Dolomite is a main mineral participating in common rock-forming process. It is the primary component of Dolostone and dolomitic marble used in various industries. Dolomite is rarely found in modern sedimentary environments, but dolostones are very common, as they are present as rocks.
Dolomite hasproperties very similar to mineral calcite. It is due to their composition. Mineral calcite is a calcium carbonate (CaCO3), while dolomite has a presence ofmagnesium in the same calcium carbonate (CaMg(CO3)2). Main physical differences between these two minerals are hardness and reaction to acids. Calcite is less resistant to acid and less hard in comparison to dolomite. It is explained by Calcite’s hardness being equal to 3, and dolomite’s - 4.
Physical Properties of Dolomite
Dolomite produces a very weak reaction to cold, dilute hydrochloric acid; however, if the acid is warm or if the dolomite is powdered, a much stronger acid reaction will be observed.
Uses of Dolomite
Dolomite as a mineral has very few uses. However, Dolostone has an enormous number of uses because it occurs in deposits that are large enough to mine.The most common use for dolostone is in the construction industry.
Agriculture / Horticulture
In agriculture, dolomite serves as a fertilizerfor soilbeing one of the main magnesium sources and soilless potting mixes as a pH buffer.
Dolomite is used in the ceramic industry and in studio pottery as a glaze ingredient contributing magnesium and calcium as glass melt fluxes.
The most common use for dolostone is in the construction industry. Calcined dolomite has been used in the production of cement.
Food & Fodders
Dolomite is used as a source of magnesia (MgO) and a feed additive for livestock.
Dolomite is also used as the substrate in marine (saltwater) aquariums and swimming pools to help buffer changes in pH of the water.Dolomite's reaction with acid also makes it useful. It is used for acid neutralization in the chemical industry and stream restoration projects.
It is crushed and sized for use as a road base material, an aggregate in concrete and asphalt, railroad ballast, rip-rap, or fill. Asphalt and concrete applications prefer dolomite as a filler for its higher strength and hardness.
Oil & Gas
Dolomite serves as a reservoir rock for oil and gas. During the conversion of calcite to dolomite, a volume reduction occurs. This can produce pore spaces in the rock that can be filled with oil or natural gas that migrate in as they are released from other rock units.