Zeolites are natural minerals - aluminosilicates - that are found in some sedimentary and volcanic rocks, more exactly the ones that where subject of a long process of transformation that gave birth to what is known today as a "miracle mineral" because of the extraordinary properties with benefits mainly in absorption of harmful substances from air, water or soil.
Zeolites are considered to be one of the most useful minerals extracted today with new uses discovered every year in research laboratories worldwide. Their property of molecular absorbant brought them the name of "molecular sieves".
Although they were identified from mineraleologic point of view since 1756 by Axel Frederik Cronstedt, their chemical properties and thus commercial potential were highlighted by research conducted by RM Milton and D. W. Breck in the 40s and 50s during the 20th century. Those researches have resulted in zeolites introduction as industrial absorbents classes in 1954 and catalysts for hydrocarbon conversion in 1959 in the United States.
But Zeolites have been used long before 1756 and an example of this is their use in the Roman Empire as appoductes layer. The first uses of the zeolites in modern history are recorded in the '70s when used to extract ammonia from sewage and processing the radioactive material. At this point are identified and classified more than 130 zeolite types which differ in structure, form, color and properties.
Discovering the qualities of this natural ore, people began to use it to filter waste before discharging them into natural streams, in the feed of their animals or in gardening by observing the increased resistance of crops near alleys paved with zeolite.
Zeolites are known to be non-toxic, non-irritating, 100% organic hence the wide variety of products that can be used, including natural supplements for people with a leading role in detoxification and pH adjustment.
The name of Zeolite was given by Axel Frederik Cronstedt meaning "boiling stone". By fast raising their temperature, zeolites remove water vapors giving the effect of "boiling".
Zeolites have at this moment many uses in many industries and an increased interest has even led to the creation of artificial zeolites which did involve much higher costs than the extraction and processing of natural zeolites.
There are many types of zeolites but one type has best qualities and that is clinoptilolite zeolite with special properties and specific physico-chemical characteristics.
You can find here many benefits and uses of the zeolites but surely, this list will grow given that their research is far from complete.