Some Retrospectives and Outlooks in Zeolite Science History
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The word “zeolite” has Greek roots and means “boiling stones” (zein = to
boil and lithos = stone), derived from the visible loss of water, noted when natural
zeolite was heated in the “mineralogist´s” blowpipe. Volcanic rocks containing natural
zeolites, i.e., hydrated aluminosilicate minerals, have been mined worldwide perhaps
for more than thousand years, mostly for use as cement and building stones. Since that
time, the progress in marketing natural zeolites as building stones, as lightweight
aggregate or pozzolans in cements and concretes, as filler in paper, in uptake of
radiocesium and strontium from nuclear waste and fallout, as soil amendments in
agronomy and horticulture, in the removal of ammonia from municipal, industrial or
agricultural waste and drinking waters, as energy supplier in solar refrigerators, as
dietary supplements in animal diets, as consumer deodorizers, in pet litters, in uptake of
ammonia from animal manures, as ammonia filters in kidney-dialysis units and as
zeoponic substrate for growing plants on space missions to their recent success in
healing of cuts and wounds or even as anti-tumour adjuvants has been encouraging,
manifesting that the natural zeolites have been considered for a commodity of a great
potential, application of which promises to expand even in near future.
Marketing natural zeolite, natural zeolite science development, short
historical excurse, updated knowledge about zeolite, zeolite deriving words,
zeolitic molecular sieves, zeoponic space vegetable.
Faculty of Natural Sciences Comenius University Mlynská dolina 842 15 Bratislava Slovak Republic.