Did you know that washing soda can be obtained through two distinct methods, each with its own journey and environmental implications?
1. Natural Production of Washing Soda
In the natural production of washing soda, the raw material is Trona, a mineral found in only certain deposits throughout the world.
The largest producer of natural washing and bicarb soda is the United States, with the Green River Basin in Wyoming known for having significant deposits of trona ore.
Here is the process to attain naturally forming washing soda.
- Mining Trona Ore: Trona ore is mined from underground deposits.
- Crushing and Purification: The mined trona ore is crushed and then heated to remove impurities.
- Sodium Carbonate Formation: The purified trona is then treated with carbon dioxide gas, resulting in the formation of sodium carbonate and other by-products.
- Drying and Processing: The sodium carbonate solution is evaporated, and the resulting solid is dried and processed to create washing soda in powdered form.
2. Synthetic Production of Washing Soda
The synthetic production of washing soda, while efficient in terms of yield, can have environmental impacts due to the processes involved. The raw material used is common salt (sodium chloride) and the process involves several steps:
- Ammonia Production:Ammonia gas is produced by reacting nitrogen and hydrogen gases at high temperatures under pressure.
- Ammonia and Brine Solution:Ammonia gas is then combined with a brine solution (sodium chloride dissolved in water) to form a solution of ammonium chloride.
- Sodium Carbonate Formation:This solution is mixed with limestone (calcium carbonate), creating a chemical reaction that results in the formation of calcium chloride and ammonium carbonate.
- Sodium Bicarbonate Formation:The ammonium carbonate solution is heated, which releases carbon dioxide gas and forms sodium bicarbonate (bicarb soda) crystals.
- Conversion to Washing Soda:The sodium bicarbonate crystals are heated again to convert them into washing soda (sodium carbonate), releasing water and carbon dioxide as byproducts.
Overall, the synthetic production process still presents challenges in terms of its environmental footprint compared to more naturally sourced alternatives which you can purchase online now from Under Your Sink.
Buy naturally harvest WASHING SODA in plastic free packaging, Australia wide delivery.