- Sodium carbonate (also
known as washing soda or soda ash), Na2CO3, is a sodium salt of carbonic
acid. It most commonly occurs as a crystalline heptahydrate which
readily effloresces to form a white powder, the monohydrate. It has a
cooling alkaline taste, and can be extracted from the ashes of many
plants. It is synthetically produced in large quantities from table salt
in a process known as the Solvay process.
- Sodium carbonate is
soluble in water, but can occur naturally in arid regions, especially in
the mineral deposits (evaporites) formed when seasonal lakes evaporate.
Deposits of the mineral natron, a combination of sodium carbonate and
sodium bicarbonate, have been mined from dry lake bottoms in Egypt since
ancient times, when natron was used in the preparation of mummies and in
the early manufacture of glass.
- The major drawback of
Soda-ash process was its environmental impact with the emission of large
quantities of HCl gas and the production of calcium sulfide solid waste
which not only lost valuable sulfur but also produced poisonous gases.
“Light soda ash” is
transformed by recrystallization firstly to sodium carbonate
monohydrate, and finally to “dense soda ash” after drying (dehydration).
Dense soda ash has a pouring density of about 1000 kg/m3. It is used
mainly in the glass industry. Dense soda ash can also be produced by
Soda ash is used mostly in the production of glass, chemicals, soaps,
and detergents, and by consumers. Demand depends to great extent upon
the price of, and environmental issues surrounding, caustic soda, which
is interchangeable with soda ash in many uses and is widely coproduced
- The Basic chemical
properties of Dense soda ash are alkalinity for the neutralization of
acids, Solubility, flux to lower the melting temperature of sand for the
glass. Physical properties are Size of Crystal is compacted, light and
dense and the other natural forms is trona.
- The Solvay process,
also called ammonia soda process, uses salt (NaCl) and limestone (CaCO3)
as raw materials. Ammonia, which is also used in the process, is almost
totally regenerated and recycled. The main advantage of this process is
the availability of the raw materials, which can be found almost
everywhere in the world and therefore allows operating production units
relatively close to the market.
- Sodium carbonate's most
important use is in the chemical make-up of glass. When heated at very
high temperatures, combined with sand (SiO2) and calcium carbonate
(CaCO3), and cooled very rapidly, sodium carbonate can be used to form a
transparent non-crystalline material, commonly known as glass.
- Domestically 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. Sodium Carbonate is also used as a descaling agent
in boilers such as found in coffee pots, espresso machines, etc.
- There are only four
producers in the European Union (EU15) applying the Solvay process:
Solvay, Brunner Mond, Novacarb , Sodawerk Stassfurt, with a total
capacity of 6625 kt/year. BASF has two plants which co-produce sodium
carbonate with a combined capacity of 65 kt/year.
- Natural soda ash
production in May was 950,000 metric tons (t), 9.3% higher than the
previous month’s production of 880,000 t, according to the U.S.
Geological Survey. Ending inventories were 242,000 t, 16.3% higher than
the preceding month’s inventories. Wyoming trona production in May was
1.5 million metric tons. Total production of chemical caustic soda was
withheld to avoid disclosing company proprietary data. Apparent
consumption of soda ash in April was 491,000 t, 8.1% higher than in
April 2006, and ending stocks were 19.7% lower.
- Exports and imports of
soda ash in April 2007 were 420,000 t and 394 t, respectively. The
trends in cumulative soda ash statistics through April 2007, compared
with those of April 2006, were as follows: production was slightly
higher; imports were 5.2% lower; exports, 8.7% higher; and apparent
consumption, slightly lower.
Enterpreneure who want
the informations on "General, Production , Technology, Applications,
Function & Properties, Patent, MSDS, Consultants, Company Profiles,
Reports, Market, Projects, Plant, Suppliers & Buyers, Guides" can Email