Sodium chloride as the mineral halite
Crystal structure with sodium in purple and chloride in green
| IUPAC name |
|Other names |
3D model (JSmol)
CompTox Dashboard (EPA)
|Molar mass||58.443 g/mol|
|Appearance||Colorless cubic crystals|
|Melting point||800.7 °C (1,473.3 °F; 1,073.8 K)|
|Boiling point||1,465 °C (2,669 °F; 1,738 K)|
|Solubility in ammonia||21.5 g/L|
|Solubility in methanol||14.9 g/L|
Refractive index (nD)
|1.5441 (at 589 nm)|
|Face-centered cubic |
(see text), cF8
|Fm3m, No. 225|
a = 564.02 pm
Heat capacity (C)
Std enthalpy of
|A12CA01 ( WHO ) B05CB01 ( WHO ), B05XA03 ( WHO ), S01XA03 ( WHO )|
|Safety data sheet||See: data page|
|Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):|
LD50 (median dose)
|3 g/kg (oral, rats)|
| Sodium fluoride |
| Lithium chloride |
|Supplementary data page|
| Refractive index (n),|
Dielectric constant (εr), etc.
| Phase behaviour |
|UV, IR, NMR, MS|
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Sodium chloride /
Sea salt is salt that is produced by the evaporation of seawater. It is used as a seasoning in foods, cooking, cosmetics and for preserving food. It is also called bay salt, solar salt, or salt. Like mined rock salt, production of sea salt has been dated to prehistoric times. There is no scientific evidence that consuming sea salt instead of more refined sodium chloride salts has any health benefit.
In chemistry, a salt is a solid chemical compound consisting of an ionic assembly of cations and anions. Salts are composed of related numbers of cations and anions so that the product is electrically neutral. These component ions can be inorganic, such as chloride (Cl−), or organic, such as acetate ; and can be monatomic, such as fluoride (F−), or polyatomic, such as sulfate.
In chemistry, an ionic compound is a chemical compound composed of ions held together by electrostatic forces termed ionic bonding. The compound is neutral overall, but consists of positively charged ions called cations and negatively charged ions called anions. These can be simple ions such as the sodium (Na+) and chloride (Cl−) in sodium chloride, or polyatomic species such as the ammonium (NH+
4) and carbonate (CO2−
3) ions in ammonium carbonate. Individual ions within an ionic compound usually have multiple nearest neighbours, so are not considered to be part of molecules, but instead part of a continuous three-dimensional network, usually in a crystalline structure.
In addition to the familiar domestic uses of salt, more dominant applications of the approximately 250 megatons per year production (2008 data) include chemicals and de-icing.
Salt is used, directly or indirectly, in the production of many chemicals, which consume most of the world's production.
It is the starting point for the chloralkali process, which provides the world with chlorine and sodium hydroxide according to the chemical equation
The chloralkali process is an industrial process for the electrolysis of sodium chloride solutions. It is the technology used to produce chlorine and sodium hydroxide, which are commodity chemicals required by industry. 35 million tons of chlorine were prepared by this process in 1987. Industrial scale production began in 1892.
Chlorine is a chemical element with the symbol Cl and atomic number 17. The second-lightest of the halogens, it appears between fluorine and bromine in the periodic table and its properties are mostly intermediate between them. Chlorine is a yellow-green gas at room temperature. It is an extremely reactive element and a strong oxidising agent: among the elements, it has the highest electron affinity and the third-highest electronegativity on the Pauling scale, behind only oxygen and fluorine.
Sodium hydroxide, also known as lye and caustic soda, is an inorganic compound with the formula NaOH. It is a white solid ionic compound consisting of sodium cations Na+
and hydroxide anions OH−
This electrolysis is conducted in either a mercury cell, a diaphragm cell, or a membrane cell. Each of those use a different method to separate the chlorine from the sodium hydroxide. Other technologies are under development due to the high energy consumption of the electrolysis, whereby small improvements in the efficiency can have large economic paybacks. Some applications of chlorine include PVC, disinfectants, and solvents. Sodium hydroxide enables industries that produce paper, soap, and aluminium.
