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1) A fine, lightweight Silica. Tripoli is a sedimentary stone composed of diatoms and finely weathered Chert. It was originally obtained from northern Africa, but is now quarried in Missouri, Tennessee an Georgia. Tripoli is used as an abrasive for polishing glass, gold and jewelry. It is also used as a filtering media and as a filler in paints, putty and rubbers.

2) A type of Esparto grass obtained from northern Africa. Tripoli grass was used to make baskets and paper. See Esparto grass.

Synonyms and Related Terms

1) tripoli powder; tripolite; diatomaceous earth; soft silica

2) esparto grass


1) Inhalation may cause silicosis

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 824
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Michael McCann, Artist Beware, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York City, 1979
  • R.M.Organ, Design for Scientific Conservation of Antiquities, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, 1968
  • Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1982
  • E.J.LaBarre, Dictionary and Encyclopedia of Paper and Paper-making, Swets & Zeitlinger, Amsterdam, 1969
  • Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 9876
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998

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