Sodium bicarbonate
Overview
 
Sodium bicarbonate or sodium hydrogen carbonate is the chemical compound
Chemical compound
A chemical compound is a pure chemical substance consisting of two or more different chemical elements that can be separated into simpler substances by chemical reactions. Chemical compounds have a unique and defined chemical structure; they consist of a fixed ratio of atoms that are held together...

 with the formula Na
Sodium
Sodium is a chemical element with the symbol Na and atomic number 11. It is a soft, silvery-white, highly reactive metal and is a member of the alkali metals; its only stable isotope is 23Na. It is an abundant element that exists in numerous minerals, most commonly as sodium chloride...

 HCO3
Bicarbonate
In inorganic chemistry, bicarbonate is an intermediate form in the deprotonation of carbonic acid...

. Sodium bicarbonate is a white solid that is crystal
Crystal
A crystal or crystalline solid is a solid material whose constituent atoms, molecules, or ions are arranged in an orderly repeating pattern extending in all three spatial dimensions. The scientific study of crystals and crystal formation is known as crystallography...

line but often appears as a fine powder. It has a slightly salty, alkaline taste resembling that of washing soda (sodium carbonate
Sodium carbonate
Sodium carbonate , Na2CO3 is a sodium salt of carbonic acid. It most commonly occurs as a crystalline heptahydrate, which readily effloresces to form a white powder, the monohydrate. Sodium carbonate is domestically well-known for its everyday use as a water softener. It can be extracted from the...

). The natural mineral form is nahcolite
Nahcolite
Nahcolite is a soft, colourless or white carbonate mineral with the composition of sodium bicarbonate also called thermokalite. It crystallizes in the monoclinic system....

. It is a component of the mineral natron
Natron
Natron is a naturally occurring mixture of sodium carbonate decahydrate and about 17% sodium bicarbonate along with small quantities of household salt and sodium sulfate. Natron is white to colourless when pure, varying to gray or yellow with impurities...

 and is found dissolved in many mineral spring
Mineral spring
Mineral springs are naturally occurring springs that produce water containing minerals, or other dissolved substances, that alter its taste or give it a purported therapeutic value...

s. It is found in dissolved form in bile
Bile
Bile or gall is a bitter-tasting, dark green to yellowish brown fluid, produced by the liver of most vertebrates, that aids the process of digestion of lipids in the small intestine. In many species, bile is stored in the gallbladder and upon eating is discharged into the duodenum...

, where it serves to neutralize the acidity of the hydrochloric acid
Hydrochloric acid
Hydrochloric acid is a solution of hydrogen chloride in water, that is a highly corrosive, strong mineral acid with many industrial uses. It is found naturally in gastric acid....

 produced by the stomach, and is excreted into the duodenum
Duodenum
The duodenum is the first section of the small intestine in most higher vertebrates, including mammals, reptiles, and birds. In fish, the divisions of the small intestine are not as clear and the terms anterior intestine or proximal intestine may be used instead of duodenum...

 of the small intestine via the bile duct.
Encyclopedia
Sodium bicarbonate or sodium hydrogen carbonate is the chemical compound
Chemical compound
A chemical compound is a pure chemical substance consisting of two or more different chemical elements that can be separated into simpler substances by chemical reactions. Chemical compounds have a unique and defined chemical structure; they consist of a fixed ratio of atoms that are held together...

 with the formula Na
Sodium
Sodium is a chemical element with the symbol Na and atomic number 11. It is a soft, silvery-white, highly reactive metal and is a member of the alkali metals; its only stable isotope is 23Na. It is an abundant element that exists in numerous minerals, most commonly as sodium chloride...

 HCO3
Bicarbonate
In inorganic chemistry, bicarbonate is an intermediate form in the deprotonation of carbonic acid...

. Sodium bicarbonate is a white solid that is crystal
Crystal
A crystal or crystalline solid is a solid material whose constituent atoms, molecules, or ions are arranged in an orderly repeating pattern extending in all three spatial dimensions. The scientific study of crystals and crystal formation is known as crystallography...

line but often appears as a fine powder. It has a slightly salty, alkaline taste resembling that of washing soda (sodium carbonate
Sodium carbonate
Sodium carbonate , Na2CO3 is a sodium salt of carbonic acid. It most commonly occurs as a crystalline heptahydrate, which readily effloresces to form a white powder, the monohydrate. Sodium carbonate is domestically well-known for its everyday use as a water softener. It can be extracted from the...

). The natural mineral form is nahcolite
Nahcolite
Nahcolite is a soft, colourless or white carbonate mineral with the composition of sodium bicarbonate also called thermokalite. It crystallizes in the monoclinic system....

