Status Report

Zeolite Crystal Growth (ZCG) Furnace Results

By SpaceRef Editor
August 7, 2002
Filed under , ,

The crew
and ground-based science team completed the Expedition 5 ZCG experiments
on July 12, 2002. The samples will remain inside the deactivated furnace
until they are returned to Earth on STS-112 and replaced by a new set of
samples for mission 9A.

ZCG mission 8A experiment was completed on May 6—a day earlier than
originally planned.

was the first payload to receive full-time support from the Active Rack
Isolation System (ARIS), a system that reduces vibration like shock-absorbers
on a car. ARIS underwent thorough testing throughout Increments 2, 3 and
4, and went online in April.

grown zeolite crystals have proven to be larger and better-ordered than
Earth-grown crystals. Theoretically, it is possible to grow crystals in
microgravity that are 500 to 1000 times larger than terrestrially-grown
crystals. Zeolite A crystals grown during USML-1 achieved 96 percent area
and 175 percent volume increases over Earth grown samples, and approached
theoretically perfect aluminum/silicon ratios.


materials have great potential for commercial applications. Their shapes
form complex, open frameworks that act as absorbents or filters, and they
can be used in diverse ways: as absorbents for oil spills; to control
household odors; to filter ammonia from municipal wastewater; and as a
growth medium for hydroponic horticulture. They have been suggested as
nuclear waste scavengers and quantum confinement hosts for semiconductor
materials. Larger, better-constructed crystals, made possible by space-based
facilities, are more suitable for research and use in commercial materials.

Related Publications

  • E.N. Coker, J.C. Jansen, J.A. Martens, P.A. Jacobs, F. DiRenzo, F. Fajula,
    and A. Sacco, Jr. 1998. The synthesis of zeolites under microgravity conditions:
    a review. Zeolites 23:119-136. 

  • J.
    Warzywoda, N. Bac, and A. Sacco, Jr. 1999. Synthesis of large zeolite
    X crystals. J of Crystal Growth 204:539-541.

    Web Sites

  • Microgravity Experiment Data & Information Archive (MEDIA)

  • Space
    Product Development Source Book: Product Lines
    (see CAMMP)

  • SpaceRef staff editor.