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What is Olivine?

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Olivine is one of the earth’s most abundant minerals.  It shines like glass and is used in jewelry, sometimes called the evening emerald or peridot. Yet olivine is strong and is hard enough to cut glass.

Olivine has been found all over the earth: Egypt, Myanmar, South Africa, Russia, Pakistan, Norway, Sweden, France, Brazil, Germany, Mexico, Ethiopia, Australia, China and the US.  As early as 1500 BCE, Egyptian pharaohs mined olivine on Zabargad Island in the Red Sea. Olivine can be found in the green beaches in Hawaii as well as in meteorites, on Mars and on the Moon.

Olivine sand has been used to recover waste heat to produce electricity requiring less water than when using silicon for this applicaiton. In addition, olivine can be used for sequestering carbon: all the CO2 produced by burning 1 liter of oil can be sequestered by less than 1 liter of olivine.

From Oahu to Tahiti to Italy, this ‘green’ product of the environment reminds us that everything on the earth and beyond is truly connected.

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