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Glossary

Mineralization

Mineralization, also known as mineral formation, refers to the conversion of certain substances into inorganic substances. In biology and medicine, the starting substances of mineralization are limited to organic substances. Here, mineralization means the decomposition of complex organic compounds to low-molecular, inorganic substances by microorganisms. One example is the development of caries. On the other hand, it describes how inorganic substances are gradually stored in a mostly organic matrix, as it is the case with the formation of bones and teeth. In geology and chemistry, mineralization refers to the general conversion of any starting substance into a solid, inorganic substance. This includes, for example, the mineralization of water pollutants or the CO2 mineralization. In soil science, the term mineralization refers to the release of inorganic compounds (minerals) from organic substances.