Sodium Hydroxide

From soda we can generate many compounds, beside sodium carbonate, sodium sulfite and sodium hydrosulfite, sodium sulfide, sodium thiosulfate and also sodium hydroxide. Sodium have industrial uses that required millions of tons annually. Perhaps the most important of these compounds is sodium chloride (NaCl), from which million of metric tons of sodium hydroxide are made annually.

Sodium hydroxide also called caustic soda, is essential to the production of soap, detergent, cleaning compounds, dyes, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals. It is also necessary in the manufacture of rayon, cellophane, phenol, naphtol, recorcinol, and oxalic acid. Such industrial process as boiler water softening, food processing, engraving, printing, pulp and paper production, petroleum refining, metallurgy and house hold bleaching agent that preparation is depend on it.

Sodium hydroxide can be form from reaction of sodium with water, but as industrial process this substance usually produce from electrolysis process of sodium chloride. From this electrolysis process usually will produce other substance like NaOCl, and also chlorine gas. From the basic reaction that produce NaOH is just reacted Na with water (H2O), the chemical reaction as follows:

Na + 2 H2O  -----> 2 NaOH + H2

This reaction is very vigorous , often generating enough heat to ignite the hydrogen gas and cause an explosion. For experience of small Na metal by immersing this metal into water will generate small explosion immediately.


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