Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Decompose Bicarbonate of Soda to Sodium Carbonate

First few posts we'll start with some boring and easy ones then use the chemicals created to do some more fun stuff!

What it is
Sodium Carbonate, commonly knows as Soda Ash is a white powder which has a slight soapy feel, it's highly alkaline and can be used in a number of home experiments.  It can be bought in large quantities online or simply as Washing Soda, but this isn't about saving a few pennies it's about the science.

Procedure
Bicarbonate of soda (not to be confused with baking powder) can be decomposed into sodium carbonate which releases water and carbon dioxide by simply heating it.  Spread out a thin layer of your sodium bicarbonate into a glass or ceramic heating dish and put it in your oven for a good hour or so.  Temperature doesn't matter, as long as it's well over 70 degrees C.  It's hard to know when the bicarbonate of soda has finished decomposing as both it and sodium carbonate look the same, just keep heating until no more steam is formed then heat it some more.

When done, allow to cool down.  FIN!

Equation for this decomposition is:

2NaHCO3 => CO2 + H2O + Na2CO3

5 comments:

  1. hey i heard JWH is really easy to create with household chemicals

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  2. interesting, what would be the usefulness of Sodium Carbonate?

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  3. It's mostly useless, except for making explodey hydrogen

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