. It is a component of the mineral natron
Natron
Natron is a naturally occurring mixture of sodium carbonate decahydrate and about 17% sodium bicarbonate along with small quantities of household salt and sodium sulfate. Natron is white to colourless when pure, varying to gray or yellow with impurities...

 and is found dissolved in many mineral spring
Mineral spring
Mineral springs are naturally occurring springs that produce water containing minerals, or other dissolved substances, that alter its taste or give it a purported therapeutic value...

s. It is found in dissolved form in bile
Bile
Bile or gall is a bitter-tasting, dark green to yellowish brown fluid, produced by the liver of most vertebrates, that aids the process of digestion of lipids in the small intestine. In many species, bile is stored in the gallbladder and upon eating is discharged into the duodenum...

, where it serves to neutralize the acidity of the hydrochloric acid
Hydrochloric acid
Hydrochloric acid is a solution of hydrogen chloride in water, that is a highly corrosive, strong mineral acid with many industrial uses. It is found naturally in gastric acid....

 produced by the stomach, and is excreted into the duodenum
Duodenum
The duodenum is the first section of the small intestine in most higher vertebrates, including mammals, reptiles, and birds. In fish, the divisions of the small intestine are not as clear and the terms anterior intestine or proximal intestine may be used instead of duodenum...

 of the small intestine via the bile duct. It is also produced artificially.

Since it has long been known and is widely used, the salt has many related names such as baking soda, bread soda, cooking soda, and bicarbonate of soda. In colloquial usage, its name is shortened to sodium bicarb, bicarb soda, or simply bicarb. The word saleratus, from Latin sal æratus meaning aerated salt, was widely used in the 19th century for both sodium bicarbonate and potassium bicarbonate
Potassium bicarbonate
Potassium bicarbonate , is a colorless, odorless, slightly basic, salty substance...

. The term has now fallen out of common usage.

History

The ancient Egyptians used natural deposits of natron
Natron
Natron is a naturally occurring mixture of sodium carbonate decahydrate and about 17% sodium bicarbonate along with small quantities of household salt and sodium sulfate. Natron is white to colourless when pure, varying to gray or yellow with impurities...

, a mixture consisting mostly of sodium carbonate
Sodium carbonate
Sodium carbonate , Na2CO3 is a sodium salt of carbonic acid. It most commonly occurs as a crystalline heptahydrate, which readily effloresces to form a white powder, the monohydrate. Sodium carbonate is domestically well-known for its everyday use as a water softener. It can be extracted from the...

 decahydrate, and sodium bicarbonate. The natron was used as a cleansing agent like soap.

In 1791, a French chemist, Nicolas Leblanc, produced sodium carbonate, also known as soda ash. In 1846, two New York bakers, John Dwight and Austin Church, established the first factory to develop baking soda from sodium carbonate and carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms covalently bonded to a single carbon atom...

.

This compound, referred to as saleratus, is mentioned in the famous novel Captains Courageous
Captains Courageous
Captains Courageous is an 1897 novel, by Rudyard Kipling, that follows the adventures of fifteen-year-old Harvey Cheyne Jr., the arrogant and spoiled son of a railroad tycoon...

 by Rudyard Kipling
Rudyard Kipling
Joseph Rudyard Kipling was an English poet, short-story writer, and novelist chiefly remembered for his celebration of British imperialism, tales and poems of British soldiers in India, and his tales for children. Kipling received the 1907 Nobel Prize for Literature...

 as being used extensively in the 1800's in commercial fishing to prevent freshly-caught fish from spoiling.

Production

NaHCO3 is mainly prepared by the Solvay process
Solvay process
The Solvay process, also referred to as the ammonia-soda process, is the major industrial process for the production of soda ash . The ammonia-soda process was developed into its modern form by Ernest Solvay during the 1860s...

, which is the reaction of sodium chloride
Sodium chloride
Sodium chloride, also known as salt, common salt, table salt or halite, is an inorganic compound with the formula NaCl. Sodium chloride is the salt most responsible for the salinity of the ocean and of the extracellular fluid of many multicellular organisms...

, ammonia
Ammonia
Ammonia is a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen with the formula . It is a colourless gas with a characteristic pungent odour. Ammonia contributes significantly to the nutritional needs of terrestrial organisms by serving as a precursor to food and fertilizers. Ammonia, either directly or...

