International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) gave the name Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate to a chemical element that is also known as sodium bicarbonate. It is commonly known as hydrogen carbonate.
There is one more common name for sodium hydrogen carbonate that we use in our daily lives: Baking Soda (bicarbonate of soda). If we break it up into compounds, it consists of Salt (Na+) and carbonate (HCO3). Hence, we derive its formula with this. The formula is NaHCO3. Its main texture/form is solid crystalline-like. People generally use it in the form of a fine white powder.
If we look at the formula and place their definite values in there, we can also calculate its molecular weight. The weight is 84.006 gm/mol. Now, let us discuss a few properties of Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate.
Properties of NaHCO3
Talking in chemical terms, it has a positive (+ve) ion of Na+ and a negative (-ve) ion of HCO3.
The texture of Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate, which is crystal-like, is of monoclinic structure.
Whenever you want to do the industrial production of Hydrogen Carbonate, Sodium Carbonate would be used as an essential element.
The following reaction will be processed while producing Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate:
Na2CO3 + CO2 + H2O2NaHCO3
(Sodium hydrogen carbonate chemical formula)
The Solvay Process
This is another process of producing sodium hydrogen carbonate, and that process is known as the Solvay Process. This process is mostly recommended if you want to produce Sodium Carbonate in the form of an intermediate. The following formula is created in the process of Solvay:
\[NaCl + CO_2 + NH_3 + H_20 \longrightarrow NaHCO_3 + NH_4Cl\]
(Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate symbol + Ammonium chloride symbol)
Let us discuss the whole process in detail. Carbon dioxide, ammonia, and sodium chloride are the elements that are supposed to react together to produce sodium hydrogen carbonate. During this process, sodium hydroxide carbonate and ammonium chloride are produced as an intermediate result.
As everything (including elements) has a life, sodium hydrogen carbonate also has a life of up to two to three years. This life also depends on a certain condition and that condition is that it has to be stored in a cool and dry place.
Note: If you keep sodium hydrogen carbonate in an airtight container, there will be no moisture and it will refuse to decompose. As a result of which, it lasts for up to three years.
Uses of Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate
There are numerous uses of sodium hydrogen carbonate that range from common household to industrial purposes. It also works as a common household medical aid under certain conditions as well. Some of its uses are listed below:
The common name of sodium hydrogen carbonate is baking soda as it is used for the main purpose of baking during cooking. The common name comes from the common yet essential use of the compound in baking as a leavening agent. Typically when it reacts with an acidic material such as hydrogen phosphates, cream of tartar, juice of lemon, yoghurt, buttermilk, cocoa, and vinegar, it releases carbon dioxide. Due to this release of carbon dioxide while baking the batter expands and forms the characteristic texture and grain structure that you usually observe in quick bread, soda bread, sometimes idlis, khamman, and many other baked and fried foods. For the release of CO2 from sodium hydrogen carbonate balanced equation is given as follows: NaHCO3 + H+ → Na + CO2 + H2O.
The common name of sodium hydrogen carbonate comes from its use in the preparation of baking powder which is also used for cooking. Baking powder contains around 30% sodium bicarbonate and the acidic reagents or compounds that get activated as they come into contact with water. This leads to the usual process as mentioned above. But one thing you should know is that baking soda is alkaline.
Sodium bicarbonate is also used in pyrotechnics and fireworks. The common black snake tablets that can be found mostly used during the festival of Diwali contain sodium bicarbonate. In this firework, long snake-like ash is formed because of thermal decomposition with the release of carbon dioxide and the ash being a combustion product of sucrose.
Sodium hydrogen carbonate is sometimes used to delay combustion because it produces carbon dioxide and water as a combustion product and both of them are used to control fire or halt combustion. Due to this property, it is used in fire extinguishers as well.
It is also used for acid neutralization, especially acid spills in industries as they spontaneously react and release carbon dioxide as a reaction product. Because of its instant reaction with acids, it is also used as an antacid to treat indigestion in the stomach occurring due to acidity and also for the treatment of heartburn.