Serpentinites: Mineral Structure, Properties and Technological Applications


J. Braz. Chem. Soc.




Serpentine is a versatile mineral family rich in Mg silicate with several polymorphic phases, mainly antigorite and lizardite, all of them with similar chemical composition (Mg3Si2O5(OH)4). Their structures are generally composed of octahedral layers rich in Mg[MgO2(OH)4]6- , attached to a tetrahedral silicate [Si2O5]2- sheet. The unique physicochemical properties of serpentinites and the existence of large reserves in Brazil create new important opportunities for research and technological applications. In this work, serpentinites structures and properties are reviewed, as well as its occurrence and literature describing its applications in construction/ceramics, agriculture, as a silica source, in steel production, as an additive/filler in polymers, in the production of composites, adsorption of cations and organics contaminants, CO2 capture and catalysis. The presence of harmful chrysotile associated with serpentinites, some of its properties and uses are also described.

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