Chemical Properties and Common Uses of Sodium Bisulfite

Common Industrial Uses and Products that Include Sodium Bisulfite

Sodium bisulfite is a versatile chemical that is used in a variety of industrial applications. One of the most common uses for sodium bisulfite is as a food preservative. It is often added to processed foods to prevent spoilage and extend their shelf life. Sodium bisulfite is also used as a bleaching agent in the pulp and paper industry, as well as a reducing agent in the production of photographic chemicals.

Another important use of sodium bisulfite is in the treatment of wastewater. It is an effective dechlorinating agent that can neutralize the harmful effects of chlorine in wastewater before it is discharged into the environment. Sodium bisulfite is also used in the mining industry to extract gold and other precious metals from ores.

Other industrial uses of sodium bisulfite include the production of leather, textiles, and pharmaceuticals. It is also used as a water treatment chemical to remove impurities and improve the quality of drinking water.

How Sodium Bisulfite is Produced

Sodium bisulfite is typically produced by reacting sodium hydroxide with sulfur dioxide. The reaction produces sodium sulfite, which is then treated with excess sulfur dioxide to form sodium bisulfite. The chemical can also be produced by reacting sodium carbonate with sulfur dioxide and then treating the resulting sodium sulfite with hydrochloric acid.

The production of sodium bisulfite requires careful control of temperature, pressure, and reaction time to ensure that the reaction proceeds efficiently and yields a high-quality product. The chemical is typically produced in large quantities and is available in both solid and liquid forms.

When Sodium Bisulfite was First Discovered and Made Commercially Available

Sodium bisulfite was first discovered in the mid-19th century by French chemist Henri Étienne Sainte-Claire Deville. Deville was conducting experiments on the reaction between sulfur dioxide and sodium hydroxide when he observed the formation of a new compound that he named sodium bisulfite.

The commercial production of sodium bisulfite began in the early 20th century, with the chemical being used primarily as a food preservative. Over time, its use has expanded to include a wide range of industrial applications, making it one of the most versatile and widely used


Sodium Bisulfite is a chemical compound commonly used in various industrial applications. It is a white crystalline powder that has a strong sulfur odor. It is soluble in water and forms a weak acidic solution. Sodium Bisulfite is primarily used as a reducing agent, preservative, and antioxidant in various industries.

Technical Properties

Sodium Bisulfite has several notable technical properties that make it useful in various applications. It has a melting point of 150°C and a boiling point of 315°C. It is a stable compound under normal conditions but can decompose when exposed to heat or light. Sodium Bisulfite has a density of 1.48 g/cm³ and is highly soluble in water. It is also soluble in alcohol, but insoluble in ether.

Chemical Formula

The chemical formula for Sodium Bisulfite is NaHSO3. It is an ionic compound that consists of a sodium cation (Na+) and a bisulfite anion (HSO3-). The bisulfite ion is formed by adding a hydrogen sulfite ion (HSO3-) to a hydrogen ion (H+). Sodium Bisulfite is a salt of sulfurous acid (H2SO3) and is also known as sodium hydrogen sulfite.

Key Properties

Sodium Bisulfite has several key properties that make it useful in various industrial applications. It is a reducing agent that can be used to remove oxygen from solutions and prevent oxidation. It is also used as a preservative in the food and beverage industry to prevent spoilage. Sodium Bisulfite is an antioxidant that can prevent the degradation of certain products. It is also used in the textile industry to bleach and remove stains from fabrics.

  • Melting point: 150°C
  • Boiling point: 315°C
  • Density: 1.48 g/cm³
  • Solubility: Highly soluble in water and soluble in alcohol

In conclusion, Sodium Bisulfite is a versatile chemical compound that has several industrial applications. Its technical properties, such as its melting point, boiling point, and density, make it useful in various applications. Its chemical formula, NaHSO3, is an ionic compound that consists of a sodium cation and a bisulfite