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Caustic Soda

Caustic Soda is a white solid and corrosive to metals and tissue.

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Ian Fischer

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Applications

Caustic Soda is one of the most important industrial chemicals. In volume, it is in the top ten chemicals produced in the United States. It is used in manufacturing a large number of compounds including several sodium salts, in treating cellulose for producing rayon and cellophane, and in manufacturing soaps, detergents, pulp, and paper. Sodium hydroxide is a common neutralizing agent for acids in acid-base titrations and petroleum refining. Another major application is extracting metals from their ores where alkali fusion, such as fusion with caustic soda, often is applied to open the ores. Additionally, sodium hydroxide is used to precipitate metals as hydroxides. Other uses are in reclaiming rubber, dissolving casein in plastics production, refining vegetable oils, processing textiles, as an eluant in ion chromatography, etching and electroplating, and as a laboratory reagent. Sodium hydroxide also is used as a strong base in many organic synthesis and base-catalyzed reactions.

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