Kainite

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kainite

[′kī‚nīt]
(mineralogy)
MgSO4·KCl·3H2O A white, gray, pink, or black monoclinic mineral, occurring in irregular granular masses; used as a fertilizer and as a source of potassium and magnesium compounds.

Kainite

 

a mineral of the group of complex sulfates. Its chemical composition is RMg(SO4)Cl.3H2O. It crystallizes in a monoclinic system. It usually forms dense grainy masses; less frequently, tabular or prismatic crystals. The color is yellowish or whitish gray, sometimes reddish. Its hardness on the miner-alogical scale is 2.5–3.0, and its density is 2, 150 kg/m3. It dissolves readily in water and has a bitter salty taste.

Kainite is formed in salt-bearing beds when marine lagoonsand enclosed salty continental lakes rich in soluble sulfates dryup. Together with other potassium salts, it is found in the USSR (Kalush and Stebnik, Ukrainian SSR) and abroad (Stassfurt, GDR). It is used as a chemical potassium-sulfate fertilizer andin the production of mixed fertilizers.