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Uses of Salts


The following are some of the ways salts can be used:

1. As fertilizers, e.g. NPK fertilizers - contain NH4NO3, (NH4)2SO4, (NH4)3PO4 and KCl - these salts provide a source of N2, P and K to the soil.

2. As fungicide - e.g. CuSO4 - CuSO4 solution can be used to kill the fungus that causes potato blight by spraying on the potato plants.

3. As baking soda - NaHCO3, (baking soda) is added to self - raising flour. When heated, it decomposes, and the carbon (IV) oxide which is produced causes the dough to rise.

4. For making plaster - plaster of paris is made by heating CaSO4 and water

CaSO4 + 2H2O → CaSO4. 2H2O

When plaster of paris is mixed with water, it combines and sets to form a strong plaster.

5. As "barium meal” - patients who are suspected of having a stomach ulcer may be given a “barium meal”. It contains BaSO4. After a barium meal, an x-ray photograph of the body shows the path taken by the salt.

6. In photography - silver bromide, AgBr, is the salt which is used in the black and white photography. A photographic film is a piece of celluloid covered with a thin layer of gelatin containing silver bromide.

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