niter


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niter

or

nitre:

see potassium nitratepotassium nitrate,
chemical compound, KNO3, occurring as colorless, prismatic crystals or as a white powder; it is found pure in nature as the mineral saltpeter, or niter. (The name saltpeter is also applied to sodium nitrate, although less frequently.
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Niter

 

any of-the nitrates (nitric acid salts) of alkali and earth metals and ammonium. In nature, niters are formed during the decomposition of various organic radicals upon the action of nitrifying bacteria. From the mid-14th century, the term “saltpeter” was applied to potassium nitrate (KNO3)—the main constituent of black gunpowder.

KNO3 was obtained from niter piles—agglomerates of manure mixed with limestone, marl, and building debris that were placed between layers of brushwood or hay. Decomposition of this mixture yielded ammonia, which, during nitrification (aided by bacteria), was converted first to nitrous and then to nitric acid. Interaction of the nitric acid with CaCo3 gave Ca(NO3)2, which was then leached with water. The addition of wood ash, composed mainly of K2CO3, induced the precipitation of CaCO3 and the formation of a KNO3 solution. This method was used until 1854, when the German chemist C. Nöllner began producing KNO3 with the reaction KCl + NaNo3 = KNO3 + NaCl in solution. The raw materials here were natural Chile saltpeter (NaNO3) and KC1, which was obtained from natural potassium salts. This method has gradually replaced the previous one. Niters are primarily used as nitrogenous fertilizers.

S. A. POGODIN

niter

[′nīd·ər]
(inorganic chemistry)
References in periodicals archive ?
Instructions for manufacturing niter and salt often ran side by side on the front page of the Atlanta Southern Confederacy during May and June 1862.
Saltpeter, which Frank produced from the crude niter which he also mined, was the principal ingredient in the manufacture of gunpowder: it was also one of three items in daily use on the frontier that could not be produced on the self-sufficient pioneer farm homestead (salt and lead were the others).
Its floorplate is finely engraved with an Alaskan moose in profile among elegant scroll, a theme which continues over the triggerguard and then circles a grizzly bust on the grip cap finished in niter blue.
niter Dea and wasnmg placing of 5 Nos filter bed and laying of 4" i/d balance connected pipe line & renovation of existing structures of water works Bhagwatipur Dlstt.
In this table Niter indicates the outer iteration count and [_] denotes the integer part of a real number.
Finally he moved to Milan to take the post of Inspector at a niter factory, which left him time to inspect most of the important mineral occurrences in Lombardy.
These meetings and the students who attended them were known by Commons as his "Friday Niters.
jaculator 16 13 1 Tetragnatha niters (Audouin, 1826) 1 17 1 Tetragnatha pallescen.