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what is sodium hydroxide

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PostSubject: what is sodium hydroxide Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:47 pm

Sometimes referred to as lye, sodium hydroxide is a chemical compound with a high alkaline content. The properties of the chemical make it ideal for use in a number of different applications, including the manufacture of cleaning products, water purification, and the manufacture of paper products. Because of the alkaline content, sodium hydroxide is a strong skin irritant, making it necessary to handle the product with great care during commercial use.

In its pure form, sodium hydroxide takes on the form of flakes or pellets that are a bright white. In this form, the chemical easily absorbs carbon dioxide from any air in the space; this makes it necessary to house the product in a container that is airtight. The fact that that sodium hydroxide is water-soluble helps to make it ideal for use in a number of liquid-based products.

This lye compound can be utilized in many different types of products used in the home as well as in manufacturing and other industrial settings. Around the house, there is a good chance that the soaps used for bathing, in the dishwasher and to do laundry contain some amount of sodium hydroxide. Household cleaners for carpeting and tile may also have some trace amounts of the compound as well. The actual amount used in these types of products is very little, making it highly unlikely that contact with the skin will result in some type of irritation.
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