Sodium hydroxide is a common alkali and an inorganic base whose other names are caustic soda and lye. The chemical formula for the compound is given as NaOH and a molecular weight of 40.01 g/mol. This is an alkali salt of sodium and you can see the structure of compound as given below –
This compound is ionic in nature and consists of Na+ or OH- ions. Na is a cation and the hydroxide is an anion. To prepare the compound, you should perform the electrolysis process where aqueous NaCl gives sodium hydroxide and gases, flakes, pellets etc.
2 NaCl + 2 H2O → 2 NaOH + Cl2 + H2
This is an odourless chemical compound and highly soluble in polar solvent like ethanol, water, methanol etc. This is not soluble in organic solvents. When NaOH is dissolved in water, it will undergo exothermic reaction and results in aqueous solution that is transparent, free from odor and used in laboratories as a common base.
As a stronger base, it readily combines with acids to form HCl and corresponding salts. Due to its hygroscopic features, it could absorb the CO2 and water from the air. The compound is widely used in paper industries, textile industries, pH regulation or industrial cleaning etc. it can be used for food industries too for a variety of purposes. The compound is quite corrosive in nature and decomposes quickly. Tt may severe irritation to eyes and permanent blindness in the worst cases.