Chapter 1

General Introduction

Vassilis J. Inglezakis and Maria D. Loizidou

Abstract

The term zeolite coming from the Greek words, which mean stone that boils, was originally coined in the 18th century by a Swedish mineralogist named Cronstedt. A zeolite is a crystalline aluminosilicate with a cage structure. Natural zeolites combine comparative simplicity of mining, relatively low cost, worldwide distribution and in combination with their unique physicochemical properties they became the most important minerals. The zeolite group includes more than 40 naturally occurring species, some of them are rare, all beautiful with diverse complexity and unique crystal habits.

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