Zeolite minerals are crystalline, hydrated aluminosilicates of alkali and alkaline earth cations characterized by an ability to hydrate/dehydrate reversibly and to exchange some of their constituent cations with aqueous solutions, both without a major change in structure. Because of their ion-exchange, adsorption, and molecular sieve properties, as well as their geographically widespread abundance, zeolite minerals have generated worldwide interest for use in a broad range of applications. Examples of these applications are discussed in other chapters of this book. Of particular interest in this chapter are the cation-exchange properties of zeolite minerals. Due to the favorable ion-exchange selectivity of natural...

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