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Sodium Carbonate vs. Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sumera Saeed || By Sara Rehman || Published on December 6, 2023
Sodium carbonate is a salt composed of sodium and carbonate ions, while sodium hydrogen carbonate, also known as baking soda, contains an additional hydrogen ion.

Key Differences

Sodium carbonate, Na2CO3, is a white, alkaline, and water-soluble powder known for its use in glassmaking and as a cleaning agent. Sodium hydrogen carbonate, NaHCO3, commonly known as baking soda, is also a white powder but is used as a leavening agent in baking and for neutralizing acids.
Sara Rehman
Dec 06, 2023
Sodium carbonate is more alkaline compared to sodium hydrogen carbonate due to the absence of the hydrogen ion. Sodium hydrogen carbonate, having a hydrogen ion, is mildly alkaline and releases carbon dioxide upon heating or reacting with acids.
Sara Rehman
Dec 06, 2023
In terms of solubility, sodium carbonate is highly soluble in water and forms a strong alkaline solution, whereas sodium hydrogen carbonate is less soluble and forms a weakly alkaline solution.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 06, 2023
Sodium carbonate is used in swimming pools to increase the pH and in water treatment. Sodium hydrogen carbonate, on the other hand, is used for its antacid properties and as a mild disinfectant.
Janet White
Dec 06, 2023
The production process of sodium carbonate involves the Solvay process, which uses salt and limestone, while sodium hydrogen carbonate can be made by reacting carbon dioxide with an aqueous solution of sodium carbonate.
Janet White
Dec 06, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Chemical Formula

Na2CO3
NaHCO3
Sara Rehman
Dec 06, 2023

PH Level

More alkaline
Less alkaline, mildly alkaline
Sara Rehman
Dec 06, 2023

Uses

Glassmaking, cleaning agent, water treatment
Baking, antacid, mild disinfectant
Sara Rehman
Dec 06, 2023

Reaction with Acids

Forms carbonates and water
Releases carbon dioxide
Sara Rehman
Dec 06, 2023

Production Process

Solvay process using salt and limestone
Reaction of CO2 with sodium carbonate solution
Sara Rehman
Dec 06, 2023
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Sodium Carbonate and Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate Definitions

Sodium Carbonate

A chemical base used in the production of detergents and soaps.
Many laundry detergents contain sodium carbonate.
Sara Rehman
Nov 22, 2023

Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate

A compound that reacts with acids to release carbon dioxide gas.
Mixing sodium hydrogen carbonate with vinegar releases carbon dioxide.
Sara Rehman
Nov 22, 2023

Sodium Carbonate

A compound used in the papermaking process.
Sodium carbonate is used to separate lignin from cellulose fibers.
Harlon Moss
Nov 22, 2023

Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate

An antacid used to relieve heartburn and acid indigestion.
Sodium hydrogen carbonate is often used in antacid tablets.
Sara Rehman
Nov 22, 2023

Sodium Carbonate

An ingredient in the chemical industry for producing other sodium compounds.
Sodium carbonate is a precursor for the production of sodium bicarbonate.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 22, 2023

Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate

Used in personal care products for its mild abrasive properties.
Sodium hydrogen carbonate is a component of some toothpastes.
Sara Rehman
Nov 22, 2023

Sodium Carbonate

A cleaning agent known for its ability to soften water.
Sodium carbonate is used to remove grease and wine stains.
Sara Rehman
Nov 22, 2023

Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate

A white crystalline compound used as a leavening agent in baking.
Sodium hydrogen carbonate causes dough to rise when baking bread.
Sara Rehman
Nov 22, 2023

Sodium Carbonate

A sodium salt of carbonic acid used in the manufacture of glass.
Sodium carbonate is added to sand and lime to produce glass.
Sara Rehman
Nov 22, 2023

Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate

A mild disinfectant due to its antifungal and antibacterial properties.
Sodium hydrogen carbonate is used to clean kitchen surfaces.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 22, 2023

FAQs

What is sodium hydrogen carbonate?

Commonly known as baking soda, it's used in baking and as an antacid.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 06, 2023

What is sodium carbonate?

It's a sodium salt used in glassmaking and as a cleaning agent.
Sara Rehman
Dec 06, 2023

How do sodium carbonate and sodium hydrogen carbonate differ in pH?

Sodium carbonate is more alkaline than sodium hydrogen carbonate.
Sara Rehman
Dec 06, 2023

Can sodium carbonate be used in baking?

No, it's too alkaline and doesn't release CO2 like sodium hydrogen carbonate.
Harlon Moss
Dec 06, 2023

What are the health effects of sodium carbonate?

In high concentrations, it can be irritating to skin and eyes.
Sara Rehman
Dec 06, 2023

How is sodium carbonate produced?

Through the Solvay process using salt and limestone.
Sara Rehman
Dec 06, 2023

Is sodium hydrogen carbonate edible?

Yes, it's commonly used in food and as an antacid.
Harlon Moss
Dec 06, 2023

Is sodium hydrogen carbonate a good cleaning agent?

Yes, it's used as a mild disinfectant and cleaner.
Harlon Moss
Dec 06, 2023

Is sodium carbonate harmful to the environment?

It can be, especially in large quantities in water bodies.
Sara Rehman
Dec 06, 2023

Can sodium hydrogen carbonate be used in swimming pools?

Yes, but it's less effective than sodium carbonate in adjusting pH.
Sara Rehman
Dec 06, 2023

How does sodium hydrogen carbonate react with acids?

It reacts to release carbon dioxide gas.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 06, 2023

Can sodium carbonate be used in personal care products?

It's less common due to its higher alkalinity.
Sara Rehman
Dec 06, 2023

Is sodium hydrogen carbonate effective in fire extinguishers?

Yes, it's used in some dry chemical fire extinguishers.
Sara Rehman
Dec 06, 2023

Can sodium hydrogen carbonate be used for laundry?

Yes, as a deodorizer and stain remover.
Janet White
Dec 06, 2023

Are there any health risks associated with sodium hydrogen carbonate?

Overuse can disrupt the body's acid-base balance.
Janet White
Dec 06, 2023

Can sodium carbonate be used for pH adjustment in aquariums?

Yes, but it must be used carefully due to its high alkalinity.
Harlon Moss
Dec 06, 2023

Is sodium hydrogen carbonate safe for cooking?

Yes, it's commonly used in cooking and baking.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 06, 2023

What precautions should be taken with sodium carbonate?

Avoid inhalation and contact with skin or eyes.
Janet White
Dec 06, 2023

Is sodium hydrogen carbonate effective in reducing odors?

Yes, it's widely used as a deodorizer.
Sara Rehman
Dec 06, 2023

What are the industrial uses of sodium carbonate?

In glassmaking, detergents, and chemical production.
Janet White
Dec 06, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sara Rehman
Sara Rehman is a seasoned writer and editor with extensive experience at Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Information Technology, she combines her academic prowess with her passion for writing to deliver insightful and well-researched content.
Edited by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.

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