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The Things You Need to Know About Sodium Bicarbonate

Sodium bicarbonate is the chemical name of our daily used product baking soda. It often has a white crystalline powder form. Sodium bicarbonate was actually produced by two bakers John Dwight and Austin Church in New York by reacting sodium carbonate with carbon dioxide. Isn’t this fun?

As of 2001, Sodium Bicarbonate was produced on a scale of about 100,000 tonnes/year. It is industrially produced from sodium carbonate as how it was first produced by John Dwight and Austin Church The chemical reaction is:

It has wide usage in our daily life:

  1. Cooking. It can be used as a leavening agent which causes expansion of the batter and forms the characteristic texture and grain in cakes. It can be used for making baking powder, cooking green vegetables, softening pulses by modifying the pH of the soaking solution to reduce cooking times and alter the flavor.
  2. Medical uses and healthcare. Sodium bicarbonate mixed with water can be used as an antacid to treat acid ingestion and heartburn by neutralizing stomach acid. Intravenous sodium bicarbonate in an aqueous solution is sometimes used for cases of acidosis, or when insufficient sodium or bicarbonate ions are in the blood.
  3. Cleaning agent. Sodium bicarbonate is used in a process for removing paint and corrosion called soda-blasting. In addition, it can be used to remove surface dust.
  4. Tanning in the leather industry. Tanning is the process of treating the skins and hides of animals to produce leather. Tanning agents like sodium bicarbonate hide into the leather which permanently alters the protein structure of the skin, making it more durable, less susceptible to decomposition, immune to bacterial attack, raise the shrinkage temperature and prevent the fibers from sticking together on drying.

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