Sodium hydroxide: many health and industrial benefits

Sodium hydroxide: many health and industrial benefits

You may not have heard of sodium hydroxide before, although it is used in many of the products you use, read the article to learn more about it.

Sodium hydroxide: many health and industrial benefits

Sodium hydroxide is one of the most widely used compounds in many industries. What is sodium hydroxide? And what are its uses?

Sodium hydroxide, also known as caustic soda or lye, is a powerful chemical compound that is very versatile in its uses.

 It is used in many fields in manufacturing processes, and it has a very high water solubility, and table salt is the main source of its manufacture.

The properties of the compound:

  • white solid compound
  • It has a caustic effect on the skin
  • It dissolves in water easily
  • It reacts with dilute acids to form sodium salt, acid, and water.

Health and industrial benefits of sodium hydroxide

Sodium hydroxide is used in the manufacture of many everyday products such as:

  • Sodium hydroxide and detergents

Sodium hydroxide is used in the manufacture of a wide variety of detergents and soaps. Chlorine bleach is produced by combining sodium hydroxide with chlorine.

It is also used in cleaning products due to its ability to dissolve grease and fat that clog pipes into soap and thus dissolves in water.

  • Sodium hydroxide in pharmacy and medicine

Sodium hydroxide is used in the manufacture of a variety of medicines and pharmaceutical products such as common pain relievers such as aspirin.

It can also be used in the manufacture of anticoagulants that can help prevent blood clots or medicines that help lower cholesterol levels.

  • Sodium hydroxide and energy

Sodium hydroxide is used in the production of fuel, so that the cells in it, such as batteries, produce electricity with high efficiency, so it can be used in the field of transportation.

  • Sodium hydroxide and water treatment

Many water treatment facilities use sodium hydroxide to control the acidity of the water and remove heavy metals.

 It also enters the production of sodium hypochlorite, which is used as a water disinfectant.

  • Sodium hydroxide and food

Sodium hydroxide is used in many food processing applications, especially in the processing of canned olives, to maintain its viability.

 It is also used to remove skins from tomatoes, potatoes, and other vegetables and fruits used in canning, or as a preservative added to foodstuffs to prevent the formation of mold or bacteria in foods.

  • Sodium hydroxide in wood and paper products

Sodium hydroxide is used in the paper industry so that the wood is treated with a solution of sodium sulfide and sodium hydroxide.

 It dissolves all the unwanted solids in the wood and leaves the pure cellulose forming the paper.

It is also used in the process of separating ink from paper, which allows the process of recycling used paper to produce new papers.

  • Sodium hydroxide in aluminum ore processing

Sodium hydroxide is used in extracting alumina from natural minerals so that alumina is used in the manufacture of many metal products such as cooking utensils, barrels, and spare parts.

Safety measures when using sodium hydroxide

Safety procedures should be followed when using sodium hydroxide due to its danger and the effect on the body upon contact. It can lead to:

  • Chemical burns may be permanent if they come into contact with human or animal tissue 
  • May cause blindness upon eye contact
  • Rubber gloves, safety clothing, and goggles must be used 
  • The process of dissolving solid sodium hydroxide is a very high heat-producing process that may lead to burns or ignition of some surrounding materials.