How Odor-Z-Way (man-made zeolite) was started

Odor-Z-Way was actually created from the water conditioning industry.  After figuring out a variety of uses in water conditioning it was found that a larger size of the same crystal could be used as a superior odor and stain removal product.  I have listed the short story below about how Odor-Z-Way was origionally invented in the water conditioning industry.

In 1925 Emmett Culligan, with help from Fred Lindsay, formulated the process to produce synthetic zeolites. Together, they started the Northwestern Chemical Company. Fred’s brother, Lynn Lindsay, was one of the company’s salesmen, who later started the successful water softener company bearing his name.

In the late 30s and early 40s, there were two zeolite plants: one in San Bernardino, CA, and the other in Yuma AR. By the late 40s, the company had produced a high-capacity zeolite with capacity of 20K grains – doubling capacity of domestic water softeners.  
 
The Changing Marketplace
 
That accomplishment was soon overshadowed by the development of synthetic – or plastic – resins in the early 50’s providing even higher capacities of 30K grains per cu ft. With increased competition from plastic resin manufacturers, Culligan closed the Yuma zeolite plant.
 
 Zeolites are first cured outdoors in large beds before refining and processing. Here, the mild weather and prevalent sunshine of the Kansas City region provides ideal conditions.

The remaining zeolite facility in San Bernardino was later purchased in 1985 by Glenn Gruett, the owner and founder of Water-Right, Inc., a water softener manufacturing firm based in Appleton, Wisconsin. Water-Right had previously used Culligan’s zeolites extensively and successfully in a majority of the softeners they manufactured. They were also one of the largest customers of zeolite at the time.
 
With the purchase of all rights, equipment and technology, Gruett moved the entire operation to Phillipsburg, Kansas, under the corporate name of Mineral-Right, Inc. This operation became the first modern synthetic zeolite plant in the country. Through carefully controlled manufacturing, zeolites are now produced in several different grades, each possessing different water conditioning characteristics.
 
 
The Northwestern Chemical Company closed during the Great Depression. Emmett Culligan pushed onward, starting the Culligan Zeolite Company in 1936 in Northbrook, Illinois. The zeolites manufactured through his operation had a capacity of 10,000 grains per cu ft – two times better than processed greensand. This accomplishment essentially created the modern water softening industry we have today.
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