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NaOH is the chemical name for Sodium Hydroxide, which is also commonly referred to as Caustic Soda, Caustic or Lye. All these names refer to the same product. The history of NaOH can be traced back to Ancient Babylon when documented evidence indicates that it was used in the very earliest soap-making processes.
Today NaOH has a wide range of uses both in the home and on an industrial scale. It is perhaps most commonly found in the home as a component of household drain cleaners. When NaOH or Caustic is mixed with water, there is a strong reaction which generates heat; this reaction in known chemically as an 'exothermic' reaction. This reaction of Sodium Hydroxide or NaOH with water, is used to help to readily dissolve oil, fats, grease and hair. Hence, its wide use as a drain cleaner.
In industry, NaOH has a wider range of uses - you may be surprised to know that Caustic is used to thicken ice-cream, in the preparation of fruit and vegetables, in the manfacture of aluminium and in paper-making processes.
NaOH is produced using a variety of methods, some of which include the Castner-Kellner or Mercury Cell process, the Membrane Cell Process and the Diaphragm Cell process. Further details of all these methods can be found of the relevant pages of this website.
Sodium Hydroxide packaging, Sodium Hydroxide labelling and transporting of Sodium Hydroxide are all governed by strict legislation, as NaOH is classified as a 'Corrosive' substance which can cause serious burns to eyes, skin and internal organs. It is essential that all potential Sodium Hydroxide hazards are clearly read and understood before handling or using this product. Further details of packaging, labelling, transporting and hazards can be found on the relevant web pages of this site.
NaOH or Sodium Hydroxide is available in solid form where it generally appears as flake or pellets; these materials are also classed as highly 'Corrosive' and should be treated with the same respect as other forms of NaOH.
http://www.sodium-hydroxide.co.uk/naoh | Saved Friday, November 18th, 2011 - 6:06 AM