Baryte is a white (or grey if there are impurities) mineral that is commonly found in lead-zinc veins that occur in limestones, around hot spring and with hematite ore. The name baryte comes from the Ancient Greek term for “heavy”, as it is a very dense. It also has a high fusion point and is inert, non-toxic and almost insoluble in water. Baryte is the main source of the element barium, which does not naturally occur in a pure form.
Baryte in daily life
The majority of Baryte is used as a weighting agent for drilling fluids in oil and gas exploration, preventing blowouts. However,its properties make it a perfect mineral for many other applications such as filler for paint, rubber, ceramics or glass, corrosion-resistant coating for automobile finishes, sound reduction in engines and for radiation shielding in high-density concrete. Barium carbonate is used in the manufacturing of LED glass for computer and television screens.
Barium is an essential part of a barium meal, which is used for certain medical tests.The patient swallows a barium solution before X-ray imaging is taken, and because barium is not water-soluble, the solution coats the digestive tract without being absorbed, allowing doctors to examine these areas of the body more closely.