What is SALT?

What is SALT?

Is the common name of sodium chloride. Salt is needed to survive and is an abundant substance found almost anywhere on Earth.


Where does SALT come from?

Salt can made via a chemical process or harvested from the ocean or dug up from the ground.


How is SALT made?

There are meathods of chemically producing salt. Several processes produce salt as a biproduct, but rock salt and brine salt are the common meathods of producing salt.

Brind salt starts with sea water. Brine is first treated chemically to remove calcium and magnesium compounds. It then fills the bottom of the cylinders. The brine in the first cylinder passes through tubes heated by steam. The brine boils and its steam enters the next cylinder, where it heats the brine there. The steam from this brine heats the brine in the next cylinder, and so on. In each cylinder the condensation of steam causes the pressure inside to drop, allowing the brine to boil at a lower temperature. Salt is removed from the bottom of the cylinders as a thick slurry. It is filtered to remove excess brine, dried, and passed through screens to sort the particles by size. Salt made this way is known as vacuum pan salt and consists of small cubic crystals.


For Rock salt chunks of blasted rock salt are transported to an underground crushing area. Here they are passed over a grating known as a grizzly which collects pieces smaller than about 9 inches. Larger pieces are crushed in a rotating cylinder between metal jaws with spiked teeth. The salt is then transported outside the mine to a secondary crushing area where a smaller grizzly and a smaller crusher reduce the particle size to about 3.2 inches. At this point foreign matter is removed from the salt, a process known as picking. Metal is removed by magnets and other material by hand. Rocky material may also be removed in a Bradford breaker, a rotating metal drum with small holes in the bottom. Salt is dumped into the drum, breaks when it hits the bottom, and passes through the holes. Rocky matter is generally harder than salt, so it does not break and does not go through. The picked salt then goes to a tertiary crushing area, where an even smaller grizzly and crusher produce particles about 1 inch in size. If smaller particles are needed, the salt is passed through a grinder consisting of two metal cylinders rolling against each other. If purer salt is needed, rock salt is dissolved in water to form brine for further processing. Otherwise the crushed or ground salt is passed through screens to sort it by size, poured into bags, and shipped to the consumer.


Is SALT healty for me?

A lot or too little salt in the diet can lead to muscle cramps, dizziness, or electrolyte disturbance, which can cause neurological problems, or death. Drinking way too much water with salt, puts a person at risk of water intoxication (hyponatremia). Salt is sometimes used as a health aid, such as in treatment of dysautonomia.

Death can occur by ingestion of large amounts of salt in a short time (about 1 g per kg of body weight).

Deaths have also resulted from attempted use of salt solutions as emetics, forced salt intake, and accidental confusion of salt with sugar in child food.

   

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