chemical formula: NaOH
( pellets )
Sodium Hydroxide (also known as Lye or
Caustic Soda) forms a strongly alkaline solution when dissolved in water,
Sodium Hydroxide is widely used in many industries, mostly as a strong
chemical base in the manufacture of pulp and paper, textiles, drinking
water, soaps and detergents. It is highly corrosive, and extreme care is
required in its use. Solutions of it can cause severe burns on any part of
the body exposed. Sodium hydroxide has also been used with Zinc metal for
creation of the famous "Gold pennies" experiment. When a penny
is boiled in a solution of Sodium Hydroxide together with some granular
Zinc metal, the color of the penny will turn silver in about 45 seconds.
The penny is then held in the flame of a propane or Bunsen burner for a
few seconds and it turns golden (the Zinc and Copper from the penny form
Brass, giving it the gold color).
Sodium Hydroxide is
toxic & corrosive. Use normal safety precautions (wear a filter
mask/respirator and gloves) when working with Sodium Hydroxide.
( Material Safety Data Sheet )