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calcium aluminum is a major component in the chemical industry. It is used as a precursor in the production of a wide variety of products, such as metallurgical catalysts (such as naphtha steam reforming and refinery gas steam reforming), aluminum chlorohydrate, secondary hydrocarbon steam reforming, and cements.
Calcium aluminates are widely used in the construction industry for applications such as concrete, refractory and sewage pipes. These materials are highly resistant to abrasion, corrosion, and sulfate attack and have a lower porosity matrix than calcium carbonates.
In meteorites, calcium aluminates are present in the form of light-colored, refractory, and very dense inclusions, called CAIs (CaO+Al2O3, also known as condensed chondrites). They are the oldest material found on chondritic rocks; they formed before planets roamed the solar system.
CAIs are light-colored and often appear in the form of granules, grains, or crystals. They are generally about a millimeter or less in diameter, and contain refractory elements that condense at a high temperature.
These include calcium and aluminum, magnesium, titanium, and rare earth elements. Many of these materials can be found in chondritic matrices, but some are unique and are not present in any other type of rock.
In COSIMA measurements of 13 dust particles captured by Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, we observed only one with compositional evidence for the presence of calcium aluminates. This dust particle (denoted David Toisvesi.2) shows a high enhancement in both calcium and aluminum at two measured locations. It contains iron as well, but no silicon.