Magadi soda ash is a NATURAL SODA ASH, principally used in the glass industry, as it is highly suitable for the manufacture of bottles, jars, container glass, figured glass as well as flat glass. Other areas of use include:
- Glass Manufacture – Soda ash is the chief source of the alkali constituent of glass and the Magadi Soda Ash is increasingly used in the glass manufacturing industry. Sodium carbonate introduces sodium oxide or soda (Na2O) into the glass formulation. The soda acts as a fluxing agent, breaking the Si-O bonds of silica, thus reducing the viscosity of the melt and lowering the temperature required to form the glass.
- Manufacture of sodium silicate and other sodium compounds – One of the common uses of Magadi Soda Ash is in the production of Sodium Silicate. Soda Ash and silica sand are fused in a furnace at high temperatures, with the ratio of Na2O to SiO2 depending on the relative amounts of each used.
- Soda Ash is also used to produce sodium chromate, which is usually further processed to yield sodium dichromate or chromic acid. Chromium compounds are used in a number of applications, including pigments, preservatives (example wood and leather) catalysts, and chrome plating.
- Formulation of detergents, soap and rayon – The largest single use of Soda Ash within the cleaning products category is in the formulation of household laundry detergent powders where it is added to build, buffer and dilute the detergent mixture. Soda Ash is incorporated in powdered soaps, detergents, and various specialty cleaning products for household, industrial, and commercial applications. It is added to emulsify oil stains, reduce re-deposition of dirt in wash cycles, provide alkalinity for cleaning and soften laundry water.
- Soda Crystals Manufacture – The manufacture of soda crystals from Magadi ash can readily be carried out. Soda crystals, which have the composition Na2CO3-10H2O, are made by cooling down hot, saturated, solutions of soda ash.
- Water Softening – Water never occurs in a pure state in nature but always contains impurities in suspension or solution. Thus by adding the appropriate amounts of lime and soda ash, the calcium and magnesium in hard water is almost entirely removed. For cheap and efficient water softening, the use of lime and Magadi Soda Ash, together with a small quantity of sodium aluminate, is recommended.
- Pulp and paper industry – Magadi Soda Ash is used by the pulp and paper industry primarily in the preparation of pulping liquors. The neutral sulfite semi chemical pulping process consumes the majority of the soda ash used. This process uses a weak solution of sodium sulfite prepared from sulfur dioxide and sodium carbonate. It can also be used to produce pulping liquors for other chemical pulping processes.
- Steel and metallurgical industries – used in mining and smelting of various metals and minerals, especially in alumina productions. However, only 5.8% of sodium carbonate produced is consumed by this sector globally.
- Caustic Liquor Manufacture – Certain industries such as the soap and mercerizing industries use solutions of caustic soda in large quantities to causticize soda ash with lime.
- Used in the textile, dyeing and bleaching industries, souring wool and cotton