Paulingite Crystal

Paulingite is a rare zeolite mineral that is found in vesicles in the basaltic rocks from the Columbia River near Rock Island Dam, Washington. 

Paulingite was named for Linus Carl Pauling (1901–1994), professor of chemistry, California Institute of Technology and accepted by the International Mineralogical Association in 1960. The early formation in the crystallization sequence and the high water content suggest that paulingite forms from relatively dilute pore fluids. They have a large unit cell of 3.51 nanometers and an isometric crystal system.

Paulingite is a microporous mineral, which means that it has very small pores that can trap molecules.

Paulingite is a relatively rare mineral, and it is not currently used in any commercial applications. However, it is of interest to geologists and mineralogists because of its unique properties and its potential applications in the field of nanotechnology.

Paulingite is a relatively rare mineral, and it is only found in a few locations around the world.

Paulingite Crystal mineral
Paulingite Crystal Locality: Vinařice, Kladno, Central Bohemia Region, Bohemia (Böhmen; Boehmen), Czech Republic
Photo Copyright © Petr Fuchs

Occurrence of Paulingite

Paulingite is a rare mineral and is found in vesicles in basaltic rocks. It is typically associated with other zeolite minerals, such as stilbite and heulandite. It is also found in tholeiitic basalt and sandstone xenoliths in basalt.

Uses of paulingite

Catalysis: Paulingite could be used as a catalyst in a variety of industrial processes.

Ion exchange: Paulingite could be used to remove pollutants from water and soil.

Gas storage: Paulingite could be used to store gases, such as hydrogen or methane.

Paulingite is a fascinating mineral with a wide range of potential applications. It is likely to play an increasingly important role in the field of nanotechnology in the years to come.

Paulingite Crystals
Paulingite-Ca from Czech Republic, Kladno, Vinarice
Photo: Henk Smeets/Tomeik Minerals.

Properties of Paulingite

Composition: Paulingite is not a single mineral but a zeolite subgroup with several members, each with slightly different compositions. The most common members are:

  • Paulingite-Ca: (Ca,K,Na,Ba,◻)₁₀(Si,Al)₄₂O₈₄·34H₂O
  • Paulingite-K: (K,Na,Ca,Ba)₁₀(Si,Al)₄₂O₈₄·34H₂O
  • Paulingite-Na: (Na,K,Ca,Ba)₁₀(Si,Al)₄₂O₈₄·34H₂O

Color: Colorless, pale yellow, or white.

Luster: Vitreous (glassy).

Streak: White.

Hardness: 5 on the Mohs scale.

Cleavage: Poor in all directions.

Crystal form: Isometric (dodecahedral or cubic).

Density: 2.08 - 2.20 g/cm³ depending on the specific member.

Transparency: Transparent to translucent.

Fracture: Conchoidal to uneven.

Solubility: Insoluble in water.

Magnetism: Non-magnetic.

Fluorescence: Weak to absent.

Pleochroism: Weak or absent.

Refractive index: 1.46 - 1.50 depending on the specific member.

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