Minerals are the substances which are obtained from non-living beings directly from the earth.
These minerals are inert and non-reactive and present in deep layers of earth or in the oceans.
On extraction from the earth, these minerals are purified and isolated to produce the actual elements needed.
Minerals are mostly extracted to isolate metals like gold, silver, copper, iron, lead, mercury etc.
Also they are extracted to isolate radioactive substance like plutonium, uranium etc.
Besides these, clay like materials like silica related, bentonite, talc, steatite are also extracted.
What are minerals used for?
Minerals are used for many purpose in human life. Some of them are described below.
In Medicine: There are many minerals used in medicine and pharmaceutical sector. They are categorized as inorganic chemical for better classification. Elements like calcium, iron, sodium, magnesium, potassium, aluminum, titanium oxide etc find a large use in health care.
Iron: It is a component of hemoglobin of blood cells. So when a person is deficient in iron, he is prone to anemia. To cure this, he is given iron supplements like FeSO4 which is made from iron.
Calcium: It is the key element of bones and teeth. When there are bone related problems like osteoporosis, weak bones etc, fractures, calcium supplements like CaCO3 are given to cure the problem.
Aluminum & Magnesium:These two mineral extracts are used in gastric acidity, heart burn treatment. Hence you can find them in oral suspensions and chewable tablets which act as antacids. When these are taken, the acid reacts with them an get neutralized providing immediate relief from pain.
Iodine: It is a mineral obtained from oceans. It is used a disinfectant and also treat iodine deficient goiter.
In Cosmetics. minerals like talc, bentonite, steatite are used in making cosmetics. They are used in talcum powders, lotions, creams etc.
In making metals equipment: All the metals used in daily life are obtained from minerals. These metals are used to make many devises, equipment, automobiles, machinery etc.
Metals are preferred and also only choice due to properties like hardness, ability to with stand temperature, cold etc. Further they are environmental friendly.
In agriculture: Many minerals like gypsum, Zinc, potassium, phosphate, sulfur are widely used in agriculture. They are applied as fertilizers to aid better yield.
Electricity production: Minerals like uranium, plutonium which are radio-active are used for power generation. They are able to generate power at lesser wastage than regular means like coal, petroleum etc.
Further they better employment opportunities to many people in relation to extraction, purification. transport of these minerals.
Home construction: Many minerals are used in home construction like cement, plaster of paris etc. These substances are made of many minerals like calcium oxide, aluminum oxide, silica, gypsum etc. Besides these, minerals are also used in home decorative items like ceramic tiles, china clay, marble stone, granite etc.
Other uses of minerals include
Quartz is used in making of watch glasses, some forms of crystal minerals are also used in jewellery as gem stones. Steatite is used in making talcum powders.