Sodium chloride is used in the Solvay process to produce sodium carbonate and calcium chloride. Sodium carbonate, in turn, is used to produce glass, sodium bicarbonate, and dyes, as well as a myriad of other chemicals. In the Mannheim process and in the Hargreaves process, sodium chloride is used for the production of sodium sulfate and hydrochloric acid.
The Solvay process or ammonia-soda process is the major industrial process for the production of sodium carbonate (soda ash, Na2CO3). The ammonia-soda process was developed into its modern form by Ernest Solvay during the 1860s. The ingredients for this are readily available and inexpensive: salt brine (from inland sources or from the sea) and limestone (from quarries). The worldwide production of soda ash in 2005 has been estimated at 42 million metric tons, which is more than six kilograms (13 lb) per year for each person on Earth. Solvay-based chemical plants now produce roughly three-quarters of this supply, with the remainig being mined from natural deposits. This method superseded the Leblanc process.
Sodium carbonate, Na2CO3, (also known as washing soda, soda ash and soda crystals) is the inorganic compound with the formula Na2CO3 and its various hydrates. All forms are white, water-soluble salts. All forms have a strongly alkaline taste and give moderately alkaline solutions in water. Historically it was extracted from the ashes of plants growing in sodium-rich soils. Because the ashes of these sodium-rich plants were noticeably different from ashes of wood (once used to produce potash), sodium carbonate became known as "soda ash". It is produced in large quantities from sodium chloride and limestone by the Solvay process.
Calcium chloride is an inorganic compound, a salt with the chemical formula CaCl2. It is a white coloured crystalline solid at room temperature, highly soluble in water. It can be created by neutralising hydrochloric acid with calcium hydroxide.
Sodium chloride has an international standard that is created by ASTM International. The standard is named ASTM E534-13 and is the standard test methods for chemical analysis of sodium chloride. These methods listed provide procedures for analyzing sodium chloride to determine whether it is suitable for its intended use and application.
Sodium chloride is heavily used, so even relatively minor applications can consume massive quantities. In oil and gas exploration, salt is an important component of drilling fluids in well drilling. It is used to flocculate and increase the density of the drilling fluid to overcome high downwell gas pressures. Whenever a drill hits a salt formation, salt is added to the drilling fluid to saturate the solution in order to minimize the dissolution within the salt stratum.Salt is also used to increase the curing of concrete in cemented casings.
In textiles and dyeing, salt is used as a brine rinse to separate organic contaminants, to promote "salting out" of dyestuff precipitates, and to blend with concentrated dyes to standardize[ clarification needed ] them. One of its main roles is to provide the positive ion charge to promote the absorption of negatively charged ions of dyes.
It is also used in processing aluminium, beryllium, copper, steel and vanadium. In the pulp and paper industry, salt is used to bleach wood pulp. It also is used to make sodium chlorate, which is added along with sulfuric acid and water to manufacture chlorine dioxide, an excellent oxygen-based bleaching chemical. The chlorine dioxide process, which originated in Germany after World War I, is becoming more popular because of environmental pressures to reduce or eliminate chlorinated bleaching compounds. In tanning and leather treatment, salt is added to animal hides to inhibit microbial activity on the underside of the hides and to attract moisture back into the hides.
In rubber manufacture, salt is used to make buna, neoprene and white rubber types. Salt brine and sulfuric acid are used to coagulate an emulsified latex made from chlorinated butadiene.
Salt also is added to secure the soil and to provide firmness to the foundation on which highways are built. The salt acts to minimize the effects of shifting caused in the subsurface by changes in humidity and traffic load.
Sodium chloride is sometimes used as a cheap and safe desiccant because of its hygroscopic properties, making salting an effective method of food preservation historically; the salt draws water out of bacteria through osmotic pressure, keeping it from reproducing, a major source of food spoilage. Even though more effective desiccants are available, few are safe for humans to ingest.
