Vancouver, British Columbia, International Zeolite Corp. (the “Company”) (TSX.V: IZ) (OTCQB: IZCFF) (FSE: ZEON) an international marketer and supplier of natural zeolite and zeolite-infused products, is pleased to provide an update on the application of its zeolite in the agricultural sector in India. The Company shipped 40 metric tonnes of various sized processed zeolite for use in the Indian agricultural and poultry sectors. The shipment arrived in India on August 14, 2018 and was then forwarded to the research sites.
The objective of the research is to test the use of zeolite in optimization in the absorption of urea, a nitrogenous fertilizer. Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University (“PJTSAU”) based in Hyderabad, India has completed research protocols on rice crops and commenced the project within the Khariff (monsoon season) on three different soil types representing respective climatic conditions and the soil eco-systems of each location, which is part of Phase I research.
The ongoing research undertaken by Hyderabad University indicates visibly identifiable changes observed between the control crop (without zeolite), the zeolite infused crop, and the reduced zeolite application crop as shown in Figure 1.
The research protocol parameters are designed to test the height and length of the rice plant, along with the number of panicles (a flower cluster that usually grows at the end of a stem or a shoot) per plant, the number of rice grains per panicle and the grain size variability which directly impacts the crop yields. It is an established hypothesis that slow release of essential major nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus promotes healthy growth of the plant and positively impacts crop yields. The University will present formal research results and provide necessary information for obtaining required clearances from relevant authorities towards commercialization.
As previously reported, in India, Urea receives a significant government subsidy for use in the agricultural sector. Annual consumption of approximately 32 million tonnes has a domestic retail value of approximately US$3 billion. The Indian Nitrogen Group has reported that only 33% to 35% of Urea is used by the plant and the rest is lost due to leaching or evaporation and run-off of soils, resulting in ground water pollution, which is a notable environmental issue in the agricultural sector throughout India. Estimates of the economic costs on loss of effective Urea utilization rates in India range between US$1.6-billion to US$1.8-billion annually.
Inherent properties of zeolites include: Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) which increases soil nutrient holding capacity due to its open framework and porous crystal structure. Its water retention capacity is 60% to 70% of its body weight. Contrary to fertilizers, zeolites are nutrient-intake regulators that act as a natural aid of increasing retention of water soluble fertilizers for long periods while preventing de-leaching, dehydration and run-off of soils. Zeolites promote maximum efficiency of fertilizer utilization through the slow release of nutrients to the plant.
The main fertilizers used in Indian agriculture include nitrogenous fertilizers, potash, phosphate and complex fertilizers. India is the third largest producer and second largest consumer of fertilizers in the world. The total fertilizer market in India is expected to reach a value of US$34-billion in 2019. The Indian agriculture sectors contribution is approximately 17% of the nation’s US$2 trillion economy.
Ray Paquette, CEO stated, “International Zeolite is in the process of pursuing technologies to commercialize the manufacturing of zeolite coated urea. The Company is working through Ichaana Indo-Can Zeolite Private Limited (“Ichanna”). The working relationship established with Ichaana and the University is expected to contribute significantly to the international agricultural sector based on positive research results. This would be followed by securing the necessary permits and approvals for market expansion into India.”
On Behalf Of The Board
President & CEO