, and carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms covalently bonded to a single carbon atom...

 in water. Calcium carbonate is used as the source of CO2 and the resultant calcium oxide is used to recover the ammonia from the Ammonium Chloride It is produced on the scale of about 100,000 tonnes/year (as of 2001).

NaHCO3 may be obtained by the reaction of carbon dioxide with an aqueous solution
Aqueous solution
An aqueous solution is a solution in which the solvent is water. It is usually shown in chemical equations by appending aq to the relevant formula, such as NaCl. The word aqueous means pertaining to, related to, similar to, or dissolved in water...

 of sodium hydroxide. The initial reaction produces sodium carbonate
Sodium carbonate
Sodium carbonate , Na2CO3 is a sodium salt of carbonic acid. It most commonly occurs as a crystalline heptahydrate, which readily effloresces to form a white powder, the monohydrate. Sodium carbonate is domestically well-known for its everyday use as a water softener. It can be extracted from the...

:
CO2 + 2 NaOH → Na2CO3 + H2O


Further addition of carbon dioxide produces sodium bicarbonate, which at sufficiently high concentration will precipitate out of solution:
Na2CO3 + CO2 + H2O → 2 NaHCO3


Commercial quantities of baking soda are also produced by a similar method: soda ash, mined in the form of the ore trona
Trona
Trona ; Na3•2H2O is an evaporite mineral. It is mined as the primary source of sodium carbonate in the United States, where it has replaced the Solvay process used in most of the rest of the world for sodium carbonate production.- Etymology :The word "trona" comes to English by way of either...

, is dissolved in water and treated with carbon dioxide. Sodium bicarbonate precipitates as a solid from this method:
Na2CO3 + CO2 + H2O → 2 NaHCO3

Mining

Naturally occurring deposits of nahcolite (NaHCO3) are found in the Eocene
Eocene
The Eocene Epoch, lasting from about 56 to 34 million years ago , is a major division of the geologic timescale and the second epoch of the Paleogene Period in the Cenozoic Era. The Eocene spans the time from the end of the Palaeocene Epoch to the beginning of the Oligocene Epoch. The start of the...

-age (55.8–33.9 Ma) Green River Formation
Green River Formation
The Green River Formation is an Eocene geologic formation that records the sedimentation in a group of intermountain lakes. The sediments are deposited in very fine layers, a dark layer during the growing season and a light-hue inorganic layer in winter. Each pair of layers is called a varve and...

, Piceance Basin
Piceance Basin
The Piceance Basin is a geologic structural basin in northwestern Colorado, in the United States. It includes geologic formations from Cambrian to Holocene in age, but the thickest section is made up of rocks from the Cretaceous Period...

 in Colorado
Colorado
Colorado is a U.S. state that encompasses much of the Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains...

. Nahcolite was deposited as beds during periods of high evaporation in the basin. It is commercially mined using in-situ leach techniques involving dissolution of the nahcolite by heated water that is pumped through the nahcolite beds and reconstituted through a natural cooling crystallization process.

Chemistry

Sodium bicarbonate is an amphoteric compound. Aqueous solutions are mildly alkaline due to the formation of carbonic acid
Carbonic acid
Carbonic acid is the inorganic compound with the formula H2CO3 . It is also a name sometimes given to solutions of carbon dioxide in water, because such solutions contain small amounts of H2CO3. Carbonic acid forms two kinds of salts, the carbonates and the bicarbonates...

 and hydroxide
Hydroxide
Hydroxide is a diatomic anion with chemical formula OH−. It consists of an oxygen and a hydrogen atom held together by a covalent bond, and carrying a negative electric charge. It is an important but usually minor constituent of water. It functions as a base, as a ligand, a nucleophile, and a...

 ion:
HCO + H2O → + OH


Sodium bicarbonate can be used as a wash to remove any acidic impurities from a "crude" liquid, producing a purer sample. Reaction of sodium bicarbonate and an acid
Acid
An acid is a substance which reacts with a base. Commonly, acids can be identified as tasting sour, reacting with metals such as calcium, and bases like sodium carbonate. Aqueous acids have a pH of less than 7, where an acid of lower pH is typically stronger, and turn blue litmus paper red...

 produce a salt and carbonic acid, which readily decomposes to carbon dioxide and water:
NaHCO3 + HCl → NaCl + H2CO3
H2CO3 → H2O + CO2(g)


Sodium bicarbonate reacts with acetic acid
Acetic acid
Acetic acid is an organic compound with the chemical formula CH3CO2H . It is a colourless liquid that when undiluted is also called glacial acetic acid. Acetic acid is the main component of vinegar , and has a distinctive sour taste and pungent smell...