Hard water contains calcium and magnesium ions that interfere with action of soap and contribute to the buildup of a scale or film of alkaline mineral deposits in household and industrial equipment and pipes. Commercial and residential water-softening units use ion-exchange resins to remove the offending ions that cause the hardness. These resins are generated and regenerated using sodium chloride.
The second major application of salt is for de-icing and anti-icing of roads, both in grit bins and spread by winter service vehicles. In anticipation of snowfall, roads are optimally "anti-iced" with brine (concentrated solution of salt in water), which prevents bonding between the snow-ice and the road surface. This procedure obviates the heavy use of salt after the snowfall. For de-icing, mixtures of brine and salt are used, sometimes with additional agents such as calcium chloride and/or magnesium chloride. The use of salt or brine becomes ineffective below −10 °C (14 °F).
Salt for de-icing in the United Kingdom predominantly comes from a single mine in Winsford in Cheshire. Prior to distribution it is mixed with <100 ppm of sodium ferrocyanide as an anti-caking agent, which enables rock salt to flow freely out of the gritting vehicles despite being stockpiled prior to use. In recent years this additive has also been used in table salt. Other additives had been used in road salt to reduce the total costs. For example, in the US, a byproduct carbohydrate solution from sugar-beet processing was mixed with rock salt and adhered to road surfaces about 40% better than loose rock salt alone. Because it stayed on the road longer, the treatment did not have to be repeated several times, saving time and money.
In the technical terms of physical chemistry, the minimum freezing point of a water-salt mixture is −21.12 °C (−6.02 °F) for 23.31 wt% of salt. Freezing near this concentration is however so slow that the eutectic point of −22.4 °C (−8.3 °F) can be reached with about 25 wt% of salt.
Road salt ends up in fresh-water bodies and could harm aquatic plants and animals by disrupting their osmoregulation ability. mg/m2 soluble salts measured as sodium chloride. These measurements are done by means of a Bresle test. Salinization (increasing salinity, aka freshwater salinization syndrome) and subsequent increased metal leaching is an ongoing problem throughout North America and European fresh waterways.The omnipresence of salt poses a problem in any coastal coating application, as trapped salts cause great problems in adhesion. Naval authorities and ship builders monitor the salt concentrations on surfaces during construction. Maximal salt concentrations on surfaces are dependent on the authority and application. The IMO regulation is mostly used and sets salt levels to a maximum of 50
In highway de-icing, salt has been associated with corrosion of bridge decks, motor vehicles, reinforcement bar and wire, and unprotected steel structures used in road construction. Surface runoff, vehicle spraying, and windblown actions also affect soil, roadside vegetation, and local surface water and groundwater supplies. Although evidence of environmental loading of salt has been found during peak usage, the spring rains and thaws usually dilute the concentrations of sodium in the area where salt was applied.A 2009 study found that approximately 70% of the road salt being applied in the Minneapolis-St Paul metro area is retained in the local watershed.
Some agencies are substituting beer, molasses, and beet juice instead of road salt.Airlines utilize more glycol and sugar rather than salt based solutions for de-icing.
Many microorganisms cannot live in an overly salty environment: water is drawn out of their cells by osmosis. For this reason salt is used to preserve some foods, such as bacon, fish, or cabbage.
Salt is added to food, either by the food producer or by the consumer, as a flavor enhancer, preservative, binder, fermentation-control additive, texture-control agent and color developer. The salt consumption in the food industry is subdivided, in descending order of consumption, into other food processing, meat packers, canning, baking, dairy and grain mill products. Salt is added to promote color development in bacon, ham and other processed meat products. As a preservative, salt inhibits the growth of bacteria. Salt acts as a binder in sausages to form a binding gel made up of meat, fat, and moisture. Salt also acts as a flavor enhancer and as a tenderizer.
