The silicates are pervasive in nature, from individual groups present in some natural gemstones to the three-dimensional techtosilicates in natural and synthetic zeolites. Zeolites have their most significant applications in gas purification and in the treatment of water for human use (removal of cations and NH4+). Some powder detergents now carry the inscription “contains a catalyst friendly to environment.” This material is a zeolite used to remove calcium and magnesium ions from water, so that the detergent’s foam can be formed. Besides these applications, one of the steps in refining petroleum, which is composed of heavy hydrocarbons, makes use of catalytic cracking zeolite properties to break these large molecules into gasoline, kerosene, etc.. This paper will address various aspects related to these materials, their occurrence in nature, structures and properties, their discovery and chemistry related to their preparation and their functions in various applications.
silicates, zeolites, natural zeolites, synthetic zeolites, crystals, structures, preparation, implementation
Heloise O. Pastore
Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Instituto de Química
João C. de Andrade
Carol. H. Collins