 (found in vinegar
Vinegar
Vinegar is a liquid substance consisting mainly of acetic acid and water, the acetic acid being produced through the fermentation of ethanol by acetic acid bacteria. Commercial vinegar is produced either by fast or slow fermentation processes. Slow methods generally are used with traditional...

), producing sodium acetate
Sodium acetate
Sodium acetate, CH3COONa, also abbreviated NaOAc, also sodium ethanoate, is the sodium salt of acetic acid. This colourless salt has a wide range of uses.-Industrial:...

, water, and carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms covalently bonded to a single carbon atom...

:
NaHCO3 + CH3COOH → CH3COONa + H2O + CO2(g)


Sodium bicarbonate reacts with base
Base (chemistry)
For the term in genetics, see base A base in chemistry is a substance that can accept hydrogen ions or more generally, donate electron pairs. A soluble base is referred to as an alkali if it contains and releases hydroxide ions quantitatively...

s such as sodium hydroxide to form carbonate
Carbonate
In chemistry, a carbonate is a salt of carbonic acid, characterized by the presence of the carbonate ion, . The name may also mean an ester of carbonic acid, an organic compound containing the carbonate group C2....

s:
NaHCO3 + NaOH → Na2CO3 + H2O


Sodium bicarbonate reacts with carboxyl groups in proteins to give a brisk effervescence from the formation of . This reaction is used to test for the presence of carboxylic groups in protein.

Thermal decomposition

Above 70 °C, sodium bicarbonate gradually decomposes into sodium carbonate
Sodium carbonate
Sodium carbonate , Na2CO3 is a sodium salt of carbonic acid. It most commonly occurs as a crystalline heptahydrate, which readily effloresces to form a white powder, the monohydrate. Sodium carbonate is domestically well-known for its everyday use as a water softener. It can be extracted from the...

, water and carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms covalently bonded to a single carbon atom...

. The conversion is fast at 200 °C:
2 NaHCO3 → Na2CO3 + H2O + CO2


Most bicarbonates undergo this dehydration reaction
Dehydration reaction
In chemistry and the biological sciences, a dehydration reaction is usually defined as a chemical reaction that involves the loss of water from the reacting molecule. Dehydration reactions are a subset of elimination reactions...

. Further heating converts the carbonate into the oxide
Sodium oxide
Sodium oxide is a chemical compound with the formula Na2O. It is used in ceramics and glasses, though not in a raw form. Treatment with water affords sodium hydroxide....

 (at ca. 1000 °C):
Na2CO3 → Na2O + CO2


These conversions are relevant to the use of NaHCO3 as a fire-suppression agent ("BC powder") in some dry powder fire extinguisher
Fire extinguisher
A fire extinguisher or extinguisher, flame entinguisher is an active fire protection device used to extinguish or control small fires, often in emergency situations...

s.

Cooking

Sodium bicarbonate, referred to as "baking soda" is primarily used in cooking (baking
Baking
Baking is the technique of prolonged cooking of food by dry heat acting by convection, and not by radiation, normally in an oven, but also in hot ashes, or on hot stones. It is primarily used for the preparation of bread, cakes, pastries and pies, tarts, quiches, cookies and crackers. Such items...

), as a leavening agent
Leavening agent
A leavening agent is any one of a number of substances used in doughs and batters that cause a foaming action which lightens and softens the finished product...

. It reacts with acidic components in batters, releasing carbon dioxide, which causes expansion of the batter and forms the characteristic texture and grain in pancakes, cakes, quick breads, and other baked and fried foods. Acidic compounds that induce this reaction include phosphates, cream of tartar, lemon juice
Lemon
The lemon is both a small evergreen tree native to Asia, and the tree's ellipsoidal yellow fruit. The fruit is used for culinary and non-culinary purposes throughout the world – primarily for its juice, though the pulp and rind are also used, mainly in cooking and baking...

, yogurt, buttermilk
Buttermilk
Buttermilk refers to a number of dairy drinks. Originally, buttermilk was the liquid left behind after churning butter out of cream. It also refers to a range of fermented milk drinks, common in warm climates where unrefrigerated fresh milk otherwise sours quickly...

, cocoa
Cocoa solids
Cocoa solids are the low-fat component of chocolate. When sold as an end product, it may also be called cocoa powder, cocoa, and cacao....

, vinegar
Vinegar
Vinegar is a liquid substance consisting mainly of acetic acid and water, the acetic acid being produced through the fermentation of ethanol by acetic acid bacteria. Commercial vinegar is produced either by fast or slow fermentation processes. Slow methods generally are used with traditional...

