A particular structural feature of zeolites relative to other aluminosilicate materials, and other crystalline materials in general, is the existence of channels and/or cavities linked by channels. One of the characteristics that distinguishes zeolites from other porous materials is their variety of pore sizes and shapes. The size and shape of channels/cavities in zeolites therefore define the structural parameters of a given type of zeolite (1).
Properties of zeolites, such as ion exchange, intercrystalline pores that discriminate between molecules of different dimension, strong acidic sites, and active reservoirs for metal-catalyzed reactions, have earned them extensive industrial uses. Consequently, fundamental zeolite research has become an area of great interest (2).
The remarkable applicability of zeolites ranges from uses in biochemistry, the agroindustry, detergents, soil improvements, the nuclear industry, energy storage, and the textile industry (3). Zeolites are among the most important inorganic cation exchangers. The aluminosilicate structure is negatively charged and attracts cations that come to reside inside the pores and channels. Zeolites have large empty spaces, or cages, within their structures that can accommodate large cations, such as Na+, K+, Br+, and Ca2+, and even relatively large molecules and cationic groups, such as water, ammonia, carbonate ions, and nitrate ions. The basic structure of zeolites is biologically neutral... ...
Πηγή: Εφαρμογές του ζεόλιθου στην ιατρική - Medical Applications of Zeolites
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