Sodium hydroxide production

Sodium hydroxide production

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Sodium hydroxide production. Schematic diagram of the diaphragm cell method for the chlor-alkali electrolytic process to produce sodium hydroxide. Brine (26% sodium chloride, blue) is piped in at left. The use of electricity from the positive and negative electrodes (labelled) cause chlorine gas to form at the anode (left, dark green), and hydrogen gas at the cathode (right, pale green). Piped out at lower right is a mixture (pink) of sodium hydroxide (12%) and sodium chloride (14%). This is named the diaphragm method because the cathode is a series of asbestos-coated diaphragm baffles (black). Sodium hydroxide is a chemical that is widely used in the chemical industry, and chlorine and hydrogen are also important products.

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