Sodium nitrate is the chemical compound with the formula NaNO3. This alkali metal nitrate salt is also known as Chile saltpeter (because large deposits of this salt can be found in Chile) to distinguish it from ordinary saltpeter, potassium nitrate. The mineral form is also known as nitratine, nitratite or soda niter. Sodium nitrate is a white solid very soluble in water. It is a readily available source of the nitrate anion (NO3−), which is useful in several reactions carried out on industrial scales for the production of fertilizers, pyrotechnics and smoke bombs, glass and pottery enamels, food preservatives (esp. meats), and solid rocket propellant. It has been mined extensively for these purposes.
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