One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Geology. A volatile substance dissolved in magma which controls or promotes the formation of minerals by altering the properties of the magma, but which is not necessarily present in the final mineral. Also more widely: a substance which promotes the artificial synthesis of an inorganic substance in an industrial process.
2Ecology. An agent which promotes the decomposition of complex organic compounds into inorganic substances.
Late 18th century (in an earlier sense). From mineralize + -er.
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