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Some Useful Compounds

Sodium Chloride, (NaCl)
Common Name Common salt
Preparation It is obtained from sea water as a mixture (Na2SO4, CaSO4, MgSO4, MgCl2, CaCl2), passed over HCl, and the filtrate is washed and dried.
Uses Food supplement


Sodium carbonate, (Na2CO3)
Common Name Soda ash–
Crystals of carbonate–
Na2CO3 ∙ H2O
Washing soda crystals–
Na2CO3 · 10H2O
Preparation Solvay’s process/ammonia soda process
CO2 is passed through a concentrated NaCl solution saturated with ammonia that forms sodium bicarbonate, which is further heated to form sodium carbonate.
2NaHCO3(s)  Na2CO3(s) + H2O(l) + CO2(g)
  • In manufacture of soap, glass, paper, sodium hydroxide, photography
  • Used as water softener and for controlling the pH of water
  • Cleansing agent for domestic purposes


Sodium bicarbonate, (NaHCO3)
Common Name Baking soda
Preparation It is an intermediate product in the preparation of Na2CO3 by Solvay process.
  • In manufacture of baking powder and aerated water
  • Used for neutralisation of stomach acidity


Calcium oxide, (CaO)
Common Name Quick lime Caustic lime
The process is known as calcination.
  • Used as linings in furnaces (as it has high melting point)
  • In manufacture of bleaching powder, calcium carbide, basic calcium nitride, glass
  • Important constituent of cement


Calcium hydroxide, (Ca(OH)2)
Common Name Slaked lime
Slaking of lime
Clear solution of Ca(OH)2–lime water
Suspension of Ca(OH)2–milk of lime
  • In manufacture of bleaching powder, cement, mortar and in tanning industry
  • In white washing


Calcium oxy-chloride, (CaOCl2)
Common Name Bleaching powder
Action of chlorine on slaked lime
  • Used for bleaching purposes
  • Used as a disinfectant and germicide, especially for sterilising water
  • To prepare chloroform
  • Used to make wool shrink-proof
  • It helps to detect carbon dioxide by turning lime water milky


Hydrated calcium sulphate, Description: 25902.png
Common Name Plaster of Paris
H2O is obtained by heating gypsum (CaSO4 ∙ 2H2O) to 120°C
Description: 25893.png
  • Setting of broken bones by plastering over broken limbs
  • Used for making blackboards, chalks, toys, moulds status etc.


Calcium carbonate, (CaCO3)
Common Name Lime stone
Sources are sea-shell, conches, shells of eggs, marble-stones
  • In manufacture of cement
  • In extraction of metals and as a source of carbon dioxide
  • To obtain quick lime, slaked lime


Sodium hydroxide, (NaOH)
Common Name Lye or caustic soda
By electrolysis of aq NaCl solution
By evaporation gives solid NaOH
  • As strong base in chemical industry
  • In manufacture of sodium salts and detergents, for pH regulation, for organic synthesis
  • For aluminium production by Bayer’s process
  • To neutralise acids


Hydrochloric acid, (HCl)
Common Name Muriatic acid
Description: 26307.png
Under diffused sunlight
H2 + Cl2  2HCl
  • In manufacture of drugs, dyes, paints, silver chloride for photography, glucose from starch, preparation of aqua regia (HCl + HNO3 mixture)
  • In extraction of glue from bones
  • In dissolving Ca3(PO4)2 in extraction of bone charcoal
  • Cleaning metal surfaces before galvanising, painting, soldering, electroplating. This process is named—picking.


Potassium hydroxide, (KOH)
Common Name Caustic potash
  • In manufacture of biodiesel, soft soaps
  • Used as an electrolyte
  • Used in petroleum and natural gas refining for removal of organic acids and sulphur compounds


Potassium aluminium sulphate, (KAI(SO4)2 ·12H2O)
Common Name Potash alum
Potassium alum
Tawas Alum
Preparation Occurs naturally as encrustations on rocks.
  • Used in water purification, leather, tanning, dyeing, fireproof textiles, baking powder
  • Cosmetic uses—deodorant, as after shave treatment and as styptic for minor bleeding


Ammonium iron (II) sulphate, ((NH4)2Fe(SO4)2 ·6H2O)
Common Name Mohr’s salt or double salt of ferrous sulphate and ammonium sulphate
Preparation Dissolving an equimolar mixture of hydrated
FeSO4 and (NH4)2SO4; in H2O + little H2SO4
Crystallisation (light green crystals)
  • In manufacture of ink
  • To kill parasites on grass
  • To colour leather and woolen


Copper (II) sulphate, (CuSO4 ∙ 5H2O)
Common Name
Blue vitriol Blue stone (pentahydrate)
Copper metal
 + hot H2SO4 (concentrated)
CuSO4 · 5H2O
  • Used as herbicide, fungicide, pesticide
  • Analytic reagent
  • Organic synthesis
  • Dyeing


Zinc sulphate, (ZnSO4)
Common Name White vitriol
Preparation Laboratory preparation:
  • Used as coagulant in production of rayon
  • To supply zinc in animal feeds, fertilisers and agricultural sprays
  • To control moss growth on roofs
  • As in electrolytes for zinc plating
  • Mordant in dyeing
  • As preservative and in medicine


Sulphuric acid, (H2SO4)
Common Name Oil of vitriol
Preparation It is prepared from sulphur, oxygen and water by the conventional contact process.
  • Domestic acidic drawing leaner
  • Electrolyte in lead-acid batteries
  • Cleaning agent
  • Mineral processing, fertiliser manufacturing, oil-refining, waste water processing, chemical synthesis


Iron sulphate/ferrous sulphate, (FeSO4)
Common Name Green vitriol
Preparation Formed naturally by oxidation of sulphide minerals (iron sulphide)
Fe + H2SO4  FeSO4 + H2
2FeS2 + 7O2 + 2H2O  2FeSO4 + 2H2SO4
  • Treatment of iron deficiency
  • Colorant

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