What is Sodium Bicarbonate

Sodium bicarbonate, also known as baking soda, sodium acid carbonate, sodium hydrogen carbonate, or bicarbonate of soda is chemical compound that has formula NaHCO3. It appears as white crystalline or powder and easily soluble in water or any mineral springs. Sodium bicarbonate occurs in nature in the form of mineral nahcolite or thermokalite. Sodium bicarbonate is an amphoteric compound that reacts with acid or base compound. It can react with acetic acid to produce sodium acetate. It also reacts with base compound such as sodium hydroxide to produce carbonates. Sodium bicarbonate will decompose to another stable substance which is sodium carbonate at temperature above 149°C and also produce water and carbon dioxide as by-product. Sodium bicarbonate is indicated in the treatment of metabolic acidosis which may occur in severe renal disease, uncontrolled diabetes, circulatory insufficiency due to shock or severe dehydration, extracorporeal circulation of blood, cardiac arrest and severe primary lactic acidosis. Sodium bicarbonate is further indicated in the treatment of certain drug intoxications, including barbiturates (where dissociation of the barbiturate-protein complex is desired), in poisoning by salicylates or methyl alcohol and in hemolytic reactions requiring alkalinization of the urine to diminish nephrotoxicity of hemoglobin and its breakdown products. Sodium bicarbonate also is indicated in severe diarrhea, which is often accompanied by a significant loss of bicarbonate.



The sodium bicarbonate chemical formula is NaHCO3 and its molar mass is 84.006 g mol-1. The molecule is formed by the sodium cation Na+ and the bicarbonate anion HCO3. The structure of the sodium bicarbonate lattice is monoclinic. Its chemical structure can be written as below, in the common representations used for organic molecules.