Nahcolite – Day 20 of the Mineral Advent Calendar

This holiday season, why not get a mineral every day instead of chocolate? Today’s mineral is Nahcolite find out more about it below..

The party season is defnitely upon us, and if you had a big night last night, or are planning one over the next few days, to deal with all the rich food and drink you may find yourself reaching for an antacid. But have you ever stopped to think what is in an antacid?

If you had a big night last nigt, you might have needed one of these this morning! (image from The Principles of General Chemistry)

If you had a big night last nigt, you might have needed one of these this morning! (image from The Principles of General Chemistry)

Well one of the main ingredients is sodium bicarbonate, something that you may be familiar with from the kitchen, but did you know it can also be found down a mine as well? Yes sodium bicarbonate comes from the mineral Nahcolite. The sodium bicarbonate in Nahcolite is a natural pH neutraliser, which makes it excellent for those upset stomachs we can all get at this time of the year. Obviously sodium bicarbonte can also be used for baking, but if you are feeling a bit squiffy then probably the mention of cookies and cakes won’t help you right about now!

Nahcolite mineral lump - kinda looks like a snowball right? Probably the closest we will get this December (sigh)

Nahcolite mineral lump – kinda looks like a snowball right? Probably the closest we will get this December (sigh), image form Wikipedia

Nahcolite:
Chemical formula: NaHCO3
Colour: Colourless, white, greyish
System: Monoclinic
Hardness (Mohs):
Can you find it in the UK? No

Nahcolite is not found in the UK as far as I know, but again, if I am wrong – please let me know in the comments section!

For more information about Nahcolite please visit the MinDat website.

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