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Monday, July 14, 2008

What is sodium hydroxide?

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Sodium hydroxide (NaOH), also known as lye, caustic soda and as sodium hydrate, is a caustic metallic base. Sodium hydroxide forms a strong alkaline solution when dissolved in a solvent such as water. It is used in many industries, mostly as a strong chemical base in the manufacture of pulp and paper, textiles, drinking water, soaps and detergents and as a drain cleaner. Worldwide production in 1998 was around 45 million tonnes. Sodium hydroxide is the most used base in chemical laboratories.

Pure sodium hydroxide is a white solid; available in pellets, flakes, granules and as a 50% saturated solution. It is deliquescent and readily absorbs more...

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