Silicon and oxygen are the earth’s two most abundant elements and together they make silica, one of the earth’s three most common rock forming minerals. Silica occurs in three main crystalline forms. The principal occurrence is as the mineral quartz but it also occurs in other rarer mineral forms known as tridymite and cristobalite. It is a very durable mineral resistant to heat and chemical attack and it is these properties that have made it an essential raw material for many industrial and societal applications.
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