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Sodium nitrate: Sodium nitrate is the chemical compound with the formula NaNO3. This alkali metal nitrate salt is also known as Chile saltpeter -because large deposits of this salt can be found in Chile- to distinguish it from ordinary saltpeter, potassium nitrate. The mineral form is also known as nitratine, nitratite or soda niter. Sodium nitrate is a white solid very soluble in water. It is a readily available source of the nitrate anion -NO3−-, which is useful in several reactions carried out on industrial scales for the production of fertilizers, pyrotechnics and smoke bombs, glass and pottery enamels, food preservatives -esp. meats-, and solid rocket propellant. It has been mined extensively for these purposes.