, etc. Sodium bicarbonate can be substituted for baking powder
Baking powder
Baking powder is a dry chemical leavening agent used to increase the volume and lighten the texture of baked goods such as muffins, cakes, scones and American-style biscuits. Baking powder works by releasing carbon dioxide gas into a batter or dough through an acid-base reaction, causing bubbles in...

 provided sufficient acid reagent is also added to the recipe. Many forms of baking powder contain sodium bicarbonate combined with one or more acidic phosphates (especially good) or cream of tartar.

Sodium bicarbonate was sometimes used in cooking vegetables, to make them softer, although this has gone out of fashion, as most people now prefer firmer vegetables that contain more nutrients. However, it is still used in Asian cuisine to tenderise meats. Bicarb may react with acids in food, including Vitamin C
Vitamin C
Vitamin C or L-ascorbic acid or L-ascorbate is an essential nutrient for humans and certain other animal species. In living organisms ascorbate acts as an antioxidant by protecting the body against oxidative stress...

 (L-ascorbic acid). It is also used in breadings such as for fried foods to enhance crispness.

Thermal decomposition causes sodium bicarbonate alone to act as a raising agent by releasing carbon dioxide at baking temperatures. The carbon dioxide production starts at temperatures above 80 °C. The mixture for cakes using this method can be allowed to stand before baking without any premature release of carbon dioxide.

Neutralization of acids and bases

Many laboratories keep a bottle of sodium bicarbonate powder within easy reach, because sodium bicarbonate is amphoteric
Amphoterism
In chemistry, an amphoteric species is a molecule or ion that can react as an acid as well as a base. The word is derived from the Greek word amphoteroi meaning "both"...

, reacting with acids and bases
PH
In chemistry, pH is a measure of the acidity or basicity of an aqueous solution. Pure water is said to be neutral, with a pH close to 7.0 at . Solutions with a pH less than 7 are said to be acidic and solutions with a pH greater than 7 are basic or alkaline...

. Furthermore, as it is relatively innocuous in most situations, there is no harm in using excess sodium bicarbonate. Also, sodium bicarbonate powder may be used to smother a small fire, as heating of sodium bicarbonate releases carbon dioxide.

A wide variety of applications follows from its neutralization properties, including reducing the spread of white phosphorus from incendiary bullets inside an afflicted soldier's wounds. Sodium bicarbonate can be added as a simple solution for raising the pH balance of water (increasing total alkalinity) where high levels of chlorine (2–5 ppm) are present as in swimming pools and aquariums.

Medical uses

Sodium bicarbonate is used in an aqueous solution
Aqueous solution
An aqueous solution is a solution in which the solvent is water. It is usually shown in chemical equations by appending aq to the relevant formula, such as NaCl. The word aqueous means pertaining to, related to, similar to, or dissolved in water...

 as an antacid
Antacid
An antacid is a substance which neutralizes stomach acidity.-Mechanism of action:Antacids perform a neutralization reaction, increasing the pH to reduce acidity in the stomach. When gastric hydrochloric acid reaches the nerves in the gastrointestinal mucosa, they signal pain to the central nervous...

 taken orally to treat acid indigestion and heartburn
Heartburn
Heartburn, also known as pyrosis or acid indigestion is a burning sensation in the chest, just behind the breastbone or in the epigastrium...

. It may also be used in an oral form to treat chronic forms of metabolic acidosis such as chronic renal failure
Chronic renal failure
Chronic kidney disease , also known as chronic renal disease, is a progressive loss in renal function over a period of months or years. The symptoms of worsening kidney function are unspecific, and might include feeling generally unwell and experiencing a reduced appetite...

 and renal tubular acidosis
Renal tubular acidosis
Renal tubular acidosis is a medical condition that involves an accumulation of acid in the body due to a failure of the kidneys to appropriately acidify the urine. When blood is filtered by the kidney, the filtrate passes through the tubules of the nephron, allowing for exchange of salts, acid...

. Sodium bicarbonate may also be useful in urinary alkalinization for the treatment of aspirin overdose and uric acid
Uric acid
Uric acid is a heterocyclic compound of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and hydrogen with the formula C5H4N4O3. It forms ions and salts known as urates and acid urates such as ammonium acid urate. Uric acid is created when the body breaks down purine nucleotides. High blood concentrations of uric acid...

 renal stones. It is used as the medicinal ingredient in gripe water
Gripe water
Gripe water is a home remedy for infants with colic, gastrointestinal discomfort, teething pain, reflux and other stomach ailments. Its ingredients vary, and may include alcohol, a bicarbonate, ginger, dill, fennel and chamomile...

 for infants.

