Question

# What happen to the crystals of washing soda when exposed to air? Name the phenomenon exhibited.

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Solution

## When exposed to air, sodium carbonate decahydrate (${\mathrm{Na}}_{2}{\mathrm{CO}}_{3}.10{\mathrm{H}}_{2}\mathrm{O}$) or washing soda crystal slowly loses its water of crystallisation and gets converted into white powder. ${\mathrm{Na}}_{2}{\mathrm{CO}}_{3}.10{\mathrm{H}}_{2}\mathrm{O}\stackrel{\mathrm{Air}}{\to }{\mathrm{Na}}_{2}{\mathrm{CO}}_{3}.{\mathrm{H}}_{2}\mathrm{O}+9{\mathrm{H}}_{2}\mathrm{O}\phantom{\rule{0ex}{0ex}}\mathrm{Sodium}\mathrm{carbonate}\mathrm{Sodium}\mathrm{cabonate}\phantom{\rule{0ex}{0ex}}\mathrm{decahydrate}\mathrm{monohydrate}\phantom{\rule{0ex}{0ex}}\left(\mathrm{Crystalline}\mathrm{salt}\right)\left(\mathrm{White}\mathrm{amorphous}\mathrm{powder}\right)\phantom{\rule{0ex}{0ex}}$ The phenomenon exhibited by washing soda is called efflorescence.

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