Sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3), also known as baking soda, is an acid salt of carbonic acid and sodium hydroxide. Baking soda got its name from the fact that it aids the batter of cakes and cookies to rise when baked. It is a white crystalline powder which is non-toxic, odourless, tastes salty, and completely soluble in water. It is used in a number of household uses as it is weakly basic. 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 50°C and also produce water and carbon dioxide as by-product. Ancient Egyptians used natron, the natural deposit of sodium bicarbonate, as soap. In 1971 French chemist Leblanc produced sodium carbonate by using sodium chloride and concentrated sulphuric acid. Afterwards in 1846, two New York bakers, John Dwight and Austin Church, established the first factory to manufacture sodium bicarbonate from sodium carbonate and carbon dioxide.
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Leblanc Process (manufacturing sodium bicarbonate) :
The sodium carbonate (Na2CO3) produced, then processed further to produce sodium bicarbonate following below equation: Na2CO3 + CO2 + H2O → 2 NaHCO3
On industrial scale Sodium bicarbonate is produced from two different methods: 1. From natural resource, and 2. Synthetically by Solvay process. The United states have large deposits of nacholite and trona deposits, so it produces sodium bicarbonate from available natural resource. In rest of the world sodium bicarbonate is produced mainly by Solvay process. 1. Natural Method: To produce sodium bicarbonate from natural deposits from trona ores, trona deposits are crushed, screened, washed and further processed to yield sodium carbonate. Then sodium carbonate is converted into sodium bicarbonate. In another method, hot water is pumped thousands feet underground in ore of nacholite deposits. The hot water solvate the nacholite deposits. Due to excess pressure developed, the bicarbonate saturated water returns to the surface. Sodium bicarbonate is crystallized by reducing the temperature of the liquor. Excess water is removed by centrifuging. In order to maintain the industry standards the mass is further dried and processed. 2. Synthetic Method: In the production of synthetic sodium bicarbonate, generally Solvay process is employed. This process was first introduced by Ernest Solvay in 1860’s. In this method sodium bicarbonate is produced from ammonia, carbon dioxide, water, and concentrated brine solution. The striking feature of this method is that, it uses the raw materials, which are not much expensive and are easily available. Very high purity grade sodium bicarbonate is manufactured by reacting caustic soda and carbon dioxide. The usage or consumption of sodium bicarbonate is on rise with an average growth rate of 3% globally. The major use of Sodium bicarbonate is in Animal feed, food industry and Pharmaceutical industry. The other uses include in water treatment, fume treatment, making detergents cosmetics and productions of other chemicals.
The usage or consumption of sodium bicarbonate is on rise with an average growth rate of 3% globally. The major use of Sodium bicarbonate is in Animal feed, food industry and Pharmaceutical industry. The other uses include in water treatment, fume treatment, making detergents cosmetics and productions of other chemicals.
Sodium bicarbonate is recognised all over the world as a buffering agent and antacid cattle feed. It aids in improving the digestion system of cattle. Sodium Bicarbonate is a high purity source of chloride-free sodium which improves the growth rate of poultry it relives heat stress problems and increases eggshell strength increasing the productivity of poultry industry.
It is used in baking powder as a leavening agent along with an acidic agent, such as cream of tartar. When the batter of a cake or cookies is mixed with baking powder and baked, sodium bicarbonate reacts with the acidic agent and releases carbon dioxide.
In pharmaceutical industry it is used to produce antacids to treat acid indigestion. It is also used in the treatment of kidney stones, aspirin overdose, hyperkalemia, low blood pH condition, and allergies. It is applied as a disinfectant for first aid after an injury to clean the wound and remove the dead cells. It is also believed that it cures cancer. In cosmetic and personal care products it is used to control the acid-base balance.
Cosmetics and Disinfectants:
Sodium bicarbonate is used in making products such as scrubs, and tooth pastes, teeth whitener soap, it is also used in products used to neutralise bad breath. It is used as an acidity regulator. Sodium bicarbonate is used in disinfectants as it is a natural bad odour remover, it resists bacteria and mould growth.
Rubber and Plastics:
Sodium bicarbonate is used as a blowing agent in rubber and plastic industry. It releases carbon dioxide at higher temperature and this carbon dioxide gives the desired shape to object. It used in making products like polyurethane, polyethylene, polystyrene and polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
Generally sodium carbonate is used in making detergents but sodium bicarbonate is slowly replacing sodium carbonate because of its low pH as compared to sodium carbonate. It is preferred for making milder detergents.
Fume and Water treatment:
Sodium bicarbonate is used to control the alkalinity and maintain the pH of waste water. It also acts as reverse buffering agent in sewage treatment plants. It is also used in treatment of fume gases from the industries. In this way it aids in curbing air pollution.
Textile and leather:
It is used in curing wool and silk fibres. It is also used for tanning in leather industry .Tanning makes the leather, bacteria and temperature resistant. It increases the durability of leather and makes it porous, soft, and flexible.