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LimingIndustrialCrusher
Jaw/Impact/Cone/MobileCrushers.501270TPHUsedinmining,quarry.

Background
Saltisthecommonnameforthesubstancesodiumchloride(NaCI),whichoccursintheformoftransparentcubiccrystals.Althoughsaltismostfamiliaras
afoodsupplement,lessthan5%ofthesaltproducedintheUnitedStatesisusedforthatpurpose.About70%isusedinthechemicalindustry,mostlyasa
sourceofchlorine.Saltisalsousedforcountlessotherpurposes,suchasremovingsnowandicefromroads,softeningwater,preservingfood,and
stabilizingsoilsforconstruction.
Theearliesthumansobtainedtheirsaltfromnaturalsaltconcentrations,calledlicks,andfrommeat.Thosepeoplewholivedneartheoceanmayhavealso
obtaineditbychewingseaweedorfromthenaturalevaporationofsmallpoolsofseawater(/knowledge/Seawater.html).Meatbecameamoreimportant
sourceofsaltashuntingwasdeveloped,asdidmilkwhensheep,goats,horses,camels,reindeer,andcattleweredomesticated.Eventoday,certain
peoplessuchastheInuitofthefarnorth,theBedouinoftheMiddleEasterndeserts,andtheMasaiofeastAfricausenootherformofsalt.
Asagriculturedeveloped,leadingtoanincreasedpopulationandadietconsistingmostlyofplants,itbecamenecessarytodevisewaysofobtainingsaltin
greateramounts.Theearliestmethodofsaltproductionwastheevaporationofseawaterbytheheatofthesun.Thismethodwasparticularlysuitedtohot,
aridregionsneartheoceanornearsaltylakesandisstillusedinthoseareas.Solarevaporationwassoonfollowedbythequarryingofexposedmassesof
rocksalt,whichquicklydevelopedintotheminingofundergrounddepositsofsalt.TwothousandyearsagotheChinesebeganusingwellstoreach
undergroundpoolsofsaltwater,someofwhichweremorethan0.6miles(1.0km)deep.
Inareaswheretheclimatedidnotallowsolarevaporation,saltwaterwaspouredonburningwoodorheatedrockstoboilit.Thesaltleftbehindwasthen
scrapedoff.DuringthetimeoftheRomanempire,shallowleadpanswereusedtoboilsaltwateroveropenfires.IntheMiddleAgesthesewerereplaced
withiron(../Volume2/Iron.html)panswhichwereheatedwithcoal.Inthe1860saprocedureknownastheMichiganprocessorthegrainerprocess
(/knowledge/Grainer_evaporation_process.html)wasinvented,inwhichsaltwaterwasheatedbysteamrunningthroughpipesimmersedinthewater.This
processisstillusedtoproducecertaintypesofsalt.Bythelate1880sopenpanswerereplacedbyaseriesofclosedpans,inadeviceknownasa
multipleeffectvacuumevaporator,whichhadbeenusedinthesugarindustryforabout50years.
TodaytheUnitedStatesistheworld'slargestproducerofsalt,followedbyChina,Russia,Germany,theUnitedKingdom,India,andFrance.

RawMaterials
Saltisobtainedfromtwosources:rocksaltandbrine.Rocksaltissimplycrystallized(/knowledge/Crystallization.html)salt,alsoknownashalite.Itisthe
resultoftheevaporationofancientoceansmillionsofyearsago.LargedepositsofrocksaltarefoundintheUnitedStates,Canada,Germany,eastern
Europe,andChina.SometimespressurefromdeepinsidetheEarthforcesuplargemassesofrocksalttoformsaltdomes.IntheUnitedStates,salt
domesarefoundalongtheGulfCoastofTexasandLouisiana.
Brineiswatercontainingahighconcentrationofsalt.Themostobvioussourceofbrineistheocean,butitcanalsobeobtainedfromsaltylakessuchas
theDeadSeaandfromundergroundpoolsofsaltwater.LargedepositsofbrinearefoundinAustria,France,Germany,India,theUnitedStates,andthe
UnitedKingdom.Brinemayalsobeartificiallyproducedbydissolvingminedrocksaltorbypumpingwaterintowellsdrilledintorocksalt.
Naturalbrinesalwayscontainothersubstancesdissolvedalongwithsalt.Themost'commonofthesearemagnesium(/knowledge/Magnesium.html)
chloride,magnesiumsulfate,calcium(/knowledge/Calcium.html)sulfate,potassium(/knowledge/Potassium.html)chloride,magnesiumbromide,and
calciumcarbonate.Thesesubstancesmaybeascommerciallyvaluableasthesaltitself.Rocksaltmaybequitepure,oritmaycontainvariousamountsof
thesesubstancesalongwithrockyimpuritiessuchasshaleandquartz.
Fortablesalt,however,additivesareusuallymixedin.Mosttablesaltisiodizedinordertoprovidethetraceelementiodinetothediet.Thishelpsto
preventgoiter,adiseaseofthethyroid(/knowledge/Thyroid.html)gland.Tosupplyiodine,asmallamountofpotassiumiodideisadded.Tablesaltalso
containsasmallamountofvariouschemicalsusedtokeepthesaltfromabsorbingwaterandcaking.Thesechemicalsincludemagnesiumcarbonate,
calciumsilicate,calciumphosphate,magnesiumsilicate,andcalciumcarbonate.

