sodium sulfate decahydrate (SSD)
sodium sulfate decahydrate, also known as Glauber’s salt, is an inorganic ionic salt with the chemical formula Na2S2O3 which is an essential mineral component of the human body. Among its functions is to maintain electrolyte balance in the body and replenish water. Sodium sulfate is commonly used in the treatment of fluid and electrolyte disturbances such as low blood pressure, diarrhea, or dizziness.
It is produced by two methods, natural and chemical. The natural form is found in saline lakes and as a constituent of brines. The artificial form is produced as a by-product of industrial processes, such as the Mannheim process or the Hargreaves process.
In its pure state, sodium sulfate can be prepared by the reaction of a molten sulfate with a dissolved salt such as sulfuric acid or hydrochloric acid. Alternatively, the decahydrate can be purified from a concentrated solution of anhydrous sodium sulfate by heating to a lower temperature and then warming up again.
The decahydrate is soluble in water at a range of temperatures. Solubility increases dramatically when heated to 20 degrees Celsius, and reaches its maximum value at 100 degrees Celsius.
sodium sulfate decahydrate is used as a laboratory reagent to precipitate protein and as a filler in powdered home laundry detergents. It also facilitates leveling and reduces negative charges on fibers, thereby allowing dye to penetrate evenly. It is also used as a laxative which removes certain drugs from the body, such as acetaminophen.