Soda Ash Light

Soda ash is commonly called as sodium carbonate and it’s a sodium salt of carbonic acid. Soda ash is a significant economic importance chemical because of its applications in manufacturing glass, chemicals, paper, detergents and many other products. Soda ash commonly occurs in naturally in three different forms of hydrates such as sodium carbonate decahydrate (Natron), sodium carbonate heptahydrate and sodium carbonate monohydrate (thermonatrite).Soda Ash light is a monohydrate form of soda ash. It is manufactured mainly in Europe. It differs from soda ash dense only in physical characteristics such as bulk density, particle size and shape.

Properties of Soda Ash Light:

  • Soda ash is a white, anhydrous, powdered or granular material containing more than 99% sodium carbonate.
  • Soda ash is hygroscopic in nature and forms a strong alkaline water solution.
  • Soda ash is an alkali solution that has a high pH in concentrated solutions.
  • Soda ash decomposes on heating at high temperature. Anhydrous sodium carbonate loses weight when heated due to dissociation and volatilization.
  • Sodium carbonate occurs in three hydrate forms such as sodium carbonate monohydrate, heptahydrate and decahydrate.
  • Sodium carbonate is readily soluble in water.
  • Production of Soda Ash Light:

    Trona, trisodium hydrogendicarbonate dihydrate (Na3HCO3CO3·2H2O) is mined in several areas and provides all the domestic consumption of sodium carbonate.

    Leblanc process
    Leblanc process is used for producing sodium carbonate from salt, sulphuric, limestone, and coal. Sea salt is boiled in sulphuric acid to yield sodium sulphate and hydrogen chloride gas. Sodium sulphate is blended with crushed limestone (calcium carbonate) and coal for producing soda ash in small scale production.

    2 NaCl + H2SO4 → Na2SO4 + 2 HCl
    Na2SO4 + CaCO3 + 2 C → Na2CO3 + 2 CO2 + CaS

    Solvay process
    In 1861, the Belgian industrial chemist Ernest Solvay patented a method to convert sodium chloride to sodium carbonate using ammonia. Solvay process is a most economically dominative process than Leblanc process and approximately 90% of sodium carbonate is commercially produced by the Solvay process.

    CaCO3 → CaO + CO2
    NaCl + NH3 + CO2 + H2O → NaHCO3 + NH4Cl
    2 NaHCO3 → Na2CO3 + H2O + CO2

    Hou’s process
    In 1930, the Chinese chemist Hou Debang developed a Hou’s process used steam reforming byproduct carbon dioxide is pumped through a saturated solution of sodium chloride and ammonia to produce sodium bicarbonate. Sodium bicarbonate is collected and then heated to yield high purity sodium carbonate like Solvay process.

    NH3 + CO2 + H2O → NH4HCO3
    NH4HCO3 + NaCl → NH4Cl + NaHCO3

    Soda Ash Light has a numerous industrial applications such as:

    Soap and Detergent Industry
    Soda ash Light is an important ingredient in soaps and detergents because it functions as a builder in the formulation of the soap or detergent, to achieve the desired level of soil removal. It is also beneficial as an agglomerating aid, as it acts as the carrier for surfactants and is also the source of alkalinity for pH adjustment.

    Chemical Industry
    Light soda ash is used in the production of many chemicals. It is a source of sodium ions in the production of sodium phosphates, sodium carbonate, sodium silicates, chrome chemicals and photographic chemicals.

    Food Industry
    Soda Ash Light is widely used in the food industry as an acidity regulator, anti-caking agent and as a stabilizer.

    Other Applications
    Soda Ash is used as an electrolyte as it a good conductor and hence can be used in electrolysis. It is also used in small scale dyeing industries. It ensures chemical bonding of the dye to the cellulose fibres.

    CAS No.: 497-19-8
    Formula : Na2CO3
    Mol Wt. : 105.989
    Synonyms : Sodium Carbonate, Soda Ash
    Physical State: White, granular, Odourless
    Melting point: 851°C
    Boiling point: 1633°C
    Solubility in water : Soluble, 7 g in 100 g of H2O
    Density and phase : 500 kg/m3, solid
    Alkalinity : 98.5%
    Na2CO3, % by wt : Min. 99.2
    NaCl, % by wt : Max. 0.2
    NaSO4, % by wt : Max. 0.2
    Fe2O3, % by wt : Max. 0.003
    Water insoluble, % by wt : Max. 0.04