Baking Soda - Preparation, Properties And Uses

We can see various applications of chemistry that are being exhibited in every part of a household like in the bathroom, kitchen etc. One such compound is Sodium bicarbonate, which is used mainly because of its versatility, usefulness and its cheap price. Baking soda is the common name of sodium bicarbonate. The chemical formula of baking soda is NaHCO3.

What Is Baking Soda?

Baking Soda is also defined as Sodium Bicarbonate. The Medieval Egyptians first quarried Natron, a natural deposit which mainly consists of Na2CO3. They used it as soap. In the year 1971, NaHCO3 was first manufactured by a French chemist named Nicolas Leblanc. It was in the year 1846, John Dwight and Austin Church started a manufacturing unit to produce baking soda using sodium carbonate and carbon dioxide.

Preparation of Baking Soda

Solvay process is used for the production of sodium bicarbonate and sodium carbonate industrially. In this process carbon dioxide, water, ammonia and brine solution in its concentrated form, are used as raw materials. This process is used mainly because it is inexpensive and less number of raw materials are used to produce necessary chemicals. The important chemical reaction that is used in the production of baking soda and sodium carbonate is:

CO2+H­­o+NH3+Na+ → NaHCO3+NH+4

NaHCO3 → Na2CO3+CO2+H2O

Carbon dioxide produced is recycled to produce NaHCO3

Properties of Sodium Bicarbonate

  • It is non-flammable.
  • Powder dust is not as explosive.
  • It has a melting point of 500
  • NaHCO3 is a white crystalline solid which is odorless.
  • It is basic in nature.

Uses of Baking Soda

  • Reduces the acidity in the stomach
  • Acts as an antacid which is used to treat stomach upset and indigestion
  • Used in the process of washing as a water softener
  • Due to the formation of soapy foam, it is used in fire extinguishers
  • Removes the dirt off materials without damaging the properties of the material
  • Acts as a pesticide
  • Used in baking industries as carbon dioxide is generated (due to decomposition of NaHCO3)) which helps in the raising of the dough
  • It is used in ear drops, cosmetics, and personal care products
  • It is used as a neutralizer to neutralize the effect of acid

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Practise This Question

The raw materials used in solvay's process are as follows :