TheManufacturing
Process

Processingrocksalt
1Undergroundsaltdepositsareusuallydiscoveredbyprospectorssearchingforwateroroil.Whensaltisdetected,a
diamondtipped,hollowdrillisusedtotakeseveralregularlyspacedcoresamplesthroughoutthearea.Thesesamplesare
analyzedtodetermineifsaltminingwouldbeprofitable.
2Whenasiteisselectedformining,shaftsaresunkintothecenterofthesaltdeposit.Thenamachinethatlookslikea
giganticchainsawisusedtocutaslotabout6.0inches(15cm)high,about66feet(20m)wide,andabout10feet(3m)deep
intothesaltatfloorlevel.Thisprocessisknownasundercutting.Aseriesofholesaredrilledintotheundercutsaltwithan
electricdrillcontainingatungsten(/knowledge/Tungsten.html)carbidebit.Theseholesarefilledwithanexplosivesuchas
dynamite(../Volume2/Dynamite.html)orammoniumnitrate.Electricblastingcapsconnectedtolongwiresareattached,and
theexplosiveisdetonatedfromasafedistance.Cuttingandblastingarerepeatedinapatternthatleavespillarsofsalt
standingtosupporttheroofoftheminingarea.Thisisknownastheroomandpillarmethodandisalsousedincoalmines.
3Chunksofblastedrocksaltaretransportedtoanundergroundcrushingarea.Heretheyarepassedoveragratingknownas
agrizzlywhichcollectspiecessmallerthanabout9inches(23cm).Largerpiecesarecrushedinarotatingcylinderbetween
metaljawswithspikedteeth.Thesaltisthentransportedoutsidetheminetoasecondarycrushingareawhereasmaller
grizzlyandasmallercrusherreducetheparticlesizetoabout3.2inches(8cm).Atthispointforeignmatterisremovedfrom
thesalt,aprocessknownaspicking.Metalisremovedbymagnetsandothermaterialbyhand.Rockymaterialmayalsobe
removedinaBradfordbreaker,arotatingmetaldrumwithsmallholesinthebottom.Saltisdumpedintothedrum,breaks
whenithitsthebottom,andpassesthroughtheholes.Rockymatterisgenerallyharderthansalt,soitdoesnotbreakand
doesnotgothrough.Thepickedsaltthengoestoatertiarycrushingarea,whereanevensmallergrizzlyandcrusherproduce
particlesabout1.0inch(2.5cm)insize.Ifsmallerparticlesareneeded,thesaltispassedthroughagrinderconsistingoftwo
metalcylindersrollingagainsteachother.Ifpurersaltisneeded,rocksaltisdissolvedinwatertoformbrineforfurther
processing.Otherwisethecrushedorgroundsaltispassedthroughscreenstosortitbysize,pouredintobags,andshippedto
theconsumer.

Processingbrine
4Thesimplestmethodofevaporatingbrineissolarevaporation,butitcanonly

Rocksaltissimplycrystallizedsalt.Itistheresultoftheevaporationofancient
oceansmillionsofyearsago.Largedepositsofrocksaltarefoundinthe
UnitedStates,Canada,Germany,easternEurope,andChina.

beusedinhot,dry,sunnyplaces.Thebrineiscollectedintoshallowpondsandallowedtoevaporateinthesun.Insolubleimpuritiessuchassand
andclayandslightlysoluble(/knowledge/Solubility.html)impuritiessuchascalciumcarbonatesettletothebottomasevaporationbegins.Thebrineis
pumpedormovedbygravityflowtoanotherpondwherecalciumsulfatesettlesoutasevaporationcontinues.Theremainingbrineismovedtoyet
anotherpondwherethesaltsettlesoutasevaporationproceeds.Thebrineismovedonemoretimebeforeevaporationiscompletetopreventhighly
solubleimpuritiessuchasmagnesiumchloride,magnesiumsulfate,potassiumchloride,andmagnesiumbromidefromsettlingoutwiththesalt.
Thesesubstancesmaybecollectedseparatelyforcommercialuse.
5Thesaltisscoopedupbymachinesrunningontemporaryrailroadtrackslaidontopofthelayerofsalt.Itisthenwashedwithhighlyconcentrated
saltwater.Thiswatercontainssomuchsaltthatitcannotholdanymore,sothesaltiswashedfreeofanytraceimpuritieswithoutdissolving.The
washedsaltisremovedfromthesaltwater,rinsedwithasmallamountoffreshwater,andpiledintohugestackstodrainfortwoorthreemonths.At
thispointthesaltisabout99.4%pureandcanbeusedformanyindustrialpurposes.Ifpurersaltisneeded,itisrewashedinsaltwaterandfresh
water,allowedtodrainforoneortwodays,thendriedinahotairovenatabout365F(185C).Thissaltisabout99.8%pureandcanbeusedfor
foodprocessing.
6Mostbrineisprocessedbyamultipleeffectvacuumevaporator.Thisdeviceconsistsofthreeormoreclosedmetalcylinderswithconicalbottoms.
Brineisfirsttreatedchemicallytoremovecalciumandmagnesiumcompounds.Itthenfillsthebottom

