A mineral is a naturally occurring chemical compound, usually of crystalline form and abiogenic in origin (not produced by life processes). A mineral has one specific chemical composition, whilesa rock can be an aggregate of different minerals or mineraloids. The study of minerals is named mineralogy.
Minerals are distinctby various chemical and physical properties. Differences in chemical composition and crystal structure distinguish the various species, which were determined by the mineral’s geological environment when formed. Changes in the temperature, pressure, or bulk composition of a rock mass disease changes in its minerals. Within a mineral species there may be variation in physical properties or minor amounts of impurities that are recognized by mineralogists or wider society as a mineral variety.
Gypsum is moderately water-soluble (~2.0–2.5 g/l at 25 °C) and, in contrast to most other salts, it display retrograde solubility, becoming less soluble at higher temperatures. When it is heated in air it loses water and converts first to calcium sulfate hemihydrate, (bassanite, often simply called “plaster”) and, if heated further, to anhydrous calcium sulfate (anhydrite). As for anhydrite, its solubility in saline solutions and in brines is also strongly dependent on NaCl concentration.
The name baryte is derived from the Ancient Greek: βαρύς, translit. barús, ‘heavy’. The American spelling is barite. The Mineralogical Association initially accepted “barite” as the official spelling, but recommended adopting the older “baryte” spelling later.
Another names have been used for baryte, including barytine, barytite, barytes, heavy spar, tiff, and blanc fixe.
The main uses of bentonite are for drilling mud, binder (for example: foundry-sand bond, iron ore pelletizer), purifier, absorbent (for example: cat litter), and as a groundwater barrier. As of around 1990, almost half of the US production of bentonite was used for drilling mud.