For over 5,000 years, base chemical compounds like sodium hydroxide have been of great importance to humankind.Prior to the Industrial Revolution, this compound was used primarily in soap manufacturing; however, interest in this chemical compound has increased due to its role in the manufacturing of steel and glass. Finding and developing new methods to produce sodium hydroxide on a larger scale is crucial.
In the late nineteenth century, it was known that some substances would break down via electrolysis (the passing of an electric current through a solution). A solution of salt (NaCl) can be broken down with the use of an electric current into sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and chlorine (Cl2). Using this method, however, presented two problems:
1. Large-scale electrical energy distribution was not widely available.
2. Few uses for the chlorine produced by this chemical reaction were known.
The first problem was resolved in the early twentieth century by improved electrical production and distribution methods. The second was resolved as new uses for chlorine were discovered.
The following table shows the main derivatives of salt from the basic electrochemical reaction of Chloroalkali.
|Products and their uses|
|Sodium Chloride Salt Na+CL||Na+
Soda Production Na+
|Mineral feed for animals.
Fire extinguisher powder.
Desulfurization of steel
Fire Extinguisher Powders