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Inorganic oxides are used in diverse applications. Inorganic nanotubes are often metal oxides or nitrides. In recent years, inorganic oxides, predominantly as nanoparticles, increasingly find application as antimicrobials. Of particular interest is MgO, which has generated considerable activity in the field of antimicrobials.
Inorganic nitrides, bearing the anion N3-, are often refractory materials. They are widely used in niche applications. Nitrides of titanium and silicon are employed as cutting materials. Boron nitrides are used as lubricants that are employed at elevated temperatures. Nitrides generally are insulators or semiconductors with a wide bandgap. Gallium nitride is known for its emission of blue lights in LEDs.
Inorganic hydroxides are one of the most widely used inorganic compounds. Some alkali metal hydroxides are widely employed in the manufacture of soaps, pulp and paper textiles and drain cleaner. Lithium hydroxide is utilized in purification of breathing gas in spacecraft and submarines. As agricultural compounds, nitrates are used as fertilizers. In the preparation of glass and ceramics, they are used to remove air bubbles. Nitrites, on the other hand, are used in the dye industry in the synthesis of azo compounds. Carbonates and bicarbonates are commonly used types of inorganic compounds. Carbonates are used in the industry, for example, in iron smelting and as raw materials for cement production.