Soda Ash Dense/ Sodium Carbonate

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Detail Soda Ash Dense/ Sodium Carbonate

The most important use for sodium carbonate is in the manufacture of glass. When heated at very high temperatures, combined with sand (SiO2) and calcium carbonate (CaCO3), and cooled very rapidly, glass is produced.

Sodium carbonate is also used as a relatively strong base in various settings. For example, sodium carbonate is used as a pH regulator to maintain stable alkaline conditions necessary for the action of the majority of developing agents.[citation needed] It is a common additive in municipal pools used to neutralize the acidic effects of chlorine and raise pH.[1] In cooking, it is sometimes used in place of sodium hydroxide for lying, especially with German pretzels and lye rolls. These dishes are treated with a solution of an alkaline substance in order to change the pH of the surface of the food and thus improve browning.

In taxidermy, sodium carbonate added to boiling water will remove flesh from the skull or bones of trophies to create the "European skull mount" or for educational display in biological and historical studies.

In chemistry, it is often used as an electrolyte. This is because electrolytes are usually salt-based, and sodium carbonate acts as a very good conductor in the process of electrolysis. It is also used as a primary standard for acid-base titrations because it is solid and air-stable, making it easy to weigh accurately.

In domestic use, it is used as a water softener during laundry. It competes with the ions magnesium and calcium in hard water and prevents them from bonding with the detergent being used. Without using washing soda, additional detergent is needed to soak up the magnesium and calcium ions. Called Washing Soda or Sal Soda[2] in the detergent section of stores, it effectively removes oil, grease, and alcohol stains. Sodium carbonate is also used as a descaling agent in boilers such as found in coffee pots, espresso machines, etc.[citation needed]

In dyeing with fiber-reactive dyes, sodium carbonate (often under a name such as soda ash fixative or soda ash activator) is used to ensure proper chemical bonding of the dye with the fibers, typically before dying (for tie dyes), mixed with the dye (for dye painting), or after dyeing (for immersion dyeing).[3]

[edit] Other Applications

Sodium carbonate is a food additive (E500) used as an acidity regulator, anticaking agent, raising agent and stabilizer. It is one of the components of kansui, a solution of alkaline salts used to give ramen noodles their characteristic flavor and texture.[4][5] Sodium carbonate is also used in the production of sherbet lollies. The cooling and fizzing sensation results from the endothermic reaction between sodium carbonate and a weak acid, commonly citric acid, releasing carbon dioxide gas, which occurs when the sherbet is moistened by saliva.

Sodium carbonate is used by the brick industry as a wetting agent to reduce the amount of water needed to extrude the clay.[citation needed]

In casting, it is referred to as "bonding agent" and is used to allow wet alginate to adhere to gelled alginate.[6]

Sodium carbonate is used to encapsulate and kill mold. When mixed with water and put in a spray bottle, it is sold for its anti-mold cleaning ability. It is also used to blast off mold from wood or other materials.[citation needed]

Sodium carbonate is used in toothpastes, where it acts as a foaming agent, an abrasive, and to temporarily increase mouth pH.

The crystalline form of washing soda can be used to induce vomiting in dogs. A tablespoon for large breeds is sufficient to force the animal to empty the contents of its stomach.

Sodium carbonate may be used for safely cleaning silver. First, aluminium foil is added to a glass or ceramic container, and covered with very hot water and some sodium carbonate. Silver items are dipped into this "bath" to clean them, making sure the silver makes contact with the aluminium foil. Finally, the silver is rinsed in water and let to dry.[7]

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