Sodium hydroxide is a highly caustic metallic base and alkali salt. It is a whitish solid supplied as pellets, flakes, or grains. It is hygroscopic, very soluble in water, and often sold in solution. Because it doesn’t occur naturally, sodium hydroxide is produced as a 50% solution in various solution strengths through the electrolytic chloralkali process.
Common Industrial Uses of Sodium Hydroxide
Most of the sodium hydroxide produced today is used in industrial applications. Its ability to neutralize acids and increase the alkalinity of a mixture makes it a popular additive for drilling muds used in the petroleum industry. It is also used as a caustic wash to treat poor quality crude oil and remove sulfurous impurities.
In chemical pulping, sodium hydroxide is a key component in separating lignin from cellulose fibers in the process of making paper or regenerated fibers.
In food applications, sodium hydroxide is used in many different ways. It is utilized in washing and chemical peeling of fruit; in processing of chocolate and cocoa; in noodle production; as a thickening agent; and in improving browning and crust formation of baked goods.
The caustic nature of sodium hydroxide leads it to be used in many industrial cleaning agents. It can dissolve grease, oils, fats, and protein deposits leading to its inclusion in drain and oven cleaning products as well as parts washing detergents.
Minimum Order Quantity
Note: CCUSA is a wholesale industrial and commercial bulk chemical supplier.
Sodium hydroxide is highly caustic and corrosive to living tissue. It can cause chemical burns to skin and eyes. Extreme care should be taken when handling both the solid and solution forms. Nose, throat and respiratory airway irritation could occur when inhaled. Personal protective equipment such as face shields, safety glasses, gloves, and respirators should be worn.
Common Names / Also Known As
- Caustic soda
- White caustic
- Sodium hydrate