Clearing up the Mystery of Shungite

Posted by Karelian_Heritage 10/01/2017 4 Comment(s) Shungite 101,



      You have probably heard a lot about the numerous positive properties shungite stones have ranging from water purification to spiritual healing. But where do all these unique properties stem from? Trying to clear up the mystery let’s have a look at the chemical composition of shungite and the physical characteristics of this exclusive mineral. According to scientists, all shungite properties can be explained by its uncommon structure.


It is all about fullerenes



      First and foremost, shungite is widely known for a high amount of carbon in its composition. Regular shungite (type II and III) contains from 30 to 90 percent of carbon, and elite or noble shungite (type I) contains up to 98 percent. Due to such a high proportion of carbon, shungite’s distinguishing feature is high electrical conductivity (1500 mho/m), which is not typical of other rocks and minerals. This property allows using shungite in the production of electrically-conductive paint, cement, bricks, finishing mortars, and other materials.  


      Besides, shungite carbon has a unique spherical shape. This new form of carbon is known as fullerenes. Unlike diamond, graphite, and carbine, molecules of fullerenes contain pentagonal fragments untypical of nonorganic units. In these molecules atoms of carbon create multilayer spherical globules with strong hydrogen bonds. These globules may contain from a few dozen to several hundred carbon atoms and may vary in size and shape.


      Fullerenes themselves have a number of positive properties. Firstly, they are considered to be the most powerful antioxidants or free-radicals catchers. To put it simply, they protect us from premature aging, improve our skin and protect from other negative influence of radicals. Secondly, fullerenes tend to normalize cellular metabolism, intensify ferment strength and increase cells’ resistance to external influence. In addition, they accelerate detoxification and slow down the growth of cancer cells. Nowadays, doctors and scientists have great hope for fullerenes. Thus, shungite is of great worth as the only natural source of fullerenes.


      Moreover, thanks to the fullerene-like structure, shungite is resistant to graphitation and the chemical attack has sorption and catalytic properties. Therefore, shungite is widely applied in reduction-oxidation processes, including, for example, cast iron and ferrous-based alloys making. The same properties allow us to use shungite for water purification.


Eager to learn about scientific research regarding shungite? Click here!




Other elements


      Some scientists claim that along with carbon in the form of fullerenes, shungite contains almost the entire periodic table (see the table to learn more). However, the most important fact is that shungite stones contain such minerals and elements as crystalline silica, sulfites, and silicates. Shungite carbon is equally distributed in the silicate framework with quartz impurities. This unique combination of carbon and silicates defines bactericidal properties and some other processing characteristics of shungite (corrosion-resistance, ecological safety, low abrasion resistance). Thanks to it shungite is considered a promising mineral in terms of nanotechnologies.


      It also makes shungite a complex absorbent efficiently used for water filtering in industry and at home. Shungite is capable of absorbing both organic (oils, phenol, pesticides, etc.) and inorganic (chlorine, heavy metals, etc.) elements. Its absorbing capacity is approximately 20 m2/g. In general, absorbing up to 95 percent of water-polluting substances shungite maintains its optimal micro-mineral composition and endues with therapeutic properties.




      Another distinguishing feature of shungite is the bipolar properties of its molecules. It results in the high adhesion ability of shungite molecules and the ability of shungite to mix with other organic and non-organic substances. This characteristic of shungite is efficiently used, for instance, in the beauty industry. Shungite-based beauty products usually contain a complex of vitamins, essential oils, and other natural ingredients (vitamin E, vitamin B3, olive oil, shea butter, etc.) that allow intensifying ultimate effect since natural ingredients tend to perform better together.


Other physical characteristics


      Speaking briefly about some other physical properties of shungite, it is necessary to mention that raw unpolished shungite stones are really fragile. It is sometimes even called glassy carbon. However, any further processing increases the firmness of the mineral.


      Along with electrical conductivity shungite stones are characterized by thermal conductivity (3.8 W/m.K) resulted from their void structure (up to 5 percent). Thanks to it shungite is applied to create heating units, heated pavements, and roads and ice removal systems.


      Thus, taking into account the above-mentioned information we can make a conclusion that the chemical composition and fullerene-like internal structure of shungite stones define almost all unique properties of this mineral which you can experience by bringing some shungite items into your life. 


4 Comment(s)

Tom McDermott:
22/04/2018, 04:47:06 PM

I have a 30,000 gallon swimming pool can shungute be. used to help keep water clean?

Karelian Heritage:
16/03/2019, 12:25:11 PM

Dear Tom, thank you for your comment. Yes, shungite can be used for filtering water in swimming pools. You can put shungite filtering stones into your filter, but we highly recommend contacting a specialist in order to know if it is possible for your water filtering system. Best regards, Karelian Heritage

10/12/2019, 01:39:51 AM

Isn’t it the case that shungite is antibacterial due to its heavy metals, including aluminium, and that makes it unsuitable for drinking or swimming in?

Karelian Heritage:
10/12/2019, 12:31:10 PM

Dear Angela, thank you for your comment. Shungite is antibacterial and purifying due to the high carbon content. Shungite does not contain any heavy metals, on the contrary, it filtrates heavy metals from the water. Shungite's chemical composition is completely safe to use in drinking and swimming water. Best regards, Karelian Heritage

michael henderson:
26/10/2020, 10:28:44 PM

Is wrong to compare shungite to coal then?

Karelian Heritage:
27/10/2020, 12:42:42 PM

Dear Michael, Coal does not contain fullerenes and has a different structure compared to shungite.

24/01/2021, 07:44:09 AM

Can shungite cause lightheadedness due to its electrical energy.

Heritage Administrator:
26/01/2021, 12:37:07 PM

Dear Don,Thank you for your comment! Shungite is known for shielding you from the harmful EMF energy which can cause headaches. Shungites conductive properties do not have a negative impact on health. Quite the opposite! They help you stay healthy! We hope this information is useful! Best regards, Karelian Heritage

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