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Ion exchange

A process discovered at the end of the 19th century in which ions (Greek ion = moving thing) - i.e. particles such as atoms or molecules - are exchanged between two substances with the help of so-called ion exchangers. However, the principle of ion exchangers was utilised by humans long before the chemical background was understood. The oldest mention of the ion exchange process can be found in the Bible in the Second Book of Moses.

It refers to the conversion of bitter water into drinkable water by soaking old tree trunks, as rotten cellulose is a good exchanger for magnesium ions: "Then they came to Marah, but they could not drink the water of Marah, for it was very bitter. So they called the place Marah. Then the people grumbled against Moses and said, 'What shall we drink? He cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a piece of wood; he threw it into the water, and it became sweet."

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Andreas Essl
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26,428 Keywords · 47,024 Synonyms · 5,321 Translations · 31,761 Pronunciations · 208,002 Cross-references
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