Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Alkaline mineralogy in everyday life.

Some alkaline minerals play an important role in our everyday life. Considering my kitchen as an alkaline province I decided to look closer at one the main constituent. Baking powder is made up of sodium hydrocarbonate (NaHCO3) and its natural analogue is nahcolite. Since the powder I used is a loos aggregate of short-columnar crystals the microscope is not very useful. Thus the sample has been dissolved in water and then dried down in microwave. Due to short crystallization time nahcolite formed spherulites which demonstrate typical cross-like extinction in cross polarized light.