Which gas is released when NaOH is dissolved?
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NaOH • aq
Sodium hydroxide solution
density (Solution 10%)
39.997 g / mol (NaOH)
1.4299 g / cm3
1.1089 g / cm3
mixable in any ratio
Colorless, slightly viscous solution in higher concentrations
Use a plastic stopper and a suitable plastic bottle
Author's recommendations: For simple student experiments, it is recommended to use only the 3% solution. A 10% solution can also be used for experienced students in laboratory internships. The use of dilute solutions is also recommended in practical courses in upper school. Protective goggles, protective gowns and protective gloves are necessary at all concentrations. Even with dilute caustic soda there is the danger that you will miss a drop on a finger and rub your eyes with it later. This can cause serious eye irritation or serious damage. Therefore, after every work, hands and the workplace should be washed thoroughly with plenty of water, even with diluted caustic soda.
Risk assessment Germany (also EU)
GBU Working with sodium hydroxide and caustic soda
Security assessment of Switzerland
SB Working with sodium hydroxide and caustic soda
Caustic soda is corrosive to the skin and, even in relatively low concentrations, can damage the cornea and cause serious eye damage, including blindness.
Sodium hydroxide is the name given to the aqueous, alkaline solution of sodium hydroxide. The dilution with water takes place with the development of heat. The concentrated caustic soda is a relatively heavy liquid.
When wood is stained or leached, the brown pigment in the wood is destroyed. In this way, old layers of paint can also be stripped off and old cabinets refreshed. Caution is advised when working with caustic soda on table tops, because even small splashes can cause significant color changes. If caustic soda is left in the air for a long time, it absorbs carbon dioxide from the air and gradually converts to sodium carbonate solution:
With hydrochloric acid, sodium chloride and water are formed in a neutralization reaction. When diluted with water, the density of caustic soda decreases. The specification for the density is important if you want to produce a dilute solution from a concentrated solution. In schools, concentrations of 3, 10 and 32 percent by mass, as well as the solutions 0.1 mol / l and 1 mol / l are most often required:
|Concentration, mass percentage||Concentration, amount of substance||description||Density at 20 ° C|
|50 %||19.068 mol / l||concentrated||1.5253 g / cm3|
|40 %||14.300 mol / l||concentrated||1.4299 g / cm3|
|32 %||10.791 mol / l||concentrated||1.3488 g / cm3|
|30 %||9.958 mol / l||concentrated||1.3277 g / cm3|
|20 %||6.096 mol / l||diluted||1.2192 g / cm3|
|10 %||2.772 mol / l||diluted||1.1089 g / cm3|
|3,9 %||1.0 mol / l||1 molar||1.04 g / cm3|
|3 %||0.774 mol / l||diluted||1.0318 g / cm3|
|0,4 %||0.1 mol / l||0.1 molar||1.00 g / cm3|
If you put 10% caustic soda on the aluminum foil common in the household, this decomposes in a stormy reaction with the formation of sodium hydroxoaluminate and hydrogen. During the reaction, the aluminum foil is completely dissolved, giving off heat.
10% sodium hydroxide solution is applied to an aluminum foil
given. Little happens at first.
Then suddenly a stormy gas forms,
and the film dissolves.
NaOH + H2O N / A+ + OH− + H2O
Balance and a volumetric flask to produce precise concentrations
Sodium hydroxide is added to heated coconut oil, and curd soap forms after stirring.
Caustic soda is also used to clean oil and grease residues and to strip wood. In aluminum production it is used to break down bauxite, in paper production it is used to break down wood and straw fibers. The chemical industry needs them to produce sodium compounds. When dyeing the vat with indigo, caustic soda is also necessary.
Further information and media
The term lye and base
Demonstrations on the corrosivity of the fabrics
Working with drain cleaners in the household (including videos)
Student exercise: making curd soap using the hot method
Student exercise: Soap making by the cold process
Student exercise: dyeing with indigo
Manufacture of a pigment from vegetable dyes
Student exercise: the titration of caustic soda
Workbook: acids, alkalis, salts (for grades 8 or 9)
Digital foils: acids, bases, salts
Create an individual book: Basic text sodium hydroxide and caustic soda
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