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Nitrogen Bearing Minerals

OGKushman

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I am not an organic grower, I dont even use soil. :ignore:

That said, I am not sure of its use here, but here is a research project I did for a mineralogy class. I am cut and pasting from word 2003 so lets hope this works...








Nitrogen Bearing Minerals
Abstract
Nitrogen is the most common element on the earths surface today. It makes up almost 80 percent of the air we breathe. Nitrogen is released into the atmosphere when dead plants and animals decay. Nitrogen forms nitrates which are then used by plants for nutrition. There is no substitute for nitrogen in plant nutrition. It is a basic element of life for all plants and animals. Minerals that contain nitrogen are, somewhat, uncommon to find naturally. Most of these minerals easily dissolve in water and humid environments. Nitrates are most commonly found as efforfloresces on cave surfaces due to the bacterial action on bat guano and the rocks they come in contact with. Nitrogen containing compounds are used primarily for fertilizers for plants. Large battles have been fought by African tribes competing for these caves; along with the right to mine the nitrates for use in local farming.




Nitrogen Bearing Minerals
Introduction
Nitrogen
Nitrogen is more often found as the most abundant gas in Earth’s atmosphere. Seventy-nine percent of the Earth’s atmosphere is composed of nitrogen. The other twenty percent is oxygen and less than one percent of other gases like water vapor, CO2, and argon. Nitrogen was discovered in 1772 by Scottish physician Daniel Rutherford. Nitrogen occurs in all living things. It is a main ingredient in amino acids within the cell, is part of all neurotransmitters in all organisms, and is the main component of alkaloids; which are naturally occurring chemical compounds containing basic nitrogen atoms. Nitrogen as a gas is mostly non-reactive when added to chemical reactions. Nitrogen is not flammable; it is colorless, tasteless, and odorless (Shumann, 37). Nitrogen is a chemical element on the periodic that has the symbol N, atomic number 7, and atomic weight of 14.00674µ.(Wikipedia) Nitrogen is a nonmetal, with an electro negativity of 3.0. It has five electrons in its outer shell and trivalent in most compounds. The triple bond in molecular nitrogen (N2) is one of the strongest in nature. This makes converting nitrogen (N2) into other compounds very difficult and converting nitrogen compounds into elemental (N2) quite easy. At standard temperature pressure molecular nitrogen freezes at -210 Celsius into a hexagonal close packed system. Below -238 Celsius it assumes a cubic crystal form. Unstable allotropic forms of molecular nitrogen, like (N3) and (N4), that consist of two or more nitrogen atoms have been produced in the laboratory under extremely high pressures and temperatures. The result is a singularly bonded diamond crystal structure deemed “nitrogen diamond.”(mindat.org)
Nitrogen Cycle:
Nitrogen is released into the atmosphere when dead plants and animals decay. In order for some plants to use nitrogen it first must be processed (fixated) by free living symbiotic bacteria. Plants can absorb nitrate or ammonium ions from the bacteria in the soil via their root hairs; or, like most organisms, consume it directly as amino acids, nucleotides, and other small organic molecules. If nitrate is absorbed, it is first reduced to nitrite ions and then ammonium ions for re-use in amino acids, nucleic acids, and chlorophyll. When these organisms die and decay they release nitrogen back into the atmosphere via ammonification, nitrification, denitrification, and anerobic ammonium oxidation (within the oceans). Nitrogen is also released into the atmosphere through volcanic eruptions. Hot volcanic vents convert nitrogen through thermal fixation of atmospheric N2 into biologically useable forms. The importance of this process for the global nitrogen cycle is small in comparison to the nitrogen produced by organisms; yet, still greatly important precursor to the evolution of the flora and fauna that inhabit the earth today. There is no substitute for nitrogen in plant nutrition. It is a basic element of life for plants and animals. Nitrates and nitrate bearing minerals are not often found due to the general ease of dissolving them in water (Boethe, 187).


