What Is Barium Phosphate Used For?


Quick Answer

Barium phosphate is used to replicate lead contamination in soil without the accompanying lead toxicity. Because of its lack of toxicity, barium phosphate can be utilized in soil as remediation of metal.

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What Is Barium Phosphate Used For?
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Full Answer

Barium phosphate is also called Alforsite in honor of John T. Alfors. Alfors did research into the kinds of places where barium minerals of different kinds, as well as other rare minerals with similar characteristics, could be found. Barium phosphate belongs to the apatite group of minerals and the phosphates chemical class. It is usually found as a colorless, very small hexagonal crystal, no more than 0.05 mm in diameter, although there have been some instances where it has crystallized to a size of up to 0.2mm.

Alforsite is very difficult to distinguish because it is very similar to other mineral substances, such as barium silicates and chlorapatite, so much so that its Greek name, apatao, means ¨I am misleading¨. Microchemical analysis is the only way to distinguish Alforsite from other similar minerals.

Alforsite is found in sanbornite deposits located in the Fresno, Tulare and Mariposa counties of California. John T. Alfors of the California Geological Survey discovered this mineral in 1981 in the locality of Big Creek.

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