What is Sodium Bicarbonate and Uses


Sodium bicarbonate, with the chemical formula NaHCO3, is the white powder widely known as baking
. A similar compound is sodium carbonate (Na2CO3), used as a cleaning agent or an additive during
clothes washing. The basic test for the presence of carbonate salts is a reaction with a diluted acid
solution that leads to release of bubbles of the gas carbon dioxide and follows the reaction: NaHCO3 +
HCl = NaCl + H2O + CO2. An additional test is required to distinguish between sodium bicarbonate and
sodium carbonate.
Weigh approximately 2 g of the sample and put the substance in the beaker.
Pour approximately 10 ml of the distilled water into the beaker. Mix the solution with the spoon until the
salt dissolves completely.
Pour the half of the solution into the second beaker.
Using a plastic pipette, add about 2 ml of the hydrochloric acid solution into the first beaker. If bubbles of
the gas (carbon dioxide) intensely evolve during the reaction, then the sample is a carbonate salt
(NaHCO3 or Na2CO3); proceed to the next step.
Cut a piece of the hydrion pH paper about 1.5 inches long.
Holding one end of the paper strip, dip the other end into the solution in the second beaker for 1 to 2
seconds, and then take it out. The part of the paper that has been in the solution will change color.
Compare the color of the pH paper with the pH scale typically printed on the pH paper pack and assign
pH of the solution accordingly. If pH is around 8, the sample is sodium bicarbonate. If pH is in the range
9.5 to 10, it is sodium carbonate

Carbonate— Carbonates and bicarbonates effervesce with acids, evolving a colorless gas that,
when passed into calcium hydroxide TS, produces a white precipitate immediately. A cold
solution (1 in 20) of a soluble carbonate is colored red by phenolphthalein TS, while a similar
solution of a bicarbonate remains unchanged or is only slightly colored.


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