In many dairy industries, salt is added to cheese as a color-, fermentation-, and texture-control agent. The dairy subsector includes companies that manufacture creamery butter, condensed and evaporated milk, frozen desserts, ice cream, natural and processed cheese, and specialty dairy products. In canning, salt is primarily added as a flavor enhancer and preservative. It also is used as a carrier for other ingredients, dehydrating agent, enzyme inhibitor and tenderizer. In baking, salt is added to control the rate of fermentation in bread dough. It also is used to strengthen the gluten (the elastic protein-water complex in certain doughs) and as a flavor enhancer, such as a topping on baked goods. The food-processing category also contains grain mill products. These products consist of milling flour and rice and manufacturing cereal breakfast food and blended or prepared flour. Salt is also used a seasoning agent, e.g. in potato chips, pretzels, cat and dog food.
Sodium chloride is used in veterinary medicine as emesis-causing agent. It is given as warm saturated solution. Emesis can also be caused by pharyngeal placement of small amount of plain salt or salt crystals.
Sodium chloride is used together with water as one of the primary solutions for intravenous therapy. Nasal spray often contains a saline solution.
Sodium chloride is the principal extinguishing agent in fire extinguishers (Met-L-X, Super D) used on combustible metal fires such as magnesium, potassium, sodium, and NaK alloys (Class D). Thermoplastic powder is added to the mixture, along with waterproofing (metal stearates) and anti-caking materials (tricalcium phosphate) to form the extinguishing agent. When it is applied to the fire, the salt acts like a heat sink, dissipating heat from the fire, and also forms an oxygen-excluding crust to smother the fire. The plastic additive melts and helps the crust maintain its integrity until the burning metal cools below its ignition temperature. This type of extinguisher was invented in the late 1940s as a cartridge-operated unit, although stored pressure versions are now popular. Common sizes are 30 pounds (14 kg) portable and 350 pounds (160 kg) wheeled.
Since at least medieval times, people have used salt as a cleansing agent rubbed on household surfaces. It is also used in many brands of shampoo, toothpaste and popularly to de-ice driveways and patches of ice.
Defect-free NaCl crystals have an optical transmittance of about 90% for infrared light, specifically between 200 nm and 20 µm. They were therefore used in optical components (windows and prisms) operating in that spectral range, where few non-absorbing alternatives exist and where requirements for absence of microscopic inhomogeneities are less strict than in the visible range. While inexpensive, NaCl crystals are soft and hygroscopic – when exposed to the ambient air, they gradually cover with "frost". This limits application of NaCl to dry environments, vacuum sealed assembly areas or for short-term uses such as prototyping. Nowadays materials like zinc selenide (ZnSe), which are stronger mechanically and are less sensitive to moisture, are used instead of NaCl for the infrared spectral range.
In solid sodium chloride, each ion is surrounded by six ions of the opposite charge as expected on electrostatic grounds. The surrounding ions are located at the vertices of a regular octahedron. In the language of close-packing, the larger chloride ions are arranged in a cubic array whereas the smaller sodium ions fill all the cubic gaps (octahedral voids) between them. This same basic structure is found in many other compounds and is commonly known as the halite or rock-salt crystal structure. It can be represented as a face-centered cubic (fcc) lattice with a two-atom basis or as two interpenetrating face centered cubic lattices. The first atom is located at each lattice point, and the second atom is located halfway between lattice points along the fcc unit cell edge.
Solid sodium chloride has a melting point of 801 °C. Thermal conductivity of sodium chloride as a function of temperature has a maximum of 2.03 W/(cm K) at 8 K (−265.15 °C; −445.27 °F) and decreases to 0.069 at 314 K (41 °C; 106 °F). It also decreases with doping.
|Solubility of NaCl|
(g NaCl / 1 kg of solvent at 25 °C (77 °F))
The attraction between the Na+ and Cl− ions in the solid is so strong that only highly polar solvents like water dissolve NaCl well.
When dissolved in water, the sodium chloride framework disintegrates as the Na+ and Cl− ions become surrounded by the polar water molecules. These solutions consist of metal aquo complex with the formula [Na(H2O)8]+, with the Na–O distance of 250 pm. The chloride ions are also strongly solvated, each being surrounded by an average of 6 molecules of water. −21.12 °C (−6.02 °F) for 23.31 wt% of salt, and the boiling point of saturated salt solution is near 108.7 °C (227.7 °F). From cold solutions, salt crystallises as the dihydrate NaCl·2H2O.Solutions of sodium chloride have very different properties from pure water. The freezing point is
The pH of a sodium chloride solution remains ≈7 due to the extremely weak basicity of the Cl− ion, which is the conjugate base of the strong acid HCl. In other words, NaCl has no effect on system pHin diluted solutions where the effects of ionic strength and activity coefficients are negligible.
