Well, it’s not like we are unaware of this baking soda. There is not a single kitchen that is deprived of our beloved baking soda. And you shouldn’t even deprive your kitchen of these plants either! From baking to cleaning uses and from toothpaste to the body deodorants, this fine alkaline chemical compound is found almost in everything. But do you know where does it come from? No? Then today, let’s Learn All About Baking Soda – Definition, Uses and Manufacturing.
Learn All About Baking Soda – Definition, Uses and Manufacturing
What is Baking Soda?
Sodium bicarbonate is a white solid that is crystalline and we know it commonly as the baking soda. It appears as a fine powder and is actually a salt composed of the Na+ and HCO3– that is nothing but a sodium cation and the bicarbonate anion. And if you think it is the same as the sodium carbonate then you are totally wrong. The baking soda is slightly salty and is alkaline in nature. This chemical compound that we love so much has many names such as bread soda, cooking soda, bicarbonate of soda and if you go to a chemist and hear him talking about sodium hydrogen carbonate or sodium acid carbonate then he is talking about the baking soda only. That’s quite a lot of names. And these are quite a few lovely plants that you will most definitely want in your home.
The Uses of Baking Soda
There are so many I don’t even know where to start from. Let’s start with the kitchen uses. We all know baking soda is used for baking. But do you know why? Well, it is because the baking soda here is a leavening agent that produces carbon dioxide while reacting with the acidic components in batters. This causes the expansion of the batter and thus forms the texture in cakes, pancakes and the baked goods.
When you are in a need of teeth whitener all you will need is the sodium bicarbonate. Yes, the baking soda is also used in the toothpaste and has a better plaque removal effect. It is also used in deodorants due to its property of neutralizing odours chemically rather than absorbing or masking them.
Besides all the above things the baking soda has many industrial uses as well. You will find it in pesticides and can be used to kill cockroaches. In case of low pH in the pool or spas, the baking soda can be introduced to the water and hence the pH can be balanced. The sodium bicarbonate is also used in fire extinguishers. Due to its violent reactions with acids, the baking soda is also used to neutralize acid solutions and hence called amphoteric.
Sodium bicarbonate has some medicinal uses as well and when added with water acts as an antacid that treats acid indigestion and heartburn. The baking soda is also capable of removing paint and those stubborn tea and coffee stains. Speaking of, learn how to remove wallpaper easily in just a few steps. Baking soda is a water softener and hence is used in washing clothes. So basically, the baking soda can be used for everything!
Where does it come from?
The sodium bicarbonate is a chemical salt and its natural mineral form is nahcolite. You will find this mineral dissolved in many springs. There are deposits of this mineral in the Green River WY, US. It houses nearly 200 billion tons of nahcolite which is a lot – like supplying ¼ of the world with the baking soda lot. Whoa! That’s a lot of baking soda at one place. These natural deposits are mined and some sell it in its natural form while some refine it and treats it with chemicals and all that long process.
From Ash to Salt
The sodium bicarbonate is made from sodium carbonate. A French chemist, Nicolas Leblanc produced sodium carbonate, also known as soda ash in 1791. The sodium chloride (we know it as the table salt) was heated with sulphuric acid that led to the formation of sodium sulfate and hydrochloric acid. This sodium sulfate was then heated with limestone and coal and hence produced the soda ash or sodium carbonate. Later in 1846, the first factory to produce the baking soda from sodium carbonate and carbon dioxide was established by two bakers of New York, John Dwight, and Austin Church.
There is another process for producing sodium bicarbonate, which is known as the Solvay process. This process involves chemical reactions and uses raw materials such as carbon dioxide, ammonia, and sodium chloride. These are pollutants so the Solvay process has its issues of improper disposal of toxic chemicals. It is because of this major issue that many companies prefer to steer clear of it and instead follow the mining and refining methods.
Natural Baking Soda
You can find the baking soda of two types. One that is treated with chemicals and has undergone some really long process of refining and the other is in its natural nahcolite form. Don’t worry, the nahcolite is nothing but sodium bicarbonate and is the gift of Mother Nature straight from the ground in its purest form. And it’s alright if you use either of the types of baking soda.
People often confuse baking soda with baking powder. Some even think that they are the same. Let’s get rid of that confusion as well. What baking soda is, you read all of it above. It can do almost everything. But then comes the baking powder which does have sodium bicarbonate in it but there is an acid present, too. This is why the baking powder is used for making sweet little cookies rather than baking soda. You see, in the baking powder, acid is added that doesn’t react with sodium bicarbonate until it is both wet and hot. This way your batter can rise for a longer time and thus you get the fluffy and soft cake and all those delicious goodies. Your lovely succulents need some help? Read this what to do about them.
It feels like the sodium bicarbonate has just a lot to show that we can’t really tell in enough words. But one thing we all know is that without the baking soda, our life is really incomplete! Spread good vibes in your home with some quick and easy tips.