amendment holds important fertilizing ions in the soil differently than clay and organic colloids in the soil.

EcoSand Natural Zeolite
Soil Amendment
K+ > NH4+ >> Na+ > Ca2+ > Mg2+
Soil Colloids and Clays
Ca2+ > Mg2+ > K+ = NH4+ > Na+

This means that EcoSand prefers to hold the potassium (K+) and ammonium (NH4+) ions in the root zone more than calcium (Ca2+) and magnesium (Mg2+). The soil colloids without EcoSand will allow the important plant nutrients, like potassium and ammonium, to be flushed from the root zone and retain the calcium and magnesium ions. Holding the soluble potassium and ammonium ions in the root zone is one of the main reasons that EcoSand improves plant growth.

Higher CEC =
Less Nutrient Leaching =
More Plant Growth
Less Fertilizer Runoff

The soil nutrient holding capacity is measured by a soils laboratory cation exchange capacity (CEC) test. With high CEC, nutrients are held in the root zone. Fertilizer applications do not need to be as frequent since soluble fertilizer is less likely to be flushed from the root zone. In other products with low CEC’s, these soluble nutrients are more readily flushed from the root zone and can potentially pollute the environment.

EcoSand has by far the highest CEC of the commercially used remineralizing and inorganic soil amendments products:

CEC of Commercially Used Remineralizing &
Inorganic Soil Amendments

CEC (meq/100g)
98 – 180
Clay Minerals Greensand
10 – 35
25 – 30
Rock Dust
5 – 15
© ZEO, Inc. EcoSand Green Soil Amendment

In a 2004 University of Florida PhD Thesis, the CEC (meg/100g) of several golf course soil amendments was reported. This data was as determined by a typical soils method using a 30 minute soak time.

2004 University of Florida PhD Thesis Research

© ZEO, Inc. EcoSand Green Soil Amendment

CEC values should be confirmed at an independent laboratory, because claimed CECs can vary widely. In one case a natural zeolite producer claims a CEC of 80-120 and the reseller of the same product claims a value 200.

Texas Plant and Soil Lab CEC determinations with a six hour soak time gave the following results:

ZEO EcoSand CEC Comparison

Pounds required for equivalent CEC
EcoSand Zeolite
 East Asia 
South Africa
 West Asia
 Diatomaceous Earth
© ZEO, Inc. EcoSand Green Soil Amendment


The CEC provided by the use of EcoSand is a permanent addition to the soil because EcoSand’s structure is stable in the soil. The optimum amount of EcoSand can be built up over several applications.

In addition to keeping the ammonium and potassium in the soil and available to the plant, the EcoSand CEC makes insoluble or fixed phosphate more available to the plant. Calcium in the soil reacts over time with soluble and plant available phosphate to form a calcium phosphate mineral that is insoluble and essentially unavailable to the plant. The EcoSand CEC reacts with the calcium phosphate mineral to adsorb the calcium into its structure leaving, the phosphate in the soil and once again available to the plant. As EcoSand becomes loaded with calcium, the ammonium ions in the soil naturally regenerate EcoSand, and the process to make phosphate available starts over. Dr Eber of the US Geological Survey published his research in this area.



The addition of EcoSand to compost increases its quality by adsorbing some of ammonium and potassium ions that would be lost to the environment. The nitrogen and potassium captured by the EcoSand cation exchange capacity make the compost richer because these nutrients are more available for improved plant growth.

During composting, organic wastes such as grass clippings and leaves are converted to a nutrient rich humus growing media. In addition to air and water, the aerobic bacteria need a carbon and nitrogen ratio of about 25 to 1. Even with careful composting, total nitrogen loss through volatilizing or leaching can be 20 to 50% of the starting nitrogen amount. EcoSand dramatically reduces the nitrogen loss by as much as a one third.

Even though EcoSand contains no carbon, the EcoSand ammonium adsorption results in an effective carbon to nitrogen ratio of 35 to 1. To balance out the nitrogen that EcoSand adsorbs, additional high nitrogen materials like grass clippings can be added to the compost pile. About 2 pounds of grass clippings will balance the carbon nitrogen ratio of one pound of EcoSand.

Use level: Mix one pound of EcoSand with 10 cubic feet (16 kgs per m3) of material to be composted.