La Roca Magica

Frederick Mumpton calls it La Roca Magica, "The Magic Mineral", at his most cited article, " The uses of natural zeolites in agriculture and industry". Mumpton calls it magical due to its multitude of uses like in pozzolanic cement; as lightweight aggregates; in the drying of acid-gases; in the separation of oxygen from air; in the removal of NH3 from drinking water and municipal wastewater; in the extraction of Cs and Sr from nuclear wastes and the mitigation of radioactive fallout; as dietary supplements to improve animal production; as soil amendments to improve cation-exchange capacities (CEC) and water sorption capacities; as soilless zeoponic substrate for greenhouses and space missions; in the deodorization of animal litter, barns, ash trays, refrigerators, and athletic footwear; in the removal of ammoniacal nitrogen from saline hemodialysis solutions; and as bactericides, insecticides, and antacids for people and animals. We are proud to announce that the usage areas of zeolite have already been doubled during the last 20 years. Now you can find zeolite in your toothpastes, filters, clothes, in your cosmetics, maybe at your soap, in your wall or window, inside your refrigerator, air conditioner. Surely inside several things at your home that you would never guess.

Mumpton describes the zeolite as a "crystalline, hydrated aluminosilicate of alkali and alkaline earth cations having an infinite, open, threedimensional structure. It is further able to lose and gain water reversibly and to exchange extraframework cations, both without change of crystal structure. The large structural cavities and the entry channels leading into them contain water molecules, which form hydration spheres around exchangeable cations."

Zeolite is a magnet that can hold cations, like heavy metal, ammonia, low level radioactive elements, toxins, several odours, petrochemicals, many different type of gases and a multitude of various solutions. It is a highly porous sponge with a large surface area that can absorb water up to 40% of its weight.

The magic of the mineral lies at its cage structure and at its Aluminium and Silicon content which enables the mineral a high cation exchange capacity.