Sodium Hydroxide Caustic

The use of sodium hydroxide (caustic) is about equal to lime as a neutralizing agent. Although caustic is more expensive than lime, its reaction characteristics (virtually instantaneous) and handling convenience are factors behind its widespread use. Researchers evaluated the reactivities of various basic reagents on the same chemical system by mixing them with pickle liquor (60 gm iron and 20 gm sulfate per liter). They measured the effectiveness of reagent reactions with pickle liquor in terms of iron gm remaining in solution after 6 hr. These experiments were conducted at room temperature and at 60°C with and without aeration (agitation). Table 7.39.6 shows the results of these experiments.

Concerning the speed of reaction of NaOH (see Table 7.39.6) and the reaction rate curve for quick and dolomitic limes (see Figure 7.39.3), the data show that when reaction time is important, the efficacy of NaOH, particularly in solution form, is virtually instantaneous. The ease of delivery to the neutralization process is another advantage of NaOH solutions. However, NaOH solutions are corrosive, and safety showers located in the process area are suggested. Personnel working with this material should use eye and skin protective devices.

Sodium hydroxide is available in solid (75% Na2O) or solution (50% NaOH) form. In concentrated solution form, heating containers and lines may be required for transfer operations during cold weather. Most large suppliers of inorganic chemicals can furnish solutions of any strength in tank trucks and pump them directly to the user's reagent storage tank. Users should equip reagent storage tanks located outdoors with heaters and appro




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