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Zeolite is a group name for a large number of aluminosilicate minerals that share an open framework. The porous structure allows a wide variety of loosely held positive cations (Na+, K+, Ca2+, Mg2+) that occur naturally in these minerals to be exchanged for other cations when placed in water. This filtering ability of zeolites has led to their use in many industrial applications, including home water filtering systems.

The term zeolite [from the Greek zeo, to boil, and lithos, stone] is attributed to Swedish mineralogist Axel Cronsetedt, who in 1756 observed that rapidly heated zeolite produced large amounts of steam.

Over 232 unique zeolite frameworks have been identified with over 45 occurring naturally. Synthetic zeolites are produced industrially on a large scale for use in commercial applications including adsorbents and catalysts, water purification, separation of gases and molecules, on-board oxygen generating systems, solar thermal collectors, and non-clumping cat litter.  The largest single use is the global laundry detergent market. 

Natural zeolites form where volcanic rocks and ash layers react with alkaline groundwater, and in shallow marine basins.

Minerals often associated with zeolites include apophyllite and prehnite.

Some types of zeolite that can be found at Taos Rockers (in-store or online, subject to supply and demand) include:

Analcime Na(AlSi2O6) · H2O

Chabazite CaAl2Si4O12 · 6H2O

Heulandite CaAl2Si7O18 · 6H2O

Laumontite CaAl2Si4O12 · 4H2O

Mordenite (Na2,Ca,K2)Al2Si10O24 · 7H2O

Natrolite Na2Al2Si3O10 · 2H2O

Mesolite Na2Ca2Si9Al6O30 · 8H2O

Scolecite CaAl2Si3O10 · 3H2O

Pollucite (Cs,Na)2(Al2Si4O12) · 2H2O

Stellerite Ca4(Si28Al8)O72 · 28H2O

Stilbite CaAl2Si7O18 · 7H2O

Thomsonite (Ca,Na)6Al8(Al,Si)2Si10O40· 12H2O