How to Make Sodium Carbonate Solution

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Sodium carbonate is an inorganic salt with the chemical formula Na2CO3. This compound, used in such industrial applications as glass production, as an electrolyte or as a component of toothpastes, also works as a cleaning agent. Prepare sodium carbonate solutions with a certain concentration, commonly expressed either as a mass percentage of the dissolved compound (for example, a 5 percent solution) or in molarity—the number of moles of such a substance per 1 L of the solution.

How to Make Sodium Carbonate Solution
(Nicholas Biondo/Demand Media)

Things You'll Need

  • Sodium carbonate
  • Scale
  • Beaker
  • Spoon
  • Distilled water
  • Graduated cylinder
Step 1

Calculate the mass of sodium carbonate needed using the following formula: Mass = (volume x mass percentage) / (100 - mass percentage). For example, to make a 12 percent solution using 350 mL of water, use this equation to determine the amount of sodium carbonate to use: Mass = 350 x 12 / (100 - 12) = 47.73 g

Nicholas Biondo/Demand Media
Step 2

Weigh the calculated amount of sodium carbonate on the scale.

Nicholas Biondo/Demand Media
Step 3

Pour water (350 Ll in our example) into the beaker, and add sodium carbonate.

Nicholas Biondo/Demand Media
Step 4

Mix the solution with the spoon or gently swirl the beaker until the salt dissolves completely.

Nicholas Biondo/Demand Media
Step 1

Multiply molarity by the solution volume (in liters) and the number 106—the molar mass of sodium carbonate—to calculate the mass of sodium carbonate needed. For example, to make 300 mL of 0.2 molar solution, you will need: 0.2 x 0.3 L x 106 = 6.36 g Note that 300 mL = 0.3 L

Nicholas Biondo/Demand Media
Step 2

Weigh the calculated amount of sodium carbonate on the scale.

Nicholas Biondo/Demand Media
Step 3

Pour distilled water—20 to 30 mL less than the final volume—into the beaker, then add sodium carbonate. In our example, start with 270 to 280 mL of water.

Nicholas Biondo/Demand Media
Step 4

Mix the solution with a spoon or gently swirl the beaker until the salt dissolves completely.

Nicholas Biondo/Demand Media
Step 5

Pour the solution into the graduated cylinder and fill to the final volume with distilled water.

Nicholas Biondo/Demand Media

References

  • "Chemistry"; K.W. Whitten, R.E. Davis, L. Peck and G.G. Stanley; 2009
  • “Sodium Carbonate: A Versatile Material”; T. Lister, C. Osborne and I. Bertin; 2000
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