What is sodium sulfate?
As you may know, sodium sulfate is one of the world’s leading commodity chemicals, its yearly output is 6 million metric tons. It exists in its anhydrous form as a white crystalline solid with the formula Na2SO4; the decahydrate, Na2SO4•10H2O, is known as Glauber’s salt or, traditionally, sal mirabilis.
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Sodium sulfate uses
Here are some of the sodium sulfate uses:
- We can dehydrate liquid organic substances with sodium sulfate.
- Powdered laundry detergent often contains it as a filler.
- As a “fining agent,” it can get rid of any loose air bubbles in the molten glass.
- A decahydrate of Glauber’s salt was employed as a laxative to flush the system of medications like acetaminophen.
- Besides being used to make starch for cow feed, it can also defrost windows, scent carpets, and make meat smell better.
- As a bonus, it finds application in producing paper pulp via the Kraft process and cleaning agents.
- Anhydrous sodium sulfate is a common drying agent used in the lab for removing tiny amounts of water from organic solutions and has no discernible effect on the substances it dries. Compared to the same drug, magnesium sulfate is more effective but slower-acting. Because it is chemically relatively inert, we use it with a wide range of materials and is almost only functional below 30 °C. In addition, we add sodium sulfate to the solution until the crystals no longer cluster together; certain crystals still do not flow freely once the sample has dried. In its decahydrate form, Glauber’s salt is a mild laxative. This process enhances particular medication elimination, such as that of paracetamol (also known as acetaminophen).
Sodium sulfate in shampoo
Sodium sulfate shampoos
Let’s talk about sodium sulfate in shampoo. Shampoo contains sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate as its primary sulfate. These sulfates provide a foaming action to clean your hair of oil and dirt through lathering. There is a significant probability that sulfates are present in your shampoo if it creates a thick, foamy lather when you use it in the shower. Sulfates, among the several cleaning agents used in shampoo, are credited with the most thorough cleaning. As cleaners, we classify them as anionic surfactants. Not everyone who consumes sulfates will experience adverse health effects. If your hair is dry, fine, or even damaged, or if you have a sensitivity to sulfates, try a different shampoo. You might feel safer just staying away from them entirely.
Sodium sulfate in food
Sodium sulfate in food is a solid white powder that dissolves in water and has a salty, sulfurous flavor. Its primary applications are as preservatives (to keep dried fruit from turning brown) and antioxidants. Since it is only used in trace amounts as a food preservative, only a tiny fraction of the population is sensitive to it and might have an allergic reaction; certain people with asthma could have a severe response if exposed. Foods that meet commodity standards CS 13-1981 and CS 57-1981 may legally include sodium sulfate.
Sodium sulfate benefits
There are various sodium sulfate benefits, and we will mention some of them below:
- Food industry: For example, sodium sulfate is used to dilute food dyes in the food sector. As an additive E number, they designate it as 514.
- Textiles: Sodium sulfate has a vital role in the textile industry. To facilitate uniform dye penetration into textile fibers, they added sodium sulfate to boost the ionic strength of the solution and so “level” or reduce the negative electrical charges on the fibers.
- Glass industry: In the glassmaking business, sodium sulfate is used as a fining agent to aid in the elimination of microscopic air bubbles in the liquid glass. To keep the glass melt from forming scum during the refining process, flux is added.
- Kraft usage: Kraft refers to the process used to create wood pulp.
- Home laundry detergents: as the filler in powdered detergents