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  • Sodium chlorate is a powerful oxidizing agent. It is used to manufacture explosives and matches because of its ability to produce oxygen. Sodium Chlorate is very soluble. 
  • Sodium chlorate is a powerful ingredient of bleaching powder used in paper and pulp processing and calico printing. It is used also a weed killer and defoliant.


  • Sodium Chlorate is manufactured by the electrolytic oxidation of Sodium Chloride using Titanium substrate anodes. Sodium Chloride is thrown out from the solution by evaporation and Sodium chlorates crystallizes on cooling.

  • When pure, it is a white crystalline powder that is readily soluble in water. It is hygroscopic. It decomposes above 250 C to release oxygen and leave sodium chloride. It is synthesised from the  electrolysis of hot sodium chloride solution in a mixed electrode tank. It can also be synthesised by passing chlorine gas to a hot sodium hydroxide solution. It is then purified by crystallization.

  • The active ingredient sodium chlorate is found in a variety of commercial herbicides. Some trade names for products containing sodium chlorate include Atlacide, Defol, Drop-Leaf, Fall, Harvest-Aid, Kusatol, Leafex, and Tumbleaf.Sodium chlorate is used in Some aircraft as a source of supplimental oxygen. Iron powder is mixed with Sodium chlorate and ignited by a charge activated by pulling on the emergency mask. The reaction produces more oxygen than is required for combustion.


  • Sodium chlorate is mostly used to produce chlorine dioxide for bleaching paper pulp, but is also used as a herbicide and to prepare other chlorates.
  • Sodium chlorate is used as a non-selective herbicide. It is considered phytotoxic to all green plant parts.
  • Sodium chlorate may be used to control morning glory, Canada thistle, johnson grass, bamboo, ragwort. Sodium chlorate is also used as a defoliant and desiccant for cotton, safflower, corn, flax, peppers, soybeans, grain sorghum, southern peas, dry beans, rice and sunflowers.


  • In 1994, Canadian production of sodium chlorate was up by about 15% over the previous year, and is expected to experience similar growth in 1995 as a result of the improved performance forecast for the pulp and paper industry.In North America, by 1995, caustic soda is forecast to represent 49.0% of bleaching chemical usage; chlorine will be reduced to 22.5% and sodium chlorate will account for 20.9%.
  • In North America, the consumption of sodium chlorate is forecast to continue to grow at a rate of 11-13%/y. In Canada, the sodium chlorate industry experienced strong growth of about 13% in 1994 and is expected to enjoy similar growth in 1995. Long term, however, pulp production in the U.S. will decline, and with it sodium chlorate, as production moves to offshore areas such as South East Asia and Latin America . For the forecast period, demand growth for sodium chlorate is expected to be 3 percent per year.


  • It is anticipated that approximately 40,000 tonnes of sodium chlorate per year will be produced. Most of the Sodium Chlorate produced in the world is used for paper pulp bleaching. The next important use is in the manufacture of perchlorates. 
  • Quite often waste hydrogen from sodium chlorate facilities is used as feedstock for across the fence hydrogen peroxide facilities. They remain interested in the potential for producing hydrogen peroxide and will continue to monitor potential uses for hydrogen.

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