Sodium Hydroxide | Properties | Uses | Facts - Elements and Compounds


Sunday, March 26, 2023

Sodium Hydroxide | Properties | Uses | Facts

Properties Uses and Facts about Sodium Hydroxide

    What is Sodium Hydroxide

    Sodium hydroxide is also known as caustic soda and lye. Sodium hydroxide is a compound having the chemical formula (NaOH). One of its molecules contains one atom of sodium, one atom of oxygen and one atom of hydrogen. It is a highly corrosive base, which decomposes proteins at room temperature. Sodium hydroxide is a white crystalline solid. Commercially available sodium hydroxide is usually sodium hydroxide monohydrate, NaOH H2O.
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    Properties of Sodium Hydroxide

    • Sodium hydroxide is highly soluble in water. When it is dissolved in water, an exothermic reaction takes place which increases the temperature of the mixture very much.
    • It easily absorbs moisture, carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide gas from the air.
    • Sodium hydroxide is an extremely corrosive substance.
    • In its pure form, sodium hydroxide is a colourless, odourless, crystalline solid.
    • The density of sodium hydroxide is 2.13 grams per cubic centimeter.
    • Its melting point is 318 °C, and its boiling point is 1388 °C.
    • Sodium hydroxide is a strong base, which has the opposite properties of an acid.
    • Sodium hydroxide reacts with aluminium, tin and zinc metals to produce hydrogen gas.
    • Sodium hydroxide is neutralized by reacting with acids. This reaction is exothermic, in which heat is generated.

    Uses of Sodium Hydroxide

    • Sodium hydroxide or caustic soda is used to manufacture soaps used for homes and commercial applications, a variety of detergents, and drain cleaners.
    • Chlorine-bleach is manufactured by combining chlorine and sodium hydroxide.
    • In the pharmaceutical industry, sodium hydroxide is used in the manufacture of a variety of drugs, such as general pain relievers, cholesterol-lowering drugs, anticoagulants, etc.
    • Sodium hydroxide is used in drinking water systems to purify water and to normalize the acidity of water.
    • Sodium hydroxide is used in the paper industry to treat wood. It separates the unwanted material present in the wood, from which pure cellulose is obtained, which is used to make paper.
    • Sodium hydroxide is used during paper recycling to strip ink and remove other impurities from old paper.
    • Sometimes sodium hydroxide is used as a reagent in laboratories.
    • Sodium hydroxide is used to obtain pure aluminum from aluminum ore.
    • Sodium hydroxide is used in the manufacture of fuel cells.
    • In the textile industry, sodium hydroxide is used for laundering and bleaching, for processing cotton fabrics, for making pigments and dyes.
    • Sodium hydroxide is also used for cleaning, oxide coating and electroplating of metals.
    • Sodium hydroxide is used to make soda lime.
    • Sodium hydroxide is also used in the production of explosives and in the refining of petroleum products.

    Facts about Sodium Hydroxide

    • Electrolysis of sodium chloride produces sodium hydroxide and chlorine gas.
    • Sodium hydroxide is an extremely corrosive substance, it can cause severe skin burns if it comes in contact with the skin, so proper gloves and caution equipment must be used when handling it.
    • The chemical reactions with sodium hydroxide release extreme heat and noxious fumes, so it should always be used in an open, well-ventilated area.
    • While making a mixture of water and sodium hydroxide, it should be kept in mind that always sodium hydroxide should be added to the water, Never add water to solid sodium hydroxide, otherwise it may explode and the sodium hydroxide may spread to the surroundings and cause serious damage.

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