The manufacture of salt is one of the oldest chemical industries. A major source of salt is seawater, which has asalinity of approximately 3.5%. This means that there are about 35 grams (1.2 oz) of dissolved salts, predominantly sodium (Na+ ) and chloride (Cl− ) ions, per kilogram (2.2 lbs) of water. The world's oceans are a virtually inexhaustible source of salt, and this abundance of supply means that reserves have not been calculated. The evaporation of seawater is the production method of choice in marine countries with high evaporation and low precipitation rates. Salt evaporation ponds are filled from the ocean and salt crystals can be harvested as the water dries up. Sometimes these ponds have vivid colours, as some species of algae and other micro-organisms thrive in conditions of high salinity.
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