Common salt has a 1:1 molar ratio of sodium and chlorine. In 2013, compounds of sodium and chloride of different stoichiometries have been discovered; five new compounds were predicted (e.g., Na3Cl, Na2Cl, Na3Cl2, NaCl3, and NaCl7). The existence of some of them has been experimentally confirmed at high pressures: cubic and orthorhombic NaCl3 and two-dimensional metallic tetragonal Na3Cl. This indicates that compounds violating chemical intuition are possible, in simple systems under nonambient conditions.
Small particles of sea salt are the dominant cloud condensation nuclei far out at sea, which allow the formation of clouds in otherwise non-polluted air.
Salt is currently mass-produced by evaporation of seawater or brine from brine wells and salt lakes. Mining of rock salt is also a major source. China is the world's main supplier of salt.In 2017, world production was estimated at 280 million tonnes, the top five producers (in million tonnes) being China (68.0), United States (43.0), India (26.0), Germany (13.0), and Canada (13.0). Salt is also a byproduct of potassium mining.
Although it forms easily through the combination of its component elements sodium and chlorine
2Na(s) + Cl2(g) → 2NaCl (s)
in a combustive reaction that releases about 411 kilojoules of energy per mole of the compound it is practically never intentionally so created due to the violence of such a reaction unless to measure properties of such a reaction.
Neutralization of the strong base sodium hydroxide and the strong acid hydrochloric acid also form solutions of sodium chloride, reversing the energy-absorbing process of electrolysis that make both sodium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid more costly than sodium chloride -- and requires the evaporation of water from the solution, which is not practical. Likewise it forms from many reactions involving solutes that allow sodium chloride as the remaining solute in solution after a reaction between a metallic chloride (most are soluble) and such a salt as sodium carbonate (one of few water-soluble carbonates) as an insoluble carbonate.
Thus the addition of ferrous chloride into a solution of sodium carbonate or sodium carbonate into a solution of ferrous chloride leads to the precipitation of ferrous carbonate with sodium chloride remaining in the solution.
Sodium chloride is available so cheaply that it need never be synthesized.
The chloride ion is the anion Cl−. It is formed when the element chlorine gains an electron or when a compound such as hydrogen chloride is dissolved in water or other polar solvents. Chloride salts such as sodium chloride are often very soluble in water. It is an essential electrolyte located in all body fluids responsible for maintaining acid/base balance, transmitting nerve impulses and regulating fluid in and out of cells. Less frequently, the word chloride may also form part of the "common" name of chemical compounds in which one or more chlorine atoms are covalently bonded. For example, methyl chloride, with the standard name chloromethane is an organic compound with a covalent C−Cl bond in which the chlorine is not an anion.
Brine is a high-concentration solution of salt in water. In different contexts, brine may refer to salt solutions ranging from about 3.5% up to about 26%. Lower levels of concentration are called by different names: fresh water, brackish water, and saline water.
Potassium chloride is a metal halide salt composed of potassium and chlorine. It is odorless and has a white or colorless vitreous crystal appearance. The solid dissolves readily in water and its solutions have a salt-like taste. KCl is used as a fertilizer, in medicine, in scientific applications, and in food processing, where it may be known as E number additive E508.
Sodium hypochlorite is a chemical compound with the formula NaOCl or NaClO, comprising a sodium cation and a hypochlorite anion. It may also be viewed as the sodium salt of hypochlorous acid. The anhydrous compound is unstable and may decompose explosively. It can be crystallized as a pentahydrate NaOCl·5H
2O, a pale greenish-yellow solid which is not explosive and is stable if kept refrigerated.
Potassium hydroxide is an inorganic compound with the formula KOH, and is commonly called caustic potash.
