Sodium Hydroxide (and the production of viscose)

Information for the edexcel extension unit on sodium hydroxide and how it is made

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: ella
  • Created on: 18-05-12 17:19


- Soaps

- Detergents

- Oven cleaners (reacts with the grease and turns it into soap, helping with the cleaning process even more)

- Fibres in the textile industry

1 of 3


  • Produced from the electrolysis of salt water (brine)
  • Sodium hydroxide is formed at the cathode (the positive sodium ions are attracted to the negative electrode)
  • Chlorine gas is formed at the anode (some of the chlorine gas reacts with the water to make it acidic)
  • The chlorine can act as a bleach, taking the colour out of the indicator so the two halves of the reaction have to be kept seperate (otherwise the chlorine and sodium hydroxide would react together)
  • On an industrial scale this is done using a steel gauze or a porous membrane. In the lab you can use a piece of damp filter paper between the two dishes
2 of 3


Viscose is a clothing fibre that is made from the plant material cellulose (one important source of cellulose is wood)

You can't make clothes out of wood directly

Sodium hydroxide can be used to react with the wood and break down some of the chemicals that make it tough

The cellulose can now be treated to turn into a purer form which can be spun into fibres which are known as Rayon or Viscose (these aer both polymers)

3 of 3




Would be very useful if i didn't already have the triple guide.

Similar Chemistry resources:

See all Chemistry resources »