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What Is Sodium Acetate Used For?
Jul 21, 2018

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1.Medical Use

Sodium acetate can serve as a form of sodium for intravenous use, when doctors need to prevent or manage hyponatremia, the condition of having low sodium in the blood. It is also used in certain combinations for use with renal dialysis.

2. Food Preparation Use

Sodium acetate can give salt and vinegar chips their flavor, while also acting as a preservative. The food industry also uses it to improve the flavor of meat and poultry. During food processing, sodium acetate also helps regulate some of the pH levels in certain food products. It has even been said to reduce the risk of hangover when added to alcoholic products.

3. Cosmetic Use

In the health and beauty industry, sodium acetate is used to make soap and a variety of cosmetic products. This is due to its good buffering and neutralizing components.

4. It’s in the Water

More recently, sodium acetate is being used for water treatment, as opposed to the less environmentally-friendly methanol. Sodium acetate is used to reduce the damage water can potentially do to concrete by acting as a concrete sealant, while also being environmentally benign and cheaper than the epoxy alternative that is usually employed for sealing concrete against water permeation.

5. Textile Use

The textile industry has a lot of use for sodium acetate as it is able to remove calcium salts, which then lengthens the life of the finished fabric. Sodium acetate is also used in the textile industry to neutralize sulfuric acid waste streams, and as a photoresist while using aniline dyes. It is also a pickling agent in chrome tanning, and it helps to retard vulcanization of chloroprene in synthetic rubber production. In processing cotton for disposable cotton pads, sodium acetate is used to eliminate the buildup of static electricity.

6. Buffer solution

As the conjugate base of acetic acid, a solution of sodium acetate and acetic acid can act as a buffer to keep a relatively constant pH. This is useful especially in biochemical applications where reactions are pH dependent in a mildly acidic range (pH 4-6).

7. Heating pad

Sodium acetate is also used in consumer heating pads or hand warmers and is also used in hot ice. Sodium acetate trihydrate crystals melt at 58.4°C, (to 58°C ) dissolving in their water of crystallization. When they are heated past the melting point and subsequently allowed to cool, the aqueous solution becomes supersaturated. This solution is capable of cooling to room temperature without forming crystals. By clicking on a metal disc in the heating pad, a nucleation centre is formed which causes the solution to crystallize into solid sodium acetate trihydrate again. The bond-forming process of crystallization is exothermic. The latent heat of fusion is about 264–289 kJ/kg. Unlike some other types of heat packs that depend on irreversible chemical reactions, sodium acetate heat packs can be easily recharged by placing in boiling water for a few minutes until all crystals are dissolved; they can be reused many times.