Glauber’s Salt

What is Glauber’s Salt?

Glauber’s salt is the decahydrate form of sodium sulfate. It is also known as mirabilite. The chemical formula of Glauber’s salt can be written as Na2SO4.10H2O. Glauber’s salt is known to be a vitreous mineral with a white or colourless appearance that is formed as an evaporite from brines containing sodium sulfate. It can be noted that this compound is known to occur naturally along saline playa lakes and also around saline springs. Glauber’s salt is named after the German-Dutch chemist and alchemist Johann Rudolf Glauber.

It can also be noted that Glauber’s salt is quite unstable in dry air. When placed in such an environment, this compound is known to rapidly undergo dehydration. When this occurs, the crystals of Glauber’s salt are transformed into a white powder with the chemical formula Na2SO4. This white powder is often referred to as thenardite. Furthermore, thenardite is known to possess the ability to absorb water and subsequently convert it into mirabilite.

What are the Properties of Glauber’s Salt?

  • The molar mass of Glauber’s salt is 322.2 grams per mole.
  • This compound is known to crystallize in a monoclinic crystal system.
  • The physical appearance of Glauber’s salt may be colourless, white, greenish-white, or yellowish-white. The texture may be either granular or coarse, well-formed crystals.
  • It can be noted that Glauber’s salt is not radioactive. This compound does not exhibit fluorescence.
  • Under standard conditions for temperature and pressure (often abbreviated to STP), the density of this compound is equal to 1.464 grams per cubic centimetre.
  • The melting point of Glauber’s salt corresponds to 32.38 degrees celsius.
  • When heated, it is not uncommon for this chemical compound to undergo dehydration.
  • It can be noted that the molecular geometry of Glauber’s features octahedrally shaped [Na(OH2)6]+ ions.

Uses of Glauber’s Salt

Glauber’s salt is widely used as a laxative in several medications. Furthermore, this compound is especially effective for the removal of excess drugs (such as paracetamol) in the body due to overdose.

Since this compound has a relatively high heat storage capacity during its phase change from the solid phase to the liquid phase, it is extremely useful for the storage of low-grade solar heat (especially in space heating applications). Glauber’s salt can also be employed during the production of chill mats for laptop computers. It can also be noted that the chemical industry makes extensive use of Glauber’s salt for the production of many commercially important chemicals.

Frequently Asked Questions on Glauber’s Salt

What is Galuber’s salt used for?

Glauber’s salt is commonly used in a variety of drugs as a laxative. In addition, in order to treat some overdose cases (such as paracetamol overdose cases), this compound is particularly useful for eliminating unnecessary drugs in the body.

Since this compound has a relatively high capacity for heat storage during its phase shift from the solid phase to the liquid phase, it is extremely useful for low-grade solar heat storage (especially in space heating applications). Glauber’s salt can also be used to make chill mats for laptop computers.

What does Glauber’s salt look like?

Glauber’s salt is considered to be a vitreous mineral with a white or colourless appearance, formed by brines containing sodium sulfate as an evaporite. Glauber’s salt can appear externally colourless, white, greenish-white, or yellowish-white. The texture can be either granular or in the form of coarse, well-formed crystals.

List some properties of Glauber’s salt.

Glauber’s salt has a molar mass of 322.2 grams/mole. Its melting point is roughly equal to 32.38 oC. This chemical compound is believed to crystallize in a monoclinic crystal structure. This compound usually undergoes dehydration when it is heated in suitable environments. At STP, the density of Glauber’s salt is equal to 1.464 grams/cm3.

To learn more about Glauber’s salt and other important chemical compounds containing sodium, such as sodium metabisulfite, register with BYJU’S and download the mobile application on your smartphone.

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