Definition - What does Zeolite mean?

Zeolite is a porous crystalline secondary mineral which consists of hydrated aluminum silicates of barium, calcium, sodium or potassium. It is commonly found in the cavities of volcanic rocks.

Zeolites, often referred to as molecular sieves, exist in both a naturally occurring form as well as a synthetic form. It is nontoxic and its films are used to make corrosion-resistant coatings.

Corrosionpedia explains Zeolite

Zeolites are crystalline solids consisting of a negatively charged framework of micropores. The framework contains aluminum, silicon and oxygen while the pores contain water molecules and positively charged ions of the alkali metals (barium, potassium, magnesium and calcium).

Zeolite does not change its crystal structure even after undergoing dehydration. Its easy movement of water and ions within the structure make it suitable for various applications. This makes it possible to reverse dehydration and positive ion exchange (cation exchange). This is utilized when the zeolite is used for:

  • Water softening and purification processes
  • Catalysts
  • Ion exchangers
  • Separating and removing gases and solvents

In addition to purification and separation applications, it is used to make corrosion-resistant coatings. It has advantages over other conventionally used materials in that it is cheaper, nontoxic and environmentally friendly.

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