Nitrates

Nitrates

Because of its solubility in water, this mineral is found only in arid and desert regions. In Chile, it is quarried, purified, and used as a source of nitrates. Nitrates are used in explosives and fertilizer.

The dominant building block of this mineral class is the NO3- triangle. The class is composed of two minerals.

Nitrates are not that common due to their solubility in water. In fact, some solid nitrate crystals will even become liquid by removing water from the moisture in the air- a process called deliquescence. Most nitrates are found in arid and desert regions or as efflorescence on dry cave or mine walls.