Sodium hydroxide or caustic soda is a white solid substance with the chemical formula NaOH and it is obtained through the process of electrolysis of sodium chloride soluble in the electrolytic containers. It is called caustic soda because it is highly corrosive in nature. It is available in many forms in the industry, and the most common forms are caustic soda flakes and caustic soda pearls. Sodium hydroxide as a strong base, is considered from one of the most important industrial chemicals and strong absorbent of moisture.
Properties of Caustic Soda:
- White solid
- Highly caustic
- Strong base
- Soluble in water, ethanol and methanol
- Readily absorbs water (hygroscopic) and carbon di oxide from the air
- Strong electrolyte
- Not volatile, but can rise easily in air as an aerosol
- Dissolution of solid caustic soda in water in highly exothermic
The major users of caustic soda are the aluminum industry, pulp & paper, leather and textile, oil and gas, oil wells, food industry and the chemical industry. The main applications are water treatment and water purification, as cleaning agent, or a wide range of uses in chemical industry like starch production or for the desulphurization in the petrochemical industry.
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