Sodium Carbonate - Na₂CO₃

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What is Sodium Carbonate?

It is a crystalline compound with the formula Na2CO3. It's popularly referred to as sodium carbonate and also referred to as sodium carbonate and soda crystals. Sodium carbonate is extracted from trona. It's the foremost important component of all essential heavy metals. They're white, water-soluble salts that yield alkaline solutions in water. It is produced during a tremendous amount from common salt and limestone with the help of the Solvay process. In the past, it had been extracted from the ashes of plants growing in sodium-rich soils and so it was known as soda-ash. It is often found in several structures. 


Synthesis of Washing Soda, Na2CO3

Sodium carbonate is formed on an industrial scale by the Solvay process. It also can be manufactured by various other processes, just like the Leblanc process, Electrolytic method, Hou's process, etc. It also can be mined from several other areas.

Solvay process, also referred to as the ammonia-rich process, is the most economical process than other processes. The reactants involved during this process are ammonia, brine solution, and limestone. They're affordable and readily available. During this process, salt may be a necessary by-product obtained.

The reactions are:

2NH3 + H2O + CO2 → (NH4)2CO3

(NH4)2CO3 + H2O + CO2 → 2NH4HCO3

To the above product obtained, common salt is added, which ends up within the precipitation of sodium bicarbonate, which is least soluble and is filtered off later.

NH4HCO3 + NaCl → NH4Cl + NaHCO3 

Sodium bicarbonate NaHCO3 is then heated to supply bicarbonate of soda Na2CO3, and CO2 gas is evolved, which may be reused again.

2 NaHCO3 → Na2CO3 + CO2 + H2O


Applications of Washing Soda - Na2CO3

Some of them include:

  • It is employed within the domestic purposes for the manufacture of detergents, soaps, and paper.

  • It is often used as a softener.

  • Also utilized in obtaining soluble glass, borax, sodium orthophosphate, and lots of other sodium compounds.

Uses of Washing Soda - Na2CO3

It is used as:

  • A pH modifier

  • A foaming agent in toothpaste

  • A wetter within the brick industry

  • A laboratory reagent to standardize acids.

  • An analytical reagent.

Properties of Washing Soda

Formula: Na2CO3

Molar mass: 105.9888 g/mol

Density: 2.54 g/cm3 at 25 °C

Melting point: 851 °C


Chemical Properties of Washing Soda

1. Anhydrous washing soda is stable towards heat.

2. washing soda is mildly alkaline within the aqueous state thanks to hydrolysis, which releases OH(aq) ions.

Na2CO3(s) + 2H2O(l) à H2CO3(aq) + 2Na+(aq) + 2OH(aq)

3. It reacts with CO2 from the air forming sodium bicarbonate.

Na2CO3(aq) + H2O + CO2(g) à 2NaHCO3(aq)

4. It reacts with weak vegetable acids liberating CO2.

Na2CO3(aq) + 2H+(aq) à 2 Na+(aq) + H2O(l) + CO2(g)

Na2CO3 + 2HCl à 2 NaCl+ H2O + CO2

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Sodium Bicarbonate Formula

It is a white-coloured solid compound with the formula NaHCO3. It's also referred to as bicarbonate of soda or bicarbonate of soda. It's crystalline but often appears as a fine powder. It is found dissolved in many mineral springs and is a component of natron minerals.

Sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) is an acid salt, and washing soda (Na2CO3) is the normal salt of acid (H2CO3).

Carbonic acid may be an acid because it has two replaceable hydrogen atoms in its molecule. When one hydrogen is replaced by reacting it with a limited amount (1 mol) of caustic soda, we get the bicarbonate.

NaOH + H2CO3 à NaHCO3 + H2O

Sodium bicarbonate contains one hydrogen because the dibasic parent acid isn't fully neutralized. Such a sort of salt is named an acid salt. It'll be completely neutralized when it reacts with more caustic soda to make the carbonate, the traditional salt.

NaHCO3 + NaOH à Na2CO3 + H2O

When the two above equations are combined, we get the general equation for the entire neutralization of an acid by the alkali to make the traditional salt.

H2CO3 + 2 NaOH à Na2CO3 + 2 H2O

So, we will say that the bicarbonate may be a kind of intermediate salt formed when an alkali partly neutralizes acid (a dibasic acid).

Similarly, sodium bisulfate, NaHSO4, is the acid salt, and sodium sulfate, Na2SO4, the traditional salt of vitriol and caustic soda.


Solved Problems

1. What's Anhydrous Sodium Carbonate?

Hydrated washing soda has the formula Na2CO3.nH20. 0n strong heating, hydrated washing soda decomposes completely into the water, and anhydrous washing soda, Na2CO3

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. How Does Sodium Bicarbonate Differ from Washing Soda?

Sodium bicarbonate is sodium carbonate, which suggests it contains some acid in combined form. If you warm sodium bicarbonate, it'll evolve water and carbon dioxide, which are themselves the decomposition products of acid —formula NaHCO₃. Also called "Sodium Bicarbonate" it's used as a raising agent for cakes and as medicine for indigestion.

Sodium carbonate is the ordinary sodium salt of acid when reacted with a base, Na₂CO₃, and typically is furnished from water of crystallization, where it's called sodium carbonate. It's the most common ingredient in washing powders, where it functions as an alkali to get rid of the grease.

2. Why Does Washing Soda Doesn't React with the Caustic Soda Solution?

Sodium hydroxide and washing soda both are derivatives of the alkaline metal sodium, and both have commercial importance. The two are unique in their way and have different classifications. However, sometimes they're used interchangeably.

Sodium carbonate may be a salt of the weak acid, carbonic acid, whereas caustic soda is taken into account to be an easy base.

If caustic soda and washing soda are often used interchangeably, it's going to be advisable to use the carbonate because it's less hazardous. Reacted with acids stronger than acid, both produce an equivalent salt.

One of them is basic in nature, and the other one is acidic in nature, and if both of them will react, their reaction will be incompatible.