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Commonly Asked Questions on Sodium Hydroxide

There are many chemicals used in the industry today and one of them is sodium hydroxide, one of the strongest known chemicals, one of the most dangerous and one of the special use chemicals that requires the right handling. The following are frequently asked questions about these substances.

What is sodium hydroxide?

Sodium hydroxide is one of the strongest bases known in chemistry and also called caustic soda. It has a NaOH chemical formula. In its pure shape, it is a white crystal solid at room temperature. It dissolves in water in the process of developing heat that can be enough to cause ignition.

This strong base is very corrosive, but is found as industrial chemicals used to produce soap, rayon, paper, explosives and petroleum products. Processing of cotton fabric, manufacturing laundry and bleaching agents, processing of metals, and electroplating also use sodium hydroxide.

How does it affect the environment?

Chemistry may not last long in the environment because it is a very reactive substance and quickly reacts with other substances. When it enters a body of water, it dissociates into sodium cations and hydroxide anions forming electrolyte solution. Since it is a base, it neutralizes acids. Hence, it decreases the acidity of water or increases its alkalinity. Because of its reactive ability, it never accumulates in the environment.