Apatite is the most abundant of the phosphatic minerals and consequently it is of great importance to industrial chemistry as a raw material. In fact, so many modern technological developments depend upon the use of phosphorus-containing compounds that a fairly complete list would have to include dentifrices, pharmaceuticals, phosphors, rust removers, additives for motor fuels, plasticizers, insecticides and other poisons, and friction matches. The large tonnages, however, are concerned with fertilizers, phosphoric acid and detergents (principally sodium tripolyphosphate). The basic raw material, phosphate rock or phosphorite, is a sedimentary rock of which the essential mineral component is ordinarily a carbonate fluorapatite. Annual production from mining operations in the U. S. increased during 1964–1968 from about 26 to 41 million short tons, and represented between 41 and 47% of world production.
KeywordsPhosphate Rock Motor Fuel Tricalcium Phosphate Sodium Tripolyphosphate Double Salt
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