Discussion
Nitrogen Bearing Minerals:
Nitrates are similar to carbonates. The nitrogen is surrounded by three oxygens and forms a tight flat triangular NO3 ion group just like the carbonate triangular CO3 ion group. Thus nitrates are placed in the carbonate class of minerals. (webmineral.com)

Niter
Niter is also known as the mineral form of potassium nitrate (KNO3), or saltpeter. It has been used since ancient times when the Hebrews referred to it as neter where it was derived from vegetable ashes to be used as soap (wiki.com). Niter is a colorless to white mineral that crystallizes in the orthorhombic dipyramidal crystal system. It is usually found in underground caverns as growths on the walls and ceilings where solutions containing potassium and nitrate seep into cracks to condense and crystallize into niter (Schumann). It is common to find niter as individual (often) twinned crystals and also in large crystal groups. Environments that niter can form in will vary simply due to concentration of its constituents in the surrounding area – although it is most common to form in arid dry places because high humidity will inhibit growth and actually dissolve the crystals. Niter has a hardness of 2, density of 2.1, vitreous luster, white streak, good to very good cleavage, is transparent to translucent, fracture is uneven, gives a violet flame-test, and readily dissolves in water. Niter is used today to preserve foods, make powdered incense burn slower and evenly, and as an ingredient in Gunpowder (which is saltpeter, charcoal, and sulphur.) It also has a reputation for diminishing the male sex drive when ingested, although this is not backed by scientific evidence (wiki.com).

Nitrammite (Gwihabaite)
Gwihabaite is a rare ammonium potassium nitrate mineral (NH4,K)(NO3). It occurs only in Gewihaba Cave (also known as Drotsky's Cave), north-east of Botswana, 174 miles west of Maun, South Africa (mindat.org). It crystallizes in the orthorhombic system, is colorless to white , has a vitreous luster, a hardness of 5, no cleavage directions, a white streak, and has a specific gravity of 1.77. It tends to melt at lower temperatures and is soluble in water. It usually occurs as incrustations and efflorescence on cave surfaces formed by bacterial action on bat guano (Schumann, 137).


Nitratine
Nitratine, also known as cubic niter or soda niter, is a naturally occurring form of sodium nitrate, NaNO3. Nitratine crystallizes in the trigonal/hexagonal system and closely resembles calcite. It rarely occurs as well formed crystals. The typical form is a white, grey to yellowish brown coating. It has a waxy surface and is light colored with a hardness of 1.5 to 2, specific gravity of 2.24 to 2.29, has perfect cleavage, is transparent, streaks white, and has a vitreous luster. Crystal are rare and when found typically have the scalenohedral form, again, like the calcite structure. It is found only as an efflorescence in very dry-arid environments. It is very soluble in water and will absorb vapor out of the air and turn into a puddle of sodium nitrate solution when exposed to humidity. It is usually found as lingering water-soluble surface deposits in extremely arid deserts. Nitrates also occur in clay rich caliche deposits that are replenished by occasional desert thunderstorms. These thunderstorms can fix Nitrogen (N2) from the air at lightning strikes. Lightning in an electrical storm can create enough energy to cause some oxygen and nitrogen to combine to form various nitrogen oxides. Subsequently, these combine with water to form nitric acid. This is carried to the soil with rain (Boethe, 193)

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OGKushman

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Nitrobarite (Barium Nitrate)
Nitrobarite or Ba(NO3)2 is a mineral that can be formed naturally, or in the lab, by one of two processes. The first involves dissolving small chunks of barium carbonate in nitric acid, and then allowing any iron impurities to precipitate out. Then it must be filtered, evaporated, and crystallized (webmineral.com). The second requires combining barium chloride with a heated solution of sodium nitrate, causing barium nitrate crystals to separate from the mixture (webmineral.com). Barium is used in explosives and is toxic by ingestion or inhalation. Kidney damage, cardiac arrest, and even death can result from the ingestion of Barium. Nitrobarite crystallizes in the isometric system. It has a hardness of 3, a density of 3.25, is colorless and transparent with a vitreous luster, has no cleavage direction, and is easily soluble in water. (wiki.com)

Nitrocalcite (calcium nitrate)
Calcium nitrate, also called Norgessalpeter (Norwegian saltpeter) is the inorganic compound with the formula Ca(NO3)2. This colorless salt absorbs moisture from the air and is commonly found as a tetrahydrate. It is mainly used as a component in fertilizers. Nitrocalcite is the name for a mineral which is a hydrated calcium nitrate that forms as an efflorescence where manure contacts concrete or limestone in a dry environment as in stables or caverns. Norgessalpeter was the first nitrogen fertilizer compound to be manufactured. Production began at Notodden, Norway in 1905. Most of the world's calcium nitrate is now made in Porsgrunn. It is produced by treating limestone with nitric acid, followed by neutralization with ammonia (mindat.org).

