Witherite

Definition - What does Witherite mean?

Witherite is a naturally occurring mineral that forms primarily in low-temperature hydrothermal environments. Visually, it is a relatively translucent mineral and comes in several color variations including colorless, milky-white, grey, pale-yellow and pale-brown. Witherite is named after the English physicist and naturalist, William Withering, who conducted extensive research and published papers on this mineral in 1784.

Witherite is also known as barium carbonate (BaCO3) and can be used to prevent corrosion in boilers and similar types of equipment.

Corrosionpedia explains Witherite

Witherite (barium carbonate) is one of the most common naturally occurring mineral forms of barium. One of the defining characteristics of witherite is its insolubility in water. This property is used to soften or reduce the hardness of boiler feed water, thus preventing the production of corrosive and damaging scale products such as calcium sulfate.

Witherite reacts with the sulfates to produce barium sulfate and calcium carbonate, both of which are insoluble and may be precipitated. Since these reaction products cannot be dissolved, the amount of free ions in the water is reduced, thus dampening electrochemical corrosion.

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