Caustic soda, an alkaline substance commonly found in household cleaning and hair care products, can cause liquefactive necrosis upon contact with tissues due to its high pH level. Caustic soda has a strong affinity for moisture. It readily absorbs water from the surrounding environment, continuing to do so until the point where it completely dissolves. This hygroscopic property of caustic soda means that it will continuously draw in and incorporate atmospheric moisture, transforming from a solid state into a liquid solution as more water is absorbed.

Caustic soda is one of the most important and widely used chemical feedstocks globally. Notably, caustic soda is also a co-product generated during the production of chlorine, which accounts for 97% of the chlorine manufacturing process through the electrolysis of sodium chloride.


Technical Characteristics

Chemical formula NaOH
CAS Number 1310-73-2
Other names Ascarite, Caustic soda, Lye, Soda lye

Sodium hydrate, White caustic

Molecular Weight 39.997 g/mole
Appearance White, opaque crystals
Density 2.13 g/cm³




This versatile chemical compound finds extensive applications across various industries:

  • Textile Industry: Caustic soda plays a crucial role in removing impurities from fibers during textile processing. The fabric is immersed in an alkaline solution containing caustic soda and boiled. This process causes oily substances like natural wax to dissolve, creating a layer of soapy residue on the surface of the solution. This phase, known as saponification, is integral to the overall textile treatment process, referred to as scouring.
  • Petroleum Engineering: Caustic soda is an effective neutralizing agent for sulfuric acid. During the drilling of formations using drilling mud, hydrogen sulfide (H2S) components present in certain geological layers can dissolve into the drilling mud, forming sulfuric acid. This acidic liquid is detrimental to the mechanical components of the drill bit. To mitigate the serious effects of the acid, mud engineers add caustic soda to the drilling mud solution. The caustic soda neutralizes the sulfuric acid, helping to protect the sensitive parts of the drill bit from corrosion and damage.
  • Paper industry: The majority of impurities present in the raw wood, including lignin, oleoresin, and waxes, are removed by utilizing caustic soda. This process helps in separating these impurities from the wood, allowing for the production of high-quality cellulose needed for paper manufacturing.
  • Food processing: the browning of pretzels to enhance their crispiness. It is employed to peel the skin off tomatoes, potatoes, and other fruits and vegetables before canning. Additionally, caustic soda serves as a food preservative ingredient, playing a crucial role in inhibiting the growth of mold and bacteria in food products.


Environmental impact and sustainability of Caustic Soda   

Caustic soda, being a potent alkali, has the potential to cause severe burns and tissue damage if it comes into contact with the skin or eyes. It is crucial to wear appropriate protective gear like gloves and goggles while working with caustic soda to reduce the risk of injury.

When caustic soda mixes with water, it undergoes an exothermic reaction, releasing heat. This reaction can be vigorous, leading to splashes and burns. Dilution processes should be approached with caution to prevent accidents.

Inhaling caustic soda fumes or mist can irritate the respiratory system, causing coughing or breathing difficulties. Adequate ventilation is necessary in enclosed spaces where caustic soda is used to minimize inhalation risks.

Disposing of caustic soda solutions into water bodies can harm the environment. The high alkalinity of caustic soda can disrupt water pH levels, affecting aquatic ecosystems. Proper disposal methods that adhere to environmental regulations are essential to mitigate these environmental risks.

Packing and Storage

Caustic soda is packed and stored using specific packing to ensure safety, prevent contamination, and maintain its quality. In order to deliver sodium hydroxide products to the customer, different packings are used as follows:

25 KG Polypropylene Bags; Jumbo bags; Shrinked 25 KG Bags on Wooden Pallets; and IBC Container.

The availability of caustic soda in these different formats allows for flexibility in transportation, storage, and distribution, catering to the specific requirements of various applications and industries.

Because its vapors are toxic, sodium hydroxide storage should be well-ventilated. Secure storage buildings to prevent unauthorized access. Never allow untrained personnel access to caustic soda. Caustic soda crystallizes at low temperatures. Keep storage temperatures controlled in the range 85 F to 100 F. If the temperature drops below 65 F, the viscosity of the product increases, which may affect its performance.