What Is Sodium Carbonate & Sodium Percarbonate?

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Sodium carbonate and sodium percarbonate are both used in cleaning, but sodium carbonate has a wider range of applications. Sodium carbonate is a component of sodium percarbonate.

Appearance

  • Sodium carbonate appears as a crystalline substance that, when brought into contact with air, becomes a white powder. Sodium percarbonate appears as a white crystalline powder.

Chemistry

  • Sodium carbonate has the chemical formula Na2CO3 and thus contains carbon, oxygen and sodium. Sodium percarbonate has the chemical formula Na2CO3·1.5H2O2 and contains sodium, carbon, oxygen and hydrogen.

Production

  • Sodium carbonate occurs naturally in deposits and in trona, and can also be manufactured with the Solvay process. Sodium percarbonate does not occur naturally and is created from sodium carbonate and hydrogen peroxide.

Uses

  • Sodium carbonate is used in glass-making, food additives, degreasers and other industrial applications. Sodium percarbonate is used in eco-friendly cleaners such as OxiClean.

Names

  • Sodium carbonate is also known as soda ash or soda crystals. Sodium percarbonate is also known as sodium carbonate hydrogen peroxide and sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate.

References

  • Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Kevin Dooley
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