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What is Sodium Chloride? – Definition, Preparation, Properties, Uses

  • Last Updated : 10 Nov, 2021

Salt’s chemical name is sodium chloride. Sodium is an electrolyte that regulates your body’s water content. Sodium is also involved in nerve impulses and muscle contractions. Sodium chloride is a medication used to treat or prevent sodium loss caused by dehydration, excessive sweating, or other factors.

What is Sodium Chloride (or Common Salt)?

It is an ionic compound with a 1:1 ratio of sodium and chloride ions. It is also known as table salt, common salt, or halite (the mineral form of common salt). 

The salt is primarily responsible for the salinity of seawater and the extracellular fluid found in many multicellular organisms. It is used in everything from household to industrial processes. This salt is abundant in seawater. The chemical formula of sodium chloride is NaCl

Occurrence of Sodium Chloride (NaCl)

Almost all chemical compounds containing chlorine or sodium are derived from salts. It is widely distributed in nature. Salt is a significant component of the dissolved materials in seawater. Mineral halite can be used to produce pure salt. Mining the deposits yields sodium chloride, and passing water through the deposits yields brine solution. As a result, the salts dissolve and the solution is pumped out. 

One of the major processes used to obtain salt is the evaporation of seawater, which is most widely practised in countries such as India. Impurities such as calcium sulphate, sodium sulphate, and others are commonly found in the crystals obtained. Pure crystals are created by dissolving the salts in a small amount of water and filtering the solution.

Preparation of Sodium Chloride (NaCl)

Currently, salt is mass-produced by evaporating seawater or brine from brine wells and salt lakes. Mining for rock salt is another significant source. China is the world’s largest producer of salt. Potassium mining also produces salt as a byproduct. Sodium and chlorine react to form a substance known to almost everyone on the planet: sodium chloride, also known as table salt or common salt.

2Na(s) + Cl2(g) →  2NaCl(s)

Properties of Sodium Chloride (NaCl)

  1. It is easily soluble in water and only partially or completely soluble in other liquids.
  2. They are white crystals with no odour but a distinct taste.
  3. Because of the free movement of the ions, NaCl is a good conductor of electricity in its aqueous state.
  4. It has a melting point of 801 degrees Celsius and a boiling point of 1413 degrees Celsius.

Uses of Sodium Chloride (NaCl)

  • It is widely used in the food industry as a preservative and flavour enhancer.
  • It is a key raw material in the industrial production of a variety of chemicals such as sodium carbonate and sodium hydrogen carbonate.
  • This salt is used in the manufacture of glass.
  • It is used in cold countries to prevent the formation of ice on roads, bridges, and other structures, which is critical for safe driving conditions.
  • Many chemicals, which consume the majority of the world’s production, are made with salt, either directly or indirectly.
  • In the Solvay process, sodium chloride is used to produce sodium carbonate and calcium chloride. Sodium carbonate is then used to make glass, sodium bicarbonate, dyes, and a variety of other chemicals.
  • Salt is an important component of drilling fluids in good drilling in oil and gas exploration. To overcome high down well gas pressures, it is used to flocculate and increase the density of the drilling fluid. When a drill encounters a salt formation, salt is added to the drilling fluid to saturate the solution and reduce dissolution within the salt stratum.
  • Salt is used in textiles and dyeing as a brine rinse to separate organic contaminants, to promote salting out of dyestuff precipitates, and to standardize concentrated dyes.
  • It is also used in the manufacturing of aluminium, beryllium, copper, steel, and vanadium. Salt is used to bleach wood pulp in the pulp and paper industry. It is also used in the production of sodium chlorate, which is combined with sulfuric acid and water to produce chlorine dioxide, an excellent oxygen-based bleaching chemical.
  • Salt is added to animal hides during tanning and leather treatment to inhibit microbial activity on the underside of the hides and to attract moisture back into the hides.
  • Salt is used in the production of buna, neoprene, and white rubber. To coagulate an emulsified latex made of chlorinated butadiene, salt brine and sulfuric acid are used.
  • Salt is also used to stabilize the soil and provide firmness to the foundations on which highways are built.
  • Because of its hygroscopic qualities, sodium chloride is occasionally employed as a low-cost and safe desiccant, making salting a viable food preservation strategy.

Sample Questions 

Question 1: What is the use of sodium chloride?

Solution:

Sodium chloride (NaCl), also known as salt, is the basic compound used by our bodies to digest and transport nutrients. Blood pressure maintenance. Maintaining the proper fluid balance.

Question 2: Does sodium chloride kill bacteria?

Solution:

Sodium chloride is not only useful for a variety of purposes, but it is also an effective antibacterial agent. An antibacterial agent is one that inhibits the growth and multiplication of bacteria.

Question 3: What are the uses of the saline solution?

Solution:

Regular saline is the most common name for saline solution, though it is also known as isotonic or physiological saline. Saline has numerous medical applications. It’s used to clean wounds, clear sinuses, and treat dehydration. It can be applied topically or intravenously.

Question 4: What are the properties of common salt?

Solution:

  • It is easily soluble in water and only partially or completely soluble in other liquids.
  • They are white crystals with no odour but a distinct taste.
  • Because of the free movement of the ions, NaCl is a good conductor of electricity in its aqueous state.
  • It has a melting point of 801 degrees Celsius and a boiling point of 1413 degrees Celsius.

Question 5: How is common salt used in the oil and gas industry?

Solution:

Salt is an important component of drilling fluids in well drilling in oil and gas exploration. To overcome high downwell gas pressures, it is used to flocculate and increase the density of the drilling fluid. When a drill encounters a salt formation, salt is added to the drilling fluid to saturate the solution and reduce dissolution within the salt stratum.

Question 6: What is the importance of Common Salt in Humans?

Answer:

Sodium, as an electrolyte and osmotic solute, is an essential nutrient for human health. Excessive salt consumption in children and adults may increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension. Salt’s health effects have long been studied.

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