Soda Ash also Known as Sodium Carbonate is available two forms, Light Soda Ash and Heavy Soda Ash.
Light Soda Ash
Alternative (Trade) Names : Light Sodium Carbonate, Soda Ash, Washing Soda, Soda crystals
Physical and Chemical Properties
Chemical Formula: Na2CO3
Melting Point: 851 °C
Molar Mass: 105.9888 g/mol
Appearance: White granular
pH (1gr/350cc solution): Min.10
Specific Gravity: 2.51 to 2.53
Solubility: Soluble in hot water
More Information: TDS
Applications of Light Soda Ash
- Drilling industry
- Used in making soap and detergents
- Food industry
- Paper industry
- Production of fabrics
- Salt refining
- Water softening and dyeing
- Production of chemicals such as Sodium Silicate, Sodium Chromate, Sodium Bicarbonate and polycarbonate
Light Soda Ash application in drilling industry
Light Soda Ash 99% Purity is used primarily to reduce soluble Calcium in water-base drilling muds and makeup waters. This chemical effectively and economically reduce calcium ions by reducing them as the insoluble carbonate, thus CaSO4 +Na2CO3 -> Na2CO3 + CaCo3 It is not recommended for treatment of cement contamination due to the increase in pH which occurs. It is particularly used for anhydrite contamination. Other uses include increasing pH and flocculating spud muds.Soda Ash Light have the following advantages for drilling industry:
- Widely available and economical source of carbonate ions to precipitate Calcium while increase pH
- Concentrate chemical, effectively removes Calcium in most drilling fluids at small treatments levels.
- Effective flocculants for spud muds.
Differences between Heavy and light Soda Ash
The difference between Heavy and Light Soda Ash is in their density, particle size and application. As indicates from the name, Light Sodium Carbonate is lighter than Heavy Sodium Carbonate. These two substances are not chemically different from each other. But Heavy Soda Ash has a bulk density of about 1000 kg/m3 and particles with a size of 300 to 500 microns, while the density of Soda Ash Light is about 500 kg/m3 with particle size about 100 microns.
Differences between Sodium Carbonate and Sodium Bicarbonate
Sodium Carbonate (Soda Ash) and Sodium Bicarbonate are chemically close to each other. The chemical formula of Sodium Carbonate is Na2CO3 and the chemical formula of Sodium Bicarbonate is NaH2CO3. Both are ionic compounds and when dissolved in water they release positive Na ions and negative carbonate ions. In addition, sodium bicarbonate releases positive hydrogen ions. Both substances are in the form of solid white powder can cause problems in contact with the eyes or swallowing. Sodium Carbonate is commonly used in the manufacture of glass and other chemicals, but Sodium Bicarbonate is more commonly used in cooking and cleaning.
Inhalation of Light Soda Ash can lead to side effects such as inflammation of the respiratory system, cough, respiratory problems and lung damage. Also breathing Light Sodium Carbonate can affect the lungs or worsen conditions leading to chronic lung disease. Inhalation can also damage throat and respiratory system. Soda Ash Light contact with the eyes can cause permanent corneal damage or eye burns. Avoid eating or inhaling dust.
Given these potential hazards, Light Sodium Carbonate should be used with caution. Wear protective clothing when working with this material. If there is no proper ventilation system, suitable respiratory equipments must be used. The storage area for this chemical must be well ventilated. This chemical should be stored in closed containers without contact with the outside environment and away from moisture.