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sylvite:see potassium chloridepotassium chloride,
chemical compound, KCl, a colorless or white, cubic, crystalline compound that closely resembles common salt (sodium chloride). It is soluble in water, alcohol, and alkalies.
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a mineral of the halide class with chemical composition KC1. It contains 52.48 percent K and admixtures of Br and, less frequently, I. Occluded gas bubbles (N2, CO2, CH4, He) impart a milky white color to transparent and colorless sylvite crystals. Sylvite also contains admixtures of halite (NaCl) and ferric oxide (Fe2 O3), the latter giving the mineral a red color.
Sylvite crystallizes in the isometric system. Distinct well-cut crystals are rare. Sylvite usually forms compact granular masses with, for example, halite and carnallite (similar aggregates are called sylvinite). Sylvite has a hardness of 2 on Mohs scale, a density of 1,990 kg/m3, and a vitreous, dull luster. It dissolves freely in water andhas a burning, bitter salty taste. Transparent crystals exhibit good transmission of radiation in the shortwave and infrared regions of the spectrum.
Sylvite naturally occurs in sedimentary salt-bearing rock strata together with halite and carnallite, sometimes forming large strata in the commercial deposits of potassium salts. It also occurs as a sublimation product of volcanic fumes. Artificial transparent sylvite crystals are used in the optical systems of spectrographs and other devices.