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Zeolites are a group of silicates minerals with a micro-porous structure.
Mohs hardness: Varies
Common uses today - Water filtration, seprating gases at the molecular level, and is also used in the petrochemical, nuclear energy,
medical, agricultural, construction, and heating/refrigeration industries.
Other products containing zeolites are non clumping cat litter and aquarium products.
From Wikipedia -
"Zeolites are hydrated aluminosilicate minerals and have a micro-porous structure.
The term was originally coined in the 18th century by a Swedish mineralogist named Axel Fredrik Cronstedt
who observed, upon rapidly heating a natural mineral, that the stones began to dance about as the water evaporated.
Using the Greek words which mean "stone that boils," he called this material zeolite.
More than 150 zeolite types have been synthesized, and 48 naturally occurring zeolites are known.
Zeolites have an "open" structure that can accommodate a wide variety of cations, such as Na+, K+, Ca2+, Mg2+ and others.
These positive ions are rather loosely held and can readily be exchanged for others in a contact solution.
Natural zeolites form where volcanic rocks and ash layers react with alkaline groundwater.
Zeolites also crystallized in post-depositional environments over periods ranging from thousands to millions of years in shallow marine basins.
Zeolites are the aluminosilicate members of the family of microporous solids known as "molecular sieves".
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