An electrolytic cell is an electrochemical cell that drives a non-spontaneous redox reaction through the application of electrical energy. They are often used to decompose chemical compounds, in a process called electrolysis—the Greek word lysis means to break up.
Magnesium chloride is the name for the chemical compound with the formula MgCl2 and its various hydrates MgCl2(H2O)x. These salts are typical ionic halides, being highly soluble in water. The hydrated magnesium chloride can be extracted from brine or sea water. In North America, magnesium chloride is produced primarily from Great Salt Lake brine. It is extracted in a similar process from the Dead Sea in the Jordan Valley. Magnesium chloride, as the natural mineral bischofite, is also extracted (by solution mining) out of ancient seabeds, for example, the Zechstein seabed in northwest Europe. Some magnesium chloride is made from solar evaporation of seawater. Anhydrous magnesium chloride is the principal precursor to magnesium metal, which is produced on a large scale. Hydrated magnesium chloride is the form most readily available.
Barium chloride is the inorganic compound with the formula BaCl2. It is one of the most common water-soluble salts of barium. Like most other barium salts, it is white, toxic, and imparts a yellow-green coloration to a flame. It is also hygroscopic, converting first to the dihydrate BaCl2(H2O)2. It has limited use in the laboratory and industry.
Sodium sulfite (sodium sulphite) is a soluble sodium salt of sulfurous acid (sulfite) with the chemical formula Na2SO3. It is used as a preservative to prevent dried fruit from discoloring, and for preserving meats, and is used in the same way as sodium thiosulfate to convert elemental halogens to their respective hydrohalic acids, in photography and for reducing chlorine levels in pools. In boiler systems, sulfite and bisulfite are the most commonly employed oxygen scavengers used to prevent pitting corrosion. Sodium sulfite is also a byproduct of sulfur dioxide scrubbing, a part of the flue-gas desulfurization process.
Salt water chlorination is a process that uses dissolved salt as a store for the chlorination system. The chlorine generator uses electrolysis in the presence of dissolved salt (NaCl) to produce chlorine gas (Cl2) or its dissolved forms -hypochlorous acid (HClO) / sodium hypochlorite (NaClO)- which is the sanitizing agent already commonly used in swimming pools. Hydrogen is produced as byproduct too. As such, a saltwater pool is not actually chlorine-free; it simply utilizes added salt and a chlorine generator instead of direct addition of chlorine.
Electrolysed water is produced by the electrolysis of ordinary tap water containing dissolved sodium chloride. The electrolysis of such salt solutions produces a solution of hypochlorous acid and sodium hydroxide. The resulting water is a known cleanser and disinfectant / sanitizer.
Calcium chlorate is the calcium salt of chloric acid, with the chemical formula Ca(ClO3)2. Like other chlorates, it is a strong oxidizer.
This article presents the industrial and laboratory methods to prepare elemental chlorine.
Hydrochloric acid or muriatic acid is a colorless inorganic chemical system with the formula H
2O:HCl. Hydrochloric acid has a distinctive pungent smell. It is classified as strongly acidic and can attack the skin over a wide composition range, since the hydrogen chloride completely dissociates in aqueous solution.
Mixed oxidant solution is a kind of Disinfection which is used for disinfecting, sterilization and eliminating pathogenic microorganisms in water and in many other applications. Using Mixed oxidant solution for water disinfection, compared to other methods, such as sodium hypochlorite, Calcium hypochlorite, chlorine gas and ozonation has various benefits such as higher disinfecting power, stable residual chlorine in water, improved taste and odor, elimination of biofilm and safety. Mixed oxidant solution is produced from electrolysis of sodium chloride brine (sodium chloride) and it's a mixture of disinfecting compounds. The main component of this product is chlorine and its derivatives (ClO−, HClO and Cl2 solution). It also contains high amounts of chlorine dioxide (ClO2) solution, dissolved ozone, hydrogen peroxide(H2O2) and oxygen. This is the reason for calling this solution mixed oxidant.
Neutralization of a strong acid and a strong base gives a neutral salt.
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