Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate)
Sodium Bicarbonate, commonly called baking soda, is a white odourless, crystalline solid, completely soluble in water but slightly soluble in ethanol. It is the mildest of all sodium alkalis. It is prepared from purified sodium carbonate or sodium hydroxide solution with passing carbon dioxide which is bubbled into the solution of pure carbonate, and the bicarbonate precipitates out to be dried as the bicarbonate is less soluble than the carbonate. Sodium bicarbonate is also made as an intermediate product in the Solvay process which is to make sodium carbonate from calcium carbonate by treating sodium chloride with ammonia and carbon dioxide. The major use of sodium bicarbonate is in baking powders. Sodium Bicarbonate plays an important role in the products of many diverse industries with functions of releasing CO2 when heated above about 50 C or when reacted with a weak acid makes sodium bicarbonate a key ingredient in food leavening as well as in the manufacture of effervescent salts and beverages. It can react as an acid or a base in water treatment. In health and beauty applications, mild abrasivity and ability to reduce odors chemically by neutralizing the acid by-products of bacteria are utilized. It is also used in treating wool and silk, fire extinguishers, pharmacy, leather, oredressing, metallurgy, in cleaning preparations and industrial & chemical processe.