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The microporous molecular structure of a zeolite, ZSM-5
Extruded granules - NaX synthetic zeolite.


Zeolites are microporous, aluminosilicate minerals commonly used as commercial adsorbents and catalysts. They occur naturally but are also produced industrially on a large scale. Hundreds of unique zeolite frameworks have been identified. Uses include

  • largest single use currently: global laundry detergent market
  • as ion-exchange beds in water purification, softening, and other applications.
  • in chemistry, zeolites are used to separate molecules
  • as catalysts and sorbents.
  • precise and specific separation of gases, including the removal of H2O, CO2 and SO2 from low-grade natural gas streams.
  • biofuel applications: separating a mixture of chemicals (e.g. in pyrolysis) gas
  • related: separation of biogas components (upgrading); biogas contains a lot of water vapor, H2S and CO2 that need to be removed before the gas is fed into a local gas grid.
  • oxygen concentrators (applications in medicine, metallurgy, energy generation, etc.)
  • energy applications (e.g. solar thermal): heat transfer fluid
  • biochemistry applications: separating a mixture of chemicals
  • biorefinery: separation (see link)
  • in agriculture: as water moderators (slow release)

Zeolite Cooling

Zeolite-water cooling - to be opensourced by Cohabitat Group later in the year. Via Pawel Sroczynski.


Carol Smith For more details: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/life/project/Projects/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.showFile&rep=file&fil=LIFE04_ENV_LU_000829_LAYMAN.pdf


Patent Situation

If somebody could do an overview of the patent situation on zeolites (tall order), please summarize it here. Many of the most relevant patents appear to be from the 1960s and 70s, so may be in the public domain by now. More recent patents would still be proprietary.

Open Source Hardware Needs

(insert here - what kind of hardware is needed to make zeolites?)

Internal Links

  • Bone Char may have some similar properties to certain zeolites (filtering fluids)
  • Biochar may also have some properties that resemble some zeolites but it is not clear to what extent this has been explored

External Links