Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate Formula: Structure, Properties, Uses

Learn the sodium hydrogen carbonate formula (NaHCO3) and its uses in chemistry. Explore the properties and applications of baking soda in this informative guide. The Solvay process produces Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate Formula by reacting with sodium chloride, water, and carbon dioxide to produce NaHCO3 along with ammonium chloride salt.

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The chemical element commonly known as sodium bicarbonate was officially named Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). Its alternate name, hydrogen carbonate, is also widely recognized. In our everyday lives, we often refer to it as Baking Soda or bicarbonate of soda. Breaking down its compounds, we find Salt (Na+) and carbonate (HCO3), resulting in its formula: NaHCO3. Sold in a solid crystalline-like form, it appears as a fine white powder when used by individuals. By inserting known values into the formula, we can determine its molecular weight, which measures at 84.006 gm/mol. Now, let us explore some of the properties of Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate.

Properties of NaHCO3

  • The chemical structure of Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate, which is crystal-like, is monoclinic.
  • It contains a positive (+ve) ion of Na+ and a negative (-ve) ion of HCO3.
  • A key element of the industrial production of hydrogen carbonate is sodium carbonate.
  • When producing sodium hydrogen carbonate, the following reaction will take place:

Na2CO3 + CO2 + H2O2NaHCO3 (Sodium hydrogen carbonate chemical formula)

Chemical formula of Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate NaHCO3
Molecular weight of Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate 84.007 g/mol
Density of Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate 2.20 g/cm3
Melting point of Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate 50 °C
Flashpoint of Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate Incombustible

Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate Formula Structure

Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate Formula is solid, and has a crystalline structure that resembles a crystal. It has a white colour and no odor. Its density in its crystal form is 2.2 g/mL while its density in its powder form is 1.2 g/mL. The Solvay process produces Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate Formula by reacting with sodium chloride, water, and carbon dioxide to produce NaHCO3 along with ammonium chloride salt.

Also Check – Hexane Formula

The Solvay Process

There is another process of making sodium hydrogen carbonate, and that process is called the Solvay Process. This process is mostly recommended for making sodium carbonate as an intermediate.

NaCl + CO2 + NH3 + H20 ⟶ NaHCO3 + NH4Cl

Let’s delve into the process thoroughly, considering the symbols for Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate and Ammonium Chloride. These elements combine to form sodium hydrogen carbonate, along with carbon dioxide, ammonia, and sodium chloride as byproducts. Like all things, even sodium hydrogen carbonate has a limited lifespan of two to three years. The duration of this lifespan is dependent on proper storage in a cool and dry environment.

Also Check – Hydrocyanic Acid Formula


Sodium hydrogen carbonate, also known as baking soda, has a wide range of uses in both household and industrial settings. It can even serve as a medical aid for certain conditions. Some of its common uses include:

  • It acts as a leavening agent in baking, hence its name “baking soda”
  • Reacting with acidic materials such as hydrogen phosphates, cream of tartar, lemon juice, yogurt, and more to release carbon dioxide and create the characteristic texture and structure in baked goods
  • Being an ingredient in baking powder used for cooking
  • Playing a role in pyrotechnics and fireworks by producing long snake-like ash through thermal decomposition with sucrose
  • Being utilized to delay combustion by releasing carbon dioxide and water, making it useful in fire extinguishers
  • Neutralizing acid spills in industries by quickly reacting with acids to produce carbon dioxide
  • Serving as an effective antacid for treating indigestion and heartburn caused by excess acidity.

Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate Formula FAQs

Q1. What is the chemical formula of sodium hydrogen carbonate?

Ans. The chemical formula of sodium hydrogen carbonate is NaHCO3.

Q2. What is the common name for sodium hydrogen carbonate?

Ans. Sodium hydrogen carbonate is commonly known as "baking soda" or "bicarbonate of soda."

Q3. What is the main culinary use of sodium hydrogen carbonate?

Ans. Sodium hydrogen carbonate is used as a leavening agent in baking to help dough or batter rise by releasing carbon dioxide gas when exposed to heat or an acidic ingredient.

Q4. How is sodium hydrogen carbonate used as an antacid?

Ans. Sodium hydrogen carbonate can act as an antacid by neutralizing excess stomach acid when ingested, providing relief from heartburn and indigestion.

Q5. What are some other applications of sodium hydrogen carbonate?

Ans.  Sodium hydrogen carbonate is used in various applications, including as a fire extinguishing agent, a cleaning agent, and in certain medical treatments, such as intravenous bicarbonate therapy for metabolic acidosis.

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