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Any member of a family of hydrated aluminosilicate minerals that have a framework structure enclosing interconnected cavities occupied by large metal cations (positively charged ions)generally sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and bariumand water molecules. The ease of movement of ions and water within the framework allows reversible dehydration and cation exchange, properties that are exploited in water softeners and molecular sieves for pollution control, among other uses.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on zeolite, visit Britannica.com.