Abstract

The work reported herein involves the characterization of natural zeolites from two different mines (San Andrés and Tasajeras; Cuba) using XRD, SEM, TG-DTA, ICP and surface area measurements. In addition, the chemical composition of zeolites, the heavy metal and environmental organic toxins content, the ion exchange rates, stability under biological conditions using simulated body fluids as well as the binding capacity for histamine have been investigated with a view to using them as medical products. The investigated zeolites contain clinoptilolite and mordenite as major phases. Furthermore, the samples are apparently free from fibrous materials according to SEM observations. In particular, the San Andrés zeolite binds remarkable amounts of histamine which are nearly irreversible under acidic (pH = 1; 12.4 mg/g) and neutral conditions (pH = 7; 15.7 mg/g), respectively. Thus, the San Andrés sample may well be applied as a medical product due to its excellent binding capacity for histamine along with its remaining optimum physico-chemical characteristics.

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