Sodium bicarbonate has been known to be used in first aid, in treating scalding, to prevent blistering and scarring with instructions to cover the scalded area with a liberal layer of sodium bicarbonate and water paste and seek medical assistance. This is due to the endothermic reaction that occurs between sodium bicarbonate and water and sodium bicarbonates mild antiseptic properties

Intravenous sodium bicarbonate
Intravenous sodium bicarbonate
Intravenous sodium bicarbonate is a solution for intravenous administration that increases plasma bicarbonate, buffers excess hydrogen ion concentration, raises blood pH and reverses the clinical manifestations of acidosis....

 is an aqueous solution that is sometimes used for cases of acidosis
Acidosis
Acidosis is an increased acidity in the blood and other body tissue . If not further qualified, it usually refers to acidity of the blood plasma....

, or when there are insufficient sodium or bicarbonate ions in the blood. In cases of respiratory acidosis, the infused bicarbonate ion drives the carbonic acid/bicarbonate buffer of plasma to the left and, thus, raises the pH. It is for this reason that sodium bicarbonate is used in medically supervised cardiopulmonary resuscitation
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is an emergency procedure which is performed in an effort to manually preserve intact brain function until further measures are taken to restore spontaneous blood circulation and breathing in a person in cardiac arrest. It is indicated in those who are unresponsive...

. Infusion of bicarbonate is indicated only when the blood pH is marked (<7.1–7.0) low.

It is used as well for treatment of hyperkalemia
Hyperkalemia
Hyperkalemia refers to the condition in which the concentration of the electrolyte potassium in the blood is elevated...

. Since sodium bicarbonate can cause alkalosis
Alkalosis
Alkalosis refers to a condition reducing hydrogen ion concentration of arterial blood plasma . Generally, alkalosis is said to occur when pH of the blood exceeds 7.45. The opposite condition is acidosis .-Causes:...

, it is sometimes used to treat aspirin overdoses. Aspirin requires an acidic environment for proper absorption, and the basic environment diminishes aspirin absorption in the case of an overdose. Sodium bicarbonate has also been used in the treatment of tricyclic antidepressant overdose
Tricyclic antidepressant overdose
Tricyclic antidepressant overdose is caused by excessive use or overdose of a tricyclic antidepressant drug. It is a significant cause of fatal drug poisoning. The severe morbidity and mortality associated with these drugs is well documented due to their cardiovascular and neurological toxicity...

. It can also be applied topically as a paste, with three parts baking soda to one part water, to relieve insect bites.

Adverse reactions to the administration of sodium bicarbonate can include metabolic alkalosis
Metabolic alkalosis
Metabolic alkalosis is a metabolic condition in which the pH of tissue is elevated beyond the normal range . This is the result of decreased hydrogen ion concentration, leading to increased bicarbonate, or alternatively a direct result of increased bicarbonate concentrations.-Terminology:*Alkalosis...

, edema
Edema
Edema or oedema ; both words from the Greek , oídēma "swelling"), formerly known as dropsy or hydropsy, is an abnormal accumulation of fluid beneath the skin or in one or more cavities of the body that produces swelling...

 due to sodium overload, congestive heart failure
Congestive heart failure
Heart failure often called congestive heart failure is generally defined as the inability of the heart to supply sufficient blood flow to meet the needs of the body. Heart failure can cause a number of symptoms including shortness of breath, leg swelling, and exercise intolerance. The condition...

, hyperosmolar syndrome
Hyperosmolar syndrome
Hyperosmolar syndrome or diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome is a medical emergency caused by a very high blood glucose level.The prefix "hyper" means high, and "osmolarity" is a measure of the concentration of active particles in a solution, so the name of the syndrome simply refers to the high...

, hypervolemic hypernatremia
Hypernatremia
Hypernatremia or hypernatraemia is an electrolyte disturbance that is defined by an elevated sodium level in the blood. Hypernatremia is generally not caused by an excess of sodium, but rather by a relative deficit of free water in the body...

, and hypertension
Hypertension
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a cardiac chronic medical condition in which the systemic arterial blood pressure is elevated. What that means is that the heart is having to work harder than it should to pump the blood around the body. Blood pressure involves two measurements, systolic and...

 due to increased sodium. In patients consuming a high-calcium or dairy-rich diet, calcium supplements, or calcium-containing antacids such as calcium carbonate
Calcium carbonate
Calcium carbonate is a chemical compound with the formula CaCO3. It is a common substance found in rocks in all parts of the world, and is the main component of shells of marine organisms, snails, coal balls, pearls, and eggshells. Calcium carbonate is the active ingredient in agricultural lime,...

