In this article, you’ll get a list of some commonly known zeolites, as well as background information about zeolites to better understand them.
Types of Zeolites (Examples and Descriptions)
What are the common kinds of zeolite rocks?
More than 45 zeolites have been identified, including:
• Clinoptilolite, a natural zeolite with a wide range of industrial applications
• Heulandite, a popular zeolite for use in aquariums and as a decorative mineral
• Stilbite, a zeolite often used in crystal healing
• Natrolite, a type of zeolite with a high water content
• Analcime, a white or colorless zeolite often used in casting and making jewelry
• Chabazite, a variety of zeolite with a cubic or rhombic crystal structure
• Gismondine, a rarer type of zeolite with a similar structure to natrolite
• Phillipsite, a zeolite often found in metamorphic rocks
• Levynite, a zeolite with a unique star-shaped crystal structure
• Other zeolites include: Mordenite, Chabazite, Andersite, Levynite, Erionite, Natrolite, Scolecite, and Laumontite.
Facts About Zeolites
Zeolites are a group of naturally-occurring minerals that share a similar chemical structure.
They are often used as ion-exchange materials and as adsorbents.
Zeolites have a porous structure that contains large cavities, or pores, that can trap and hold molecules of water or other liquids.
The size of the pores in a zeolite can be controlled by varying the ratio of the different elements that make up the mineral.
The most common elements found in zeolites are silicon, oxygen, and aluminum.
However, other elements such as sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium can also be present.
The Moh’s Hardness of zeolites is typically between 2 and 4.5.
The specific gravity of zeolites is typically between 2 and 2.6.
Zeolites can be found in a variety of colors, including white, gray, yellow, green, and blue.
The term “zeolite” was first coined in 1756 by Swedish mineralogist Cronstedt, who observed that when heated, the mineral produced large amounts of steam.
Zeolites are named for their ability to “zeolitize,” or produce steam.
Zeolites can be found in a variety of settings, including volcanic rocks, sedimentary rocks, and metamorphic rocks.
They can also be found in soils and in some marine environments.
Around the world, you can find them occurring naturally in the following countries:
• United States
• New Zealand
While you can find zeolite as it occurs naturally, it is also produced.
Synthetic zeolite is made by adding aluminum oxide or silica to a solution that contains sodium hydroxide.
The resulting mixture is then cooled and allowed to crystallize.
The process of making synthetic zeolite is similar to the process that is used to make synthetic diamonds.
Synthetic zeolite is used in a variety of industries, including the oil industry, where it is used to remove impurities from crude oil.
It is also used in the manufacture of detergents, paints, and adhesives. Zeolite is also used in water treatment and as an agricultural fertilizer.
Uses of Zeolites
Zeolites are a versatile and useful group of minerals that have a wide range of applications.
Whether you find them in nature or you synthetically produce them, they can be put to a variety of uses.
For example, mordenite is used as a catalyst in the production of plastics, while chabazite is used in the petrochemical industry.
Andersite is used in the manufacture of glass, while levynite is used as an abrasive.
Erionite is used in the construction industry, while natrolite is used in water purification.
Heulandite is used in the perfume industry, while scolecite is used in the manufacture of cosmetics.
Stilbite is used in the ceramic industry, while laumontite is used as a packing material.
Analcime is used in the electronics industry, while gismondine is used in the production of concrete.
People even often put zeolites in fish tanks because they can help to remove impurities from the water.
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