Fun and Unique Properties of Sodium Chloride (Common Salt)

Properties of Sodium Chloride (Common Salt)
Sodium chloride, or common salt, as it is more popularly known as, is a vital ingredient of our everyday cooking. Learn more about the properties of sodium chloride right here.
Salt has been in use as a preservative since the ancient times. Back then, it was even put to good use in barter trading. Through history, we have observed wars being fought over the rightful distribution of salt. It is an important condiment alright, possibly the most important one to sit on our kitchen shelves at all times.

The uses of common salt are surprisingly many - primarily because we only think of it as a basic flavoring agent in our meals. In fact, a very small percentage of salt is used for human consumption, the rest of it is used for industrial purposes. It is present in our savory and sweet food alike, and acts as a fine preservative. Salt is used exceedingly to preserve meats, fish in particular. Its industrial uses can be seen in glass manufacturing, textile dyes, pottery, soaps/detergents, cosmetics, and several others.

Salt is a mineral that is naturally present on Earth, mainly in the oceans and seas. Refined salt, unrefined salt, and table salt are its different forms. The unique properties of salt have led it to become such a versatile substance.


Physical Properties

  • The chemical formula of Sodium Chloride is NaCl.
  • Its mineral name is halite.
  • Its molecular mass is 58.44 g/mol.
  • It is a crystalline solid that is odorless and colorless or white.
  • Its density is 2.165 g per cubic centimeters.
  • It has a face centered cubical structure.
  • The refractive index of NaCl is 1.5442. 

Solubility

  • It is soluble in water, glycerol, ethylene glycol, and formic acid.
  • The solubility in methanol is 1.49 grams in 100 milliliters of methanol.
  • The solubility in ammonia is 2.15 grams per 100 milliliters of ammonia.
  • It is insoluble in hydrochloric acid (HCL). 

Melting Point/Boiling Point

  • The melting point of sodium chloride is 801 degree Celsius or 1074 degree Kelvin.
  • Its boiling point is 1465 degree Celsius or 1738 degree Kelvin. 

Read it With a Pinch of NaCl...
  • Individual components of salt are harmful. Sodium lights up if it comes into contact with water, and chloride is toxic when swallowed. But the combination of the two is as perfect as perfect can be.
  • Egyptians used salt in the process of embalming.
  • The Japanese believed that a sprinkle of salt kept the evil spirits away.
  • There was a time when salt bars were used as currency in Ethiopia.
  • Salt acts as an excellent stain remover.
  • Fruits and vegetables contain negligible amount of salt.
  • The presence of salt regulates the water content in our cells. Any disturbance here, and we would either feel bloated or dehydrated.
  • A non-violent protest was led by Mahatma Gandhi in India (1930) against the British government for making salt a taxable commodity.
  • Table salt has 60 to 99 percent sodium chloride.
  • Calcium chloride and sodium carbonate can be prepared from sodium chloride.
  • Bathing additives and cosmetic products are prepared from sea salts.
  • The Dead Sea is one of the most saline water bodies of the world, with a 33.7% salinity level.
  • Regular intake of iodized salt helps your thyroid glands to function normally.
  • Over consumption of salt may cause hypertension, osteoporosis, gastric cancer, even skin irritations.

Sodium chloride is an integral part of our daily lives, and its uses extend beyond our kitchens. It is really hard to go about our regular tasks without it, as can be understood from its uses mentioned above. Common salt is, therefore, nature's most precious gift to us.