Caustic Soda – A Vital Chemical in Chemistry

Caustic soda or sodium hydroxide or alkali is that chemical from which it is impossible to get rid of.  Maybe just heard that name in your chemistry class during an experiment with a base, but just have a look on the labels of cleaning agents you are using at your home. They may bear Lye, isn't it?

Caustic soda plays an important role in the chemical manufacturing process as a raw material used in the manufacture of textiles, dyes, refineries, paper and other industries. Used in a variety of applications in different industries, Lye acts as a strong base formed with sodium hydroxide solution in water i.e NaOH in H2O. You can buy caustic soda in liquid, powder and pearl form.

Basically it is a natural co-product of chlorine production. As per the chemistry law, for every tonne of chlorine produced, caustic soda about 1100 kg also produced together with hydrogen about 285 kg. The manufacturer of sodium hydroxide typically supplies concentrated solution or pure lye to such manufacturers that make soap, detergent, paper and pulp, bleach and other cleaning agents, biodiesel, textiles and garments.

Despite the fact that caustic soda is an important alkaline base, it is one of the most hazardous substances in the chemicals that should be handled with caution. Therefore it is necessary for chemical manufacturers and buyers to determine the storage and use of the substance. For example, in the laboratory, precautions should be exercised when handling hazardous chemicals. Caustic soda is like a corrosive chemical that can burn your skin upon exposure, therefore wearing gloves is imperative.