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What is zeolite

Now I imagine that some of you are asking the question of why are the workers in Japan using sacks of zeolite rather than cheap beach sand. The reason is that the zeolite is an ion exchanger. I have not seen in the news from TEPCO what type of zeolite they are using but I know in the nuclear industry that clinoptilolite is a zeolite which can be used to remove cesium and strontium from waste water.

I looked in the inorganic data base for clinoptilolite, so it will be time to put on your “diffractospecs” soon and have a look at the arrangement of the atoms. The thing you need to understand is that a zeolite has a negatively charged cage of oxygen, aluminium and silicon atoms. To remain neutral the cage must have some positively charged ions inside the holes in the cage.

The clever thing is that the ions can be exchanged, this the way in which zeolites are often used for making hard water soft and cleaning up wastes.

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One Response

  1. Right on Mark! This is focusing on the solution rather than the problem. People experiencing radiation sickness or seeking protection may use this substance internally in a liquid or powdered form. It was used to clean up the Chernobyl mess about 50 years ago.

    Mark replies, commonly for internal contamination of humans and farm yard animals prussian blue is used. But the zeolite is an important tool for the management of the cesium and strontium. Zeolite is used in places like the Sellafield waste water treatment plant to prevent the escape of these metals.

    However after looking at your web site I think that you may be crediting zeolites with good effects which are not proven. Please send me some evidence to show how zeolite treatment can reverse the effects of X-ray exposure. I would be very interested to see such evidence.

    The idea of liquid zeolite is new to me, zeolites work becuase they have a solid cage which has a negative charge. Please explain what exactly do you mean by “liquid zeolite”.

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