A Mineral is a Chemical element or compound occurring in nature as a result of inorganic Processes, and where is roughly 100 elements and everything in every kingdom is composed of either a simple pure element or a complex combination of elements.
Well known, gold, copper, iron, carbon and hydrogen– others are curiosities to the layman such as Lanthanum, Xenon or Polonium.
The percentage of minerals in the earth are. Oxygen-46.6, Silicon-27.72, Aluminium-8.13, Iron-5.00, Calcium-3.63, Sodium 2.83, Potassium-2.59, Magnesium-2.09, Titanium 0.44, Hydrogen 0.14, Arsenic 0.00005, Molybdenum- 0.0001, Mercury0.000005, Antimony 0.00002, Silver 0.00001, Gold 0.0000005, Tungsten 0.0001, Phosphorous 0.11, Manganese 0.10, Flourine 0.07, Sulphur 0.05, Strontium 0.05, Barium 0.04, Carbon 0.03, Chlorine 0.02, Chromium 0.02, Zircmium 0.02, Nickel 0.0080, Zinc 0.0065, Copper 0.0045, Cobait 0.0023, ead 0.0015, Tin 0.0003, Platinum 0.0000005.
Minerals and their uses:
METALLURGY–Flourite, Bauxite, Graphite.
FUELS & CHEMICAL INDUSTRY –Salt Suiphur, Borax, Coal, Oil, and Gas.
BUILDING TRADES–Stone, cement (gypsum) and Petroleum.
FERTILISERS–Phosphates, Potash Nitrates, Calcites.
CERAMICS– Clays, Feldspars and Quartz.
ABRASIVES–Diamond, Garnet, Quartz, and Corundum.
ALUMINIUM from Alumen or Alum discovered in 1827 the most abundant metal and 3rd most abundant element, it competes with iron.
ALUMINIUM oxide dissolves in melted cryolite, which is found in commercial quantities in Western Greenland, and it melts at a very low temperature
The Separation process occurs in a cardon lined container with carbon bars inserted into this container, an electrical current runs through the solution, between the cars and drags the aluminium atoms away from the oxygen atoms and settle as motten metal on the bottom of the container. This is simply poured off.
Aluminium alloyed with other metals achieve steel strength, corrosion resistance ect: Duraium is a good example which ia 4% copper, 1% mangamese, 1% Magnesium , with the balance being aluminium. Duraiem is not quite as strong as steel and is only 1/3 of the weight.
Aluminium makes an excellent electrical conductor and for this reason is used in long distance wires replacing copper wiring which because of its weight created great problems over any long distance. The aluminium takes more current than copper and it does not corrode, but oxygen from the air attacks the surface and coats it with a very thin layer of aluminium oxide, but once that process is complete the oxide seals off the base and no further attack can take place. It is this fact that has created our food cans to be manufactured from this mineral.
The andalucite which once was used to make our spark plugs are now manufactured from aluminium oxide.
Antimony-from Antimonos (opposed to solitude) and its symbol from Stibium or mark, it was discovered in 1450 and was initially used s an eyebrow pencil.
Amtimony is known as a sulphosalt, is silvery white, brittle and metallic and aways found in combination.
It is used in the manufacture of hard lead, as pure lead is to soft and flexible for most purposes. 12% of antimony is mixed to supply the necessary hardness, which is used for car batteries, sheet and pipe works for the chemical industry and protective sheeting for telephone cables. When the percentage of antimony is low, the thin lead sheets are used for toothpaste tubes.
Antimony plus lead metal can be so hard it is used for schrapnel, bullet cores and the oxide of this mineral prevent material from burning. The obvious uses then are as fire proofing spray for canvas, paint as well as a non burn paint for ship hulls.
Antimony Sulphide. Reflects infra red light exactly as does green tree foliage and is therefore used as a camofoliage paint against infra red spying.
Saftey matches possess 3% antimony in the match head and 8% on the striker.
Plastic floor tiles have an oxide of antimony and because it burns with a bluish flame it is used in fireworks.
Stibnite is the most common ore of antimony and this is mined as oxide.
Antimonly (Potassium Tartrate) is highly poisonous and is used as an emetic and a mordant in dyeing.
ALUM – This is a double sulphate of ammonium or a uni-valent metal of sodium or potassium and a tri-valent metal of aluminium, iron or chromium.
Important for use as astringents, emetics, baking powder, dyes and in manufacture of paper.
ARGON- An inert colourless and odourless gas which constitutes 1% roughly of our atmosphere was discovered in 1894.
It’s uses: Fills the incandescent light and radio tubes and it provides an inert atmosphere in which when welding, the metals will not burn.
ARSENIC-Discovered 1250 a silvery white brittle poisonous element which is made into many compounds for insecticides, glass and medicines.
To be Continued. Next Barium.
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