Nitromagnesite (magnesium nitrate)
Magnesium nitrate is a hygroscopic salt with the formula Mg(NO3)2. In air, it quickly forms the hexahydrate with the formula Mg(NO3)2&#8226;6H2O (and molar weight of 256.41 g/mol). It is very soluble in both water and ethanol (mindat.org). Magnesium nitrate occurs in mines and caverns as nitromagnesite. This form is not common, although it may be present where guano contacts magnesium-rich rock. It is used in the ceramics, printing, chemical and agriculture industries. Its fertilizer grade has 10.5% nitrogen and 9.4% magnesium, so it is listed as 10.5-0-0 + 9.4% Mg. Fertilizer blends containing magnesium nitrate usually have ammonium nitrate, calcium nitrate, potassium nitrate and micronutrients; these blends are used in the greenhouse and hydroponics trade (wiki.com). Nitromagnesite is transparent with a vitreous luster, it is colorless to white, contains perfect cleavage (at 110), has a specific gravity of 1.46, has flocculent to earthy efflorescences, and crystallizes in the monoclinic crystal system (Schumann, 155).

Rouaite
Rouaite is a mineral with the chemical composition Cu2(OH)3(NO3). It is named after the old copper mines of Roua, Alpes-Maritimes, France. Its color is dark emerald green, luster is vitreous, hardness of 2, specific gravity of 3.4, and crystallizes in the monoclinic crystal system. rouaite is a dimorph of gerhardtite. It is a secondary mineral that is formed in mines where Cu can react with nitrates from the organism nitrobactor. (mindat.org)



Conclusion
Nitrogen is a naturally occurring gas in Earth&#8217;s atmosphere. It is a key element in the sustainability of life and plays a major role in the production of cells by living organisms. Most minerals containing nitrogen are formed as efforfloresce on cave walls when it comes in contact with another mineral. Nitrogen bearing minerals are also easily dissolved in water and are therefore rare to find outside arid environments. With enough humidity present, most nitrates will absorb moisture out of the air and dissolve into a moist runny matter. Nitrates make for good use in the agriculture industry as a fertilizer and are subsequently added to most potting soils and fertilizers for plants.

















References Cited


Allen, Andrew G.; Mather, Tasmin A.; Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EQ, UK., Pyle, David M; 2 University of Birmingham, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK: &#8220;Volcanic Sources for fixed nitrogen in the early Earth&#8217;s atmosphere.&#8221; Geology ISSN 0091-7613 CODEN GLGYBA. 1973, vol. 32, no10, pp. 905-908. Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO., U.S.A.

Boethe, Hermann, Ferguson, Stuart John, Edward Newton, William: Biology of the Nitrogen Cycle, Elsevier Science Publishing, 2007: 11830 Westline Industrial Drive St. Louis, MO 63146 USA (pp-182-202)

Nickel, Ernest H. : Mineral Reference Manual, Van Nostrand Reinhold, 2000. 115 Fifth Street Ney York, NY 10003

Schumann, Walter: Der Neue BLV Steine-und Mineralienfuhrer, translated by HarperCollins Publishers, Houghton Mifflin Company 2003: 215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10003 (pp-33-186)

http://en.wikipedia.org/ (wiki.com)

http://www.mindat.org/ (mindat.org)

http://www.webmineral.com/ (webmineral.com)




Appendix
Mineral, Formula, Specific Hardness, Streak, Luster, Crystal System, Gravity,


Nitrogen N 14.006µ cubic


Niter (KNO3) 2.1 2 white vitreous orthorhombic
dipyramidal


Nitrammite (NH4K)+
(NO3) 1.77 5 colorless to white vitreous orthorhombic


Nitratine NaNO3 2.25 2 white vitreous
scalenohedral

Nitrobarite Ba(NO3)2 3.25 3 colorless vitreous isometric


Nitrocalcite Ca(NO3)2
2.5 1-2 colorless vitreous cubic

Nitromagnesite Mg(NO3)2 1.46 2 Colorless to white vitreous monoclinic


Gerhardtite Cu2(OH)3
( NO3) 3.4 2 Emerald green vitreous Orthorhombic


Rouaite Cu2(OH)3

( NO3) 3.4 2 Dark Emerald green vitreous monoclinic




(table didnt copy over correctly, ill see what I can do to fix)
 

OGKushman

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NO problem at all! I love to share knowledge. I recently found a flash drive with a lot of school stuff on it and I thought this might be able to help organic soil growers choose minerals to add (if at all possible to obtain) that are high in nitrogen. I *at least* knew nitrogen is good for plants :p

Thanks Again....and You are Welcome :)
-OGK
 

OGKushman

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lol


I spent 6 years working on a 4 year degree I have a lot of stuff like this :fly:

If I can pull off 6 years at a community college, I know I can get at least 12 years up in this mofukka.
-Redman (How High)
:rofl:
 

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