Sodium Chloride ( NaCl ) Common Salt - Occurrence, Production, Properties and Applications

Chemical Formula

NaCl

Topics Covered

Background

Occurrence

Production

Key Properties

Applications

Background

Sodium chloride (NaCl) or common salt is an ionic crystal consisting of equal numbers of sodium and chlorine atoms and is an essential component in the human diet, being found in blood sweat and tears.

Occurrence

Sodium chloride is abundant and can be found naturally occurring. It can be found in the mineral halite (pure rock salt) as well as in mixed evaporates in salt lakes.

Sea water also contains 2.7% by weight salt and constitutes 80% of the dissolved minerals in sea water.

Production

Sodium chloride is mined or obtained from brine, when water is added to salt deposits.

Alternatively, it is obtained from sea water. This is commonly known as sea salt and constitutes most table salt. It also contains some impurities.

Key Properties

Sodium chloride:

         Has a cubic crystalline structure

         Is clear when pure, although may also appear white, grey or brownish, depending upon purity

         Is soluble in water

         Is slightly soluble in other liquids

         Is odourless

         Has a characteristic taste

         Molten sodium chloride is an electrical conductor

 

Property

 

Value

Symbol

 

NaCl

CAS Number

 

7647-14-5

Atomic Weight

 

58.44

Eutectic Composition

 

23.31% NaCl

Melting Point

 

801°C

Boiling Point

 

1465°C

Density

 

2.17g/cm3

Refractive Index

 

1.5442

Mohs Hardness

 

2.5

Co-Efficient of Thermal Expansion @ 0°C

 

40x10-6

Solubility g/100g H2O at 0°C

 

35.7

Applications

Sodium chloride is used for:

         Windows for analytical instruments

         De-icing

         Food and cooking

         High power lasers

         To produce chlorine and sodium

         Historically it has been used as a form of currency

 

Source: AZoM.com

 

Date Added: Jun 30, 2006 | Updated: Jun 11, 2013
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