 (e.g., Tums), the use of sodium bicarbonate can cause milk-alkali syndrome
Milk-alkali syndrome
In medicine, milk-alkali syndrome, also called Burnett's syndrome in honour of Charles Hoyt Burnett, the American physician who first described it, is characterized by hypercalcemia caused by repeated ingestion of calcium and absorbable alkali...

, which can result in metastatic calcification
Metastatic calcification
Metastatic calcification is deposition of calcium salts in otherwise normal tissue, because of elevated serum levels of calcium in blood, which can occur because of deranged metabolism as well as increased absorption or decreased excretion of calcium and related minerals.It occurs as opposed to...

, kidney stones, and kidney failure.

Sodium bicarbonate can be used to cover an allergic reaction of poison ivy, oak, or sumac to relieve some of the itching that is associated with it (an alternative to buying hydrocortisone cream).

Personal hygiene

Sodium bicarbonate can be used as an exfoliant. Its particles are rounded and fine in texture, making it both effective and gentle on the skin. Using baking soda as an exfoliating scrub removes dead skin cells, which can be discolored from hyperpigmentation and scarring.

Sodium bicarbonate is also used as an ingredient in some mouthwashes. It works as a mechanical cleanser on the teeth and gums, neutralizes the production of acid in the mouth and also acts as an antiseptic
Antiseptic
Antiseptics are antimicrobial substances that are applied to living tissue/skin to reduce the possibility of infection, sepsis, or putrefaction...

 to help prevent infections.

A paste made from sodium bicarbonate and a 3% hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is the simplest peroxide and an oxidizer. Hydrogen peroxide is a clear liquid, slightly more viscous than water. In dilute solution, it appears colorless. With its oxidizing properties, hydrogen peroxide is often used as a bleach or cleaning agent...

 solution can be used as an alternative to commercial non-fluoride toothpaste
Toothpaste
Toothpaste is a paste or gel dentifrice used with a toothbrush as an accessory to clean and maintain the aesthetics and health of teeth. Toothpaste is used to promote oral hygiene: it serves as an abrasive that aids in removing the dental plaque and food from the teeth, assists in suppressing...

s, and sodium bicarbonate in combination with other ingredients can be used to make a dry or wet deodorant
Deodorant
Deodorants are substances applied to the body to affect body odor caused by bacterial growth and the smell associated with bacterial breakdown of perspiration in armpits, feet and other areas of the body. A subgroup of deodorants, antiperspirants, affect odor as well as prevent sweating by...

. It may also be used as a shampoo.

Baking soda in sports

Small amounts of sodium bicarbonate have been shown to be useful as a supplement for athletes in speed-based events, like middle distance running, lasting from about one to seven minutes. But overdose is a serious risk because sodium bicarbonate is slightly toxic and in particular gastrointestinal irritation is of concern. Additionally this practice causes a significant increase in dietary sodium.

As a cleaning agent

A paste from baking soda can be very effective when used in cleaning and scrubbing. For cleaning aluminium objects, the use of sodium bicarbonate is discouraged as it attacks the thin unreactive protective oxide layer of this otherwise very reactive metal. A solution in warm water will remove the tarnish
Tarnish
Tarnish is a thin layer of corrosion that forms over copper, brass, silver, aluminum, and other similar metals as their outermost layer undergoes a chemical reaction. Tarnish does not always result from the sole effects of oxygen in the air. For example, silver needs hydrogen sulfide to tarnish; it...

 from silver when the silver is in contact with a piece of aluminium foil
Aluminium foil
Aluminium foil is aluminium prepared in thin metal leaves, with a thickness less than , thinner gauges down to are also commonly used. In the USA, foils are commonly gauged in mils. Standard household foil is typically thick and heavy duty household foil is typically .The foil is pliable, and...

.

Baking soda is commonly added to washing machines as a replacement for softener and also to remove odors from clothes. Sodium bicarbonate is also effective in removing heavy tea and coffee stains from cups when diluted with warm water.

As a biopesticide

Sodium bicarbonate can be an effective way of controlling fungus growth, and in the United States is registered by the Environmental Protection Agency as a biopesticide
Biopesticide
Biopesticides include "naturally occurring substances that control pests , microorganisms that control pests , and pesticidal substances produced by plants containing added genetic material or PIPs."Biopesticides are biochemical pesticides that are naturally occurring substances that control pests...

.

