MadSci Network: Chemistry

Re: Is there a difference between the salt in ocean salt water and table salt?

Date: Sat May 19 20:45:02 2001
Posted By: Kai Bester, Post-doc/Fellow, Environmental Science, Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 986918237.Ch

Dear David:

Well yes and no.

  1. In both cases the main component is sodium chloride which is the normal table salt.
  2. In ocean water there are additionally minor components e.g. magnesium, calcium, carbonates, sulphates, and bromides; additionally there are also traces of iron and other salts.

In Ocean water there is ~ 4-5% sodium chloride some part-per-thousand minor compounds and some part-per-million trace components. The Dead Sea may hold some more sulphates as it is not open to the Ocean but on general terms it will be the same.

By the way, not all table salts are alike. Some are gained by exploiting geological "salt mines" and some are gained from the sea. Anyway they are refined to get sodium chloride in a very pure form.

Kind regards


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