Caustic soda At room temperature is in the form of white, odorless crystals that can absorb air moisture. It is a manufactured substance. Solubility of this substance in water or its neutralization in reaction with acid is an exothermic reaction. it is very corrosive. It is generally used as a solid or a 50% solution. Other common names of caustic soda include sodium hydroxide and lye.it is used to manufacture soaps, rayon, paper, explosives, dyestuffs, and petroleum products. It is also used in processing cotton fabric, laundering and bleaching, metal cleaning and processing, oxide coating, electroplating, and electrolytic extracting. It is commonly present in the commercial drain and oven cleaners.it is a highly versatile substance used in a variety of manufacturing processes. it is a co-product of chlorine production.
Applications of Sodium hydroxide
1- Cleaning & Disinfectant Products
it is used to manufacture soaps and a variety of detergents used in homes and commercial applications. Chlorine bleach is produced by combining chlorine and caustic soda. Drain cleaners that contain sodium hydroxide converts fats and grease that can clog pipes into soap, which dissolves in water.
2- Pharmaceuticals & Medicine
NaOH is used to help manufacture a variety of medicines and pharmaceutical products, from common pain relievers like aspirin to anticoagulants that can help to prevent blood clots, to cholesterol-reducing medications.
In the energy sector, it is used in fuel cell production. Fuel cells work like batteries to cleanly and efficiently produce electricity for a range of applications, including transportation; materials handling; and stationary, portable and emergency backup power applications. Epoxy resins, manufactured with NaOH, are used in wind turbines.
4- Water Treatment
Municipal water treatment facilities use NaOH to control water acidity and to help remove heavy metals from water. it is also used to produce sodium hypochlorite, a water disinfectant.
5- Food Production
it is used in several food processing applications, such as curing foods like olives or helping to brown Bavarian-style pretzels, giving them their characteristic crunch. it is used to remove skins from tomatoes, potatoes, and other fruits and vegetables for canning and also as an ingredient in food preservatives that help prevent mold and bacteria from growing in food.
6- in Wood & Paper Products
In many papermaking processes, wood is treated with a solution containing sodium sulfide and caustic soda. This helps dissolve most of the unwanted material in the wood, leaving relatively pure cellulose, which forms the basis of the paper. In the paper recycling process, it is used to separate the ink from the paper fibers allowing the paper fibers to be reused again.
it is also used to refine raw materials for wood products such as cabinets and furniture and in wood bleaching and cleaning.
7- in Aluminum Ore Processing
it is used to extract alumina from naturally occurring minerals. Alumina is used to make aluminum and a variety of products including foil, cans, kitchen utensils, beer kegs, and airplane parts. In building and construction, aluminum is used in materials that enable building facades and window frames.
Other Industrial Manufacturing Uses
it is used in many other industrial and manufacturing processes. It is used to manufacture rayon, spandex, explosives, epoxy resins, paints, glass, and ceramics. It is also used in the textile industry to make dyes, process cotton fabric and in laundering and bleaching, as well as in metal cleaning and processing, oxide coating, electroplating and electrolytic extracting.