Cattle feed supplement

Sodium bicarbonate is sold as a cattle feed supplement, in particular as a buffering agent
Buffering agent
A buffering agent is a weak acid or base used to maintain the acidity of a solution at a chosen value. The function of a buffering agent is to prevent a rapid change in pH when acids or bases are added to the solution. Buffering agents have variable properties—some are more soluble than others;...

 for the rumen
Rumen
The rumen, also known as a paunch, forms the larger part of the reticulorumen, which is the first chamber in the alimentary canal of ruminant animals. It serves as the primary site for microbial fermentation of ingested feed...

.

Miscellaneous

Sodium bicarbonate can be used to extinguish small grease or electrical fires by being thrown over the fire. However, it should not be applied to fires in deep fryers, as it may cause the grease to splatter. Sodium bicarbonate is used in BC dry chemical fire extinguishers as an alternative to the more corrosive ammonium phosphate
Ammonium phosphate
Ammonium phosphate is the salt of ammonia and phosphoric acid. It has the formula 3PO4 and consists of ammonium cations and phosphate anion. It is obtained as a crystalline powder upon mixing concentrated solutions of ammonia and phosphoric acid, or on the addition of excess of ammonia to the...

 in ABC extinguishers. The alkali nature of sodium bicarbonate makes it the only dry chemical agent, besides Purple-K
Purple-K
Purple-K is a dry-chemical fire suppression agent used in some dry powder fire extinguishers. It is the most effective dry chemical in fighting class B fires, and can be used against some energized electrical equipment fires...

, that was used in large-scale fire suppression systems installed in commercial kitchens. Because it can act as an alkali, the agent has a mild saponification
Saponification
Saponification is a process that produces soap, usually from fats and lye. In technical terms, saponification involves base hydrolysis of triglycerides, which are esters of fatty acids, to form the sodium salt of a carboxylate. In addition to soap, such traditional saponification processes...

 effect on hot grease, which forms a smothering soapy foam. Dry chemicals have since fallen out of favor for kitchen fires, as they have no cooling effect compared to the extremely effective wet chemical agents specifically designed for such hazards.

Sodium bicarbonate is used in a process for cleaning paint called sodablasting
Sodablasting
Sodablasting is a process in which sodium bicarbonate is applied against a surface using compressed air. An early use was to restore the Statue of Liberty in the late 1980s....

. It can be administered to pools, spas, and garden ponds to raise pH
PH
In chemistry, pH is a measure of the acidity or basicity of an aqueous solution. Pure water is said to be neutral, with a pH close to 7.0 at . Solutions with a pH less than 7 are said to be acidic and solutions with a pH greater than 7 are basic or alkaline...

 levels. It has weak disinfectant properties, and it may be an effective fungicide
Fungicide
Fungicides are chemical compounds or biological organisms used to kill or inhibit fungi or fungal spores. Fungi can cause serious damage in agriculture, resulting in critical losses of yield, quality and profit. Fungicides are used both in agriculture and to fight fungal infections in animals...

 against some organisms.

Since it acts as a neutralizing agent, it can be used to absorb odors that are caused by strong acids. It is a tried-and-true method of used-book sellers. The baking soda will absorb the musty smell, leaving the books less malodorous.

See also

  • Carbonic acid
    Carbonic acid
    Carbonic acid is the inorganic compound with the formula H2CO3 . It is also a name sometimes given to solutions of carbon dioxide in water, because such solutions contain small amounts of H2CO3. Carbonic acid forms two kinds of salts, the carbonates and the bicarbonates...

  • Baking powder
    Baking powder
    Baking powder is a dry chemical leavening agent used to increase the volume and lighten the texture of baked goods such as muffins, cakes, scones and American-style biscuits. Baking powder works by releasing carbon dioxide gas into a batter or dough through an acid-base reaction, causing bubbles in...

  • List of minerals
  • Nahcolite
    Nahcolite
    Nahcolite is a soft, colourless or white carbonate mineral with the composition of sodium bicarbonate also called thermokalite. It crystallizes in the monoclinic system....

  • Natron
    Natron
    Natron is a naturally occurring mixture of sodium carbonate decahydrate and about 17% sodium bicarbonate along with small quantities of household salt and sodium sulfate. Natron is white to colourless when pure, varying to gray or yellow with impurities...

  • Natrona (disambiguation)
  • Trona
    Trona
    Trona ; Na3•2H2O is an evaporite mineral. It is mined as the primary source of sodium carbonate in the United States, where it has replaced the Solvay process used in most of the rest of the world for sodium carbonate production.- Etymology :The word "trona" comes to English by way of either...


External links

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