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Whewellite is a mineral, hydrated calcium oxalate, formula CaC2O4·H2O. Because of its organic content it is thought to have an indirect biological origin and this is supported by it being found in coal and sedimentary nodules. However, it has also been found in hydrothermal deposits where a biological source appears improbable. For this reason it can be classed as true mineral.
Additional recommended knowledge
Whewellite, or at least crystalline calcium oxalate does also arise from natural sources. Small crystals or flakes are sometimes found on the surfaces of some cacti. Also some particularly unpleasant kidney stones are deposited as calcium oxalate.
Whewellite was named after William Whewell (1794-1866), an English mineralogist.
Whewellite heat decomposition
Whewellite is used as a thermogravimetric analysis standard due to its well known decomposition temperatures and products.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Whewellite". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|