Salt crystals. Evaporating basin containing salt (sodium chloride, NaCl) crystals. NaCl is an ionic compound, consisting of ions of sodium (Na) and chlorine (Cl). As it is an ionic compound, it can dissolve in polar solvents (such as water) to form a solution. The solid crystals can be reformed by allowing the solvent to evaporate, as here in this evaporating basin. It is obtained by evaporating sea water and by dissolving underground deposits. It is an essential part of the diet, sodium and chloride ions being vital for body biochemistry, reflecting life's origin in the sea. NaCl is an industrial source of sodium and chlorine.
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