Soda crystals (also known as sodium carbonate, soda ash and washing soda, and in the monohydrate form as crystal carbonate) with chemical formula Na2CO2, is the water soluble sodium salt of carbonic acid. Soda crystals have been around for many generations and are termed as washing soda for a generic reason. Prior to the invention of modernized washing powder, soda crystals were popularly used as laundry products and were known for their capability to cut through rigid stains and dirt on grungy clothes. Soda crystals are hygroscopic in nature and form robust alkaline solution in water. Soda crystals are fabricated through three different procedures – Solvay process, Hou’s process and Leblanc process. Out of these three, Solvay process is one of the most opted and preferred manufacturing process in the industry according to study done on the soda crystals market. In this process, it is manufactured commercially from sodium chloride (common salt) and limestone. Soda crystals have great applications in several end-user industries such as food and beverages, detergents, glass, chemicals and dyeing amongst various others. It is odorless, white, hygroscopic, amorphous solid soluble in water and most other solvents, and has quite an alkaline taste to it.
Soda crystals have reduced amount of toxicity, nevertheless, long-term exposure to eyes and skin or when inhaled the crystal dust might lead to irritation. If soda crystals are by mistake consumed, it might result in diarrhea, stomach ache, vomiting, and nausea. This compound releases carbon oxide once reacted with acids or burned. Soda crystals are also implicated by pulp and paper industry for the purpose of paper production. It is used in industrial and municipal waste water treatment owing to the rigorous regulations which needs de-chlorination of the waste water treatment method. Soda crystals are also implies for coal treatment, desulphurization of fuel gas, brine treatment, detergents, sodium chemicals and carbonate chemicals. Furthermore, soda crystals are majorly consumed in industries apart from households for the purpose of removal of hardness in water and the pH levels. Lastly, soda crystals are also used as a catalyst for resin regeneration through ion exchange.