What is Sodium?
Sodium: a soft silvery-white metal
A highly reactive element, sodium (Na) belongs to the alkali metals family which consists of elements such as lithium (Li), and makes up the first group of the periodic table. Present all over the world, sodium is notably the second most abundant element dissolved in seawater. Long considered as white gold, and the key to preserving food from one harvest to another, salt (sodium chloride) is its best-known form.
Although some of its compounds have been known since antiquity, it was not until 1807 that the Cornish chemist Sir Humphry Davy managed to obtain sodium in its pure form.
Highly reactive, sodium is part of multiple reactions. Among many other useful sodium compounds, sodium hydroxide is used in soaps manufacture, and sodium chloride is a de-icing agent and nutrient for humans and animals.
Sodium carbonate is another example used in the manufacture of glass, pharmaceuticals, soaps, and detergents. It is produced in large quantities from two natural resources, salt (sodium chloride) and limestone, by a breakthrough industrial process invented in 1863 by Ernest Solvay himself! The Solvay process produced a sodium bicarbonate of high purity.
Solvay® sodium bicarbonate: an all-purpose product with a thousand uses
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