Making Sodium Bicarbonate & Uses Sodium Bicarbonate

Sodium bicarbonate: Discovery, Production, Uses

Category : General Chemicals
Published by : Data Research Analyst,

Sodium bicarbonate is a salt with the composition of sodium and bicarbonate ions. It is a chemical element with formula NaHCO3. Its IUPAC name is Sodium hydrogen carbonate and its other name is baking soda, bicarb or bicarbonate of soda. It has the boiling point of 851 degree Celsius and a melting point of 50 degree Celsius.


Sodium bicarbonate has a well-off history, stretching thousands of years ago.

French chemist, Nicolas Leblanc made sodium carbonate, in 1791 which was also known as soda ash.

In the late 18th century, sodium bicarbonate was discovered as a leavening agent by bakers John Dwight and Austin Church, in New York. The first factory was established by these bakers in the US for producing baking soda out of carbon dioxide and sodium carbonate.

Currently, it is found among the list of essential medicines published by the World Health Organisation.


Solvay Process

Sodium bicarbonate is mainly produced by the Solvay process. Solvay process is sodium chloride, ammonia and carbon dioxide reaction in water.

Sodium bicarbonate can be prepared by carbon dioxide reacts with the sodium hydroxide aqueous solution. This reaction initially produces sodium carbonate.

Na2CO3 + CO2 + H2O → 2 NaHCO3

Then, adding carbon dioxide to this reaction produces sodium bicarbonate.

Na2CO3 + CO2 + H2O → 2 NaHCO3


Sodium bicarbonate is naturally found in deposits of Eocene-age Green River Formation in Colorado, Piceance Basin. During high evaporation periods in the basin, sodium bicarbonate was deposited as beds. It is mined using mining techniques like bore, drum etc.

Sodium Bicarbonate Uses:

  1. Cooking: primarily, used as a leavening agent in baking. Sometimes used for green vegetables baking to give them a bright green color.

  2. Baking powder: It is used for cooking. Baking powder contains a high level of composition of Nahcolite.

  3. Pest control: it can be used to kill insects like cockroaches and can be used to control fungal growth.

  4. Paint and corrosion removal: It is used in a process called as soda blasting to remove corrosion.

  5. Personal hygiene: Much toothpaste contains sodium bicarbonates giving better whitening and plaque removal than the toothpaste not having it. It is also used in mouthwashes. Also used as the buffering agent.

  6. Medical uses: Can be used to treat heartburn and acid indigestion along with water. Used for treatment in case of an overdose of aspirin. Can be used to get relieved from some insects bites and stings. Sodium bicarbonate can be used to get relieved from some plants allergy. It is also used to remove splinters from the skin.

  7. In sports: Used as the supplement for athletes, in speed based events.

  8. Other uses: As a cleaning agent, for alkalinity and also used as a cattle feed supplement. Also used in a fire extinguisher and for neutralization of acid and bases.