What are Sodium Hydroxide Uses, Properties, Hazards and Formula?

In Simple chemistry, the empirical formula of a compound is a positive integer of atoms that are currently present in that compound. A hydroxide is a negatively charged ion or more commonly known as Anion of Hydrogen i.e. H−, which has properties of reducing, basic or nucleotide agent. 

If we take the case of Sodium Hydroxide, which is a chemical compound, the empirical formula for this is known to be as NaH. Most of the Chemical Manufacturing Companies sell as a mixture of 60% of NaH in a mineral oil mixture. Sodium Hydroxide is commonly known as a strong base. It is a salt like Hydroxide a.k.a saline hydroxide. Because it’s Generally insoluble, every reaction happens on the solid’s surface.

#1 Sodium Hydroxide Formula

Sodium Hydroxide is mostly used a strong base as its a highly reactive hydroxide. Its formula is NaH with a mass of 24g/mol. An ionic compound that consists of Hydrogen anions which are negatively charged with Sodium cations that are positively charged. Its has a crystal structure where a sodium ion has six hydrogen ions surrounding it. Because there is free hydrogen ion, Sodium Hydroxide behaves as a strong base.

When a direct reaction between a sodium metal occurs with hydrogen gas, Sodium Hydride is produced.

2 Na + H2 → 2 NaH

#2 Sodium Hydroxide Properties

Following are the multiple properties of NaH, including physical and chemical properties:

  • Mostly colorless or White
  • The density of 1.4g/ml
  • The melting point of 1472°F
  • Readily available solid in a grey color due to how chemical manufacturers sell it
  • Highly combustible in air
  • When reacts with oxygen, produces Hydrogen gas that combustible
  • Due to contact with moisture, its hydrolyzed to NaOH
  • Insoluble in solvents

This is why it’s sold mixed with mineral oil, otherwise, it can be dangerous if not taken proper precautions.

NaH + H2O → NaOH + H2

#3 Uses Of Sodium Hydroxide

A process where hydrogen ion is removed from a molecule is known as Depredation. Sodium hydroxide is readily used for depredation. NaH is also known for its high reducing agent properties. 

In a reduction process, a reducing agent is a compound that loses an electron to another element while being oxidized. Some scientists and engineers are also looking forward to using it as a storage for hydrogen in future hydrogen run vehicles as it has the ability to lose its hydrogen easily.

#4 Health Issues Related to Sodium Hydroxide

NaH is highly flammable, so keeping it out of reach from the atmosphere unless intended to be out. It’s also violent and explosive when comes in contact with air and water, so keeping it away from these things is an absolute. It can form a more dangerous and compound, sodium hydroxide, that has a very strong base and highly flammable hydrogen gas.

Coming into direct contact is highly dangerous as it can burn your skin & eyes. The sodium hydroxide dust can irritate the eyes and can damage the respiratory system, so keeping it away and using it with precaution whenever required is the best step to handle it. 

If you come into direct contact and precautions are not taken if they start irritating, there is a possibility of a loss of vision as well. If sodium Hydroxide comes in contact with the skin it can not only irritate the skin but can burn the skin as well.

If swallowed it can do some heavy damage to the organs inside. It can develop bronchitis, cough, Phlegm & breath shortening. Any exposure to this chemical should be routinely examined as that’s necessary to keep the workplace safe. See a doctor immediately if you work in a similar field and experience the aforementioned symptoms.

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