Brineiswatercontainingahighconcentrationofsalt.Themostobvioussource
ofbrineistheocean,butitcanalsobeobtainedfromsaltylakesand
undergroundpoolsofsaltwater.

ofthecylinders.Thebrineinthefirstcylinderpassesthroughtubesheatedbysteam.Thebrineboilsanditssteamentersthenextcylinder,whereit
heatsthebrinethere.Thesteamfromthisbrineheatsthebrineinthenextcylinder,andsoon.Ineachcylinderthecondensationofsteamcausesthe
pressureinsidetodrop,allowingthebrinetoboilatalowertemperature.Saltisremovedfromthebottomofthecylindersasathickslurry.Itisfiltered
toremoveexcessbrine,dried,andpassedthroughscreenstosorttheparticlesbysize.Saltmadethiswayisknownasvacuumpansaltand
consistsofsmallcubiccrystals.
7Brinemayalsobeprocessedinagrainer.Thebrineischemicallypurifiedandpumpedintoalongopenpanheatedbysteamrunningthroughpipes
immersedinthebrine.Thebrineisheatedtoatemperatureslightlybelowtheboilingpointandflakesofsaltformonitssurfaceasitevaporates.
Usuallyatemperatureofabout194F(90C)isused.Lowertemperaturesproducelargerflakesandhighertemperaturesproducesmallerflakes.The
flakesgrowuntiltheysinktothebottomofthepan,wheretheyarecollectedanddried.Grainersaltconsistsofsmallflakesratherthancubesandis
preferredforcertainusesinfoodprocessing.SometimestheAlbergerprocessisused,inwhichthebrineisfirstpartiallyevaporated
(/knowledge/Evaporation.html)inavacuumevaporatorthenmovedtoagrainer.Thisprocessproducesamixtureofflakesandcubes.
8Atthispointsaltusedformostpurposesisreadytobepackagedinbagsorboxesandshippedtoconsumers.Tomakeiodizedtablesalt,however,
potassiumiodideisadded,thenmagnesiumcarbonate,calciumsilicate,calciumphosphate,magnesiumsilicate,orcalciumcarbonateisaddedto
makeitfreeflowing.Thesaltisthenpackagedandshippedtorestaurantsandgrocerystores.

QualityControl
Specificationsforsaltvarywidelyaccordingtotheintendeduse.Saltintendedforhumanconsumptionmustbemuchpurerthansaltusedformeltingsnow
andice,butsaltusedforcertainscientificpurposesmayneedtobeevenpurer.
Formostpurposes,rocksaltisallowedtohaveagray,pink,orbrowntingeratherthanbeingpurewhite.Theimpuritiesthatcausethesecolorsmaymake
upasmuchas4%ofatestsample.Totestsolubility,a0.7ounce(20g)sampleisplacedin6.8fluidounces(200ml)ofwater.Itshouldcompletely
dissolveinnomorethan20minutes.
Evaporatedsaltintendedforfoodprocessingisverypure,containingasmuchas99.99%sodiumchloridebeforeadditivesaremixedin.Thisisimportant
notonlyforsafetyandgoodtaste,butbecausecertainimpuritiescancauseproblemswithcertainfoods.Forexample,smallamountsofcalciumtendto
toughenvegetables.TracesofcopperorirontendtodestroyvitaminCandtoincreasetherateatwhichfattyfoodsbecomerancid.Inaddition,calciumand
magnesiumbothtendtomakesaltabsorbmorewater,causingittocake.

HealthAspects
Saltintakeormoreprecisely,sodiumintakeisacontroversialtopicinhealthcaretoday.Healthyadultscansafelyconsume0.20.4ounces(611g)of
saltdaily,whichisequivalentto0.080.14ounces(24004400mg)ofsodium.Forsomepeoplewithhighbloodpressure,saltintakeshouldbereduced.
Aboutonethirdtoonehalfofallhypertensivepeoplearesaltsensitiveandwillbenefitfromalowsodiumdiet.Sincethereisnowaytotellwhothese
peopleare,mosthypertensivesundermedicalcarewillbeplacedonsuchadiettoseeifithelps.Alowsodiumdietusuallyaimstoreducesodiumintake
tolessthan0.08ounces(2400mg)perday.Whilesomehavesuggestedthateveryoneshouldreducesaltintake,otherspointoutthatthereisnoevidence
thatsaltrestrictionisofanybenefittootherwisehealthyindividuals.

WhereToLearnMore
Books
Adshead,SamuelA.M.SaltandCivilization.MacMillan,1992.
Multhauf,RobertP.Neptune'sGift.JohnsHopkins,1978.

Periodicals
Dornberg,John."A700YearOldMineinPolandIsaShrinetoHumanIngenuity."Smithsonian,March1994,pp.96106.
Vogel,HansUlrich."TheGreatWellofChina."ScientificAmerican,June1993,pp.11621.