For what common Applications, Sodium Carbonate is used?

For what common Applications, Sodium Carbonate is used?

24 February 2022

H2CO3 is a weak acid salt, whereas NaOH is a solid basic. Because carbonic acid is a weak acid, it remains undissociated. As a result of the additional OH- ions generated during hydrolysis, the solution becomes basic.


Na2CO3 is the molecular formula for Sodium carbonate. It is often known as washing soda and is used as a food additive, as well as in cleaning products, glass processing, and other applications.


A significant industrial process is the Solvay process, which produces sodium hydrogen carbonate (NaHCO3) and sodium carbonate (Na2CO3) from ammonia, carbon dioxide, water, and condensed brine solution.


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The following are some of the most common uses for sodium carbonate:

  • It is used to wash garments in many households.
  • It's used to get rid of both transitory and permanent hardness in water.
  • It's used to make glass, soap, and paper, among other things.
  • It's used in the manufacture of sodium compounds like borax.


1.Water softening:


Sodium Carbonate is known to remove both transitory as well as permanent water hardness.


Because sodium carbonate is water-soluble, whereas magnesium and calcium carbonates are not, it is used to soften water by removing Mg2+ and Ca2+. These ions form insoluble solid precipitates when they combine with carbonate ions.


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2.The precursor to other compounds:


Sodium carbonate is extensively used to make sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3), also known as baking soda and used in fire extinguishers. Despite the fact that NaHCO3is a Solvay intermediate product, the heating necessary to eliminate ammonia contamination decomposes some NaHCO3, making it more cost-effective to react the completed Na2CO3 with CO2:


Na2CO3 + CO2 + H2O → 2NaHCO3


Sodium carbonate is used in a similar reaction to make sodium bisulfite (NaHSO3), which is utilised in the "sulfite" method of extracting lignin from cellulose. With the help of this method sulphur dioxide is removed from the flue gases:


Na2CO3 + SO2 + H2O → NaHCO3 + NaHSO3


3.Food additive and cooking:


Sodium carbonate is an acidity regulator and one of the ingredients in kansui (かん水), a salt solution with an alkaline pH that gives ramen noodles their particular flavour and texture. The chemical sodium carbonate is used in the production of sherbet powder. When the sherbet is moistened with saliva, an endothermic reaction between sodium carbonate and a weak acid, most often citric acid, causes the sherbet to cool and fizz, producing carbon dioxide gas.


4.Glass manufacture:


Sodium carbonate acts as a silica flux, decreasing the melting point of the mixture to a point where it may be attained without the addition of any more ingredients..


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To reduce the amount of water necessary to extrude the clay, the brick industry employs sodium carbonate as a wetting agent. It's utilised in casting as a "bonding agent" to assist moist alginate adhering to gelled alginate. Sodium carbonate is used in toothpaste as a foaming agent, abrasive, and to elevate the mouth's pH momentarily.