Sodium Sulfate

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Sodium sulfate is a substance with a chemical equation of Na2SO4. It is an inorganic compound with a melting point of 884 degC. This compound is soluble in water and glycerol.

Sodium sulfate is used in a variety of industries as a raw material for other materials. Among the most common uses are in the production of sodium sulfide, enamel, and water glass. In the USA, it was sold for around $70 per ton in 1995.

Sodium sulfate ions are used in many chemical analyses reagents. In addition, it is a component of the additives in a variety of household detergents. The concentrations of sodium sulfate in these detergents range from 0 to 56.7 percent.

Sodium sulfate can be absorbed by human skin in large quantities. However, it may cause diarrhea and gastrointestinal irritation. When ingested, the ions mechanically stimulate the mucosa of the intestinal tract. They are also a diuretic. Hence, sodium sulfate is sometimes given to treat constipation.

Sodium sulfate has been proposed as a heat storage agent in passive solar heating systems. However, it has unusual solubility properties.

Sodium sulfate and sulfate salts can be oxidized by air. Therefore, they must never be discharged directly into surface waters. Nevertheless, they can be deposited into soils and landfills.

Sodium sulfate produces a crystalline phase when aqueous solutions are poured. It is white in color and has a rhombus shape. A temperature of approximately 32.4 to 223 degC causes the crystals to form.

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