Baking Soda

Baking soda is a common leavener in baked products. This simple chemical molecule is also referred to as sodium bicarbonate. This article discusses baking soda in detail.

Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate, sometimes known as sodium hydrogen carbonate. The molecule disintegrates into sodium (Na+) cations and carbonate (CO3) anions in water. Baking soda is a white crystalline alkaline substance, often sold in powder form. It tastes a little salty. It occurs naturally as a mineral in nahcolite deposits. The baking soda in the supermarket is food-grade sodium bicarbonate.

Baking Soda

Baking soda comprises a single active ingredient, sodium bicarbonate (sodium hydrogen carbonate). Baking soda’s chemical formula is NaHCO3. Also known as baking soda, bicarbonate of soda, or bread soda, it is a white solid (though it typically appears powdered) with a salty flavour comparable to washing soda (sodium carbonate). It is frequently used in making cakes, cookies, bread, and other similar delicacies worldwide. In addition to being used in food, medicine, and cleaning products, baking soda has a wide range of applications in the home and the workplace. It also makes its way into various products such as fireworks, extinguishers, insecticides, and pesticides. In addition, it may have new applications for companies that want to be more environmentally friendly.

Molecular Composition

Carbon, sodium, hydrogen, and oxygen are all components of baking soda. One molecule of NaHCO3has one carbon, one sodium, one hydrogen, and three oxygen atoms. Based on molecular weight calculations, baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) has 57.1 % sodium, 27.4 % oxygen, 14.3 % carbon, and 1.2 % hydrogen.

Unique features of Baking Soda

Baking Soda (sodium bicarbonate) possesses observable and quantifiable physical and chemical properties. These characteristics include the appearance and chemical activity of baking soda.

  • Non-flammable
  • Non-hazardous powder dust.
  • In terms of melting point, it’s at around 500 degrees Celsius
  • NaHCO3is an odourless white crystalline solid.
  • It is a basic form in nature.
  • Sodium bicarbonate can be removed from water by evaporation since it is water-soluble.
  • Baking soda has two important chemical properties: decomposition and pH.
  • Increase the water’s pH level, which aids in the removal of dirt from fibres, resulting in fresher laundry

Baking Soda Preparation

Industrially, the Solvay method is used to produce baking soda. In addition, the chemical compound sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) is produced in industrial production using a unique process known as ammonia chloride when a concentrated sodium chloride solution is mixed with ammonia, resulting in the release of carbon dioxide and the formation of NaHCO3.

Carbon dioxide, water, ammonia, and concentrated brine solution are all used as raw materials in this process. This procedure is preferred because it is less expensive and requires less raw resources to create the necessary chemicals.

The reaction equation is written as follows:

NH₃ + CO₂ + H₂O → NH₄HCO₃;

NH₄HCO₃ + NaCl → NaHCO₃↓ + NH₄Cl.

Due to the incompatibility of soda with cold water, baking soda can easily be separated through filtration. Again, the ammonium chloride is produced as a byproduct of the reaction. Then, again, ammonia can be chemically synthesised from ]ammonium chloride.

The Mechanism of Baking Soda:

Baking soda is combined with a mild edible acid-like tartaric acid to manufacture baking powder. An acid and bicarbonate (HCO3) can form CO2 when the acid dissolves bicarbonate (HCO3) and water is added. Water and acidic substances trigger reactions, and carbon dioxide gas is removed from the atmosphere. As a result, bubbles form in the food, causing the food to become soft and spongy. As a result, sour things such as curd or buttermilk are required for baking soda to react.

The decomposition of baking soda driven by heat will also result in gas production. It is only when temperatures exceed 80 degrees Celsius that this reaction can occur. No acid is required for this reaction.

Usage of Baking Soda

  • It helps to reduce the acidity mainly in the stomach.
  • It acts as an antacid, which relieves indigestion and stomach discomfort.
  • Used as a softener during the washing process
  • Because it produces soapy foam, it is used in fire extinguishers.
  • Removes dirt from materials without affecting their properties
  • It can act as a pesticide.
  • Used in the bakery industry because it produces carbon dioxide (from the decomposition of NaHCO3), which aids in the thickening of the dough.
  • It can be used in ear drops, cosmetics, and other products for your skin and body care.
  • To counteract the effects of acid, baking soda is used as a neutralizer.

Other Applications for Baking Soda

Baking soda’s importance is well-known for its odour-absorbing properties. As a result, baking soda is frequently used to absorb erroneous smells in fridges, refrigerators, and other confined areas. Baking soda is also a popular cleanser due to its granular texture, which facilitates scrubbing, and alkaline pH, which dissolves certain deposits and build-up.


Baking soda is a crystalline substance that is white in colour and has a salty flavour. It is quite beneficial as a leavening agent in baking since it produces foam and softens the mixture. Additionally, it is referred to as Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate. Baking soda is formed due to the interaction between chlorine and ammonia in the brine solution. It is a non-corrosive and mild basic salt.


Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to the most common queries related to the JEE Examination Preparation.

How to distinguish Baking Soda from Baking Powder?

Ans. The two most widely used chemicals in the kitchen are baking soda and baking powder. These are widely used today as raising agents in doughs a...Read full

How is baking soda transformed into baking powder?

Ans. Baking soda is converted to baking powder with tartaric acid and starch. Baking soda is a common household ingredient with a bitter flavour. W...Read full

What is baking powder's primary role in the baking process?

Ans. Baking powder is often used to boost the volume and lighten the texture of baked products. An acid-base reaction causes carbon dioxide gas to ...Read full

Is baking soda acidic or basic in nature?

Ans. Baking soda is a highly alkaline chemical compound. Therefore, it affects the pH level when mixed with an acid.

Why does baking soda act as a cleanser?

Ans. Because Baking Soda is a moderate alkali, it dissolves dirt and grease quickly in water, making it an effective...Read full