• Question: how is alkili made???

    Asked by terrydabinman123 to James on 12 Nov 2013.
    • Photo: James Hickey

      James Hickey answered on 12 Nov 2013:

      Hey terrydabinman123!

      Alkali’s are made from a series of chemical experiments. There are a number of different processes, including the Leblanc process, which I will (try to) explain (I’m no chemistry specialist).

      First, you mix sodium chloride (NaCl) and sulphuric acid (H2SO4):
      2 NaCl + H2SO4 → Na2SO4 + 2 HCl

      Then you take the sodium sulphate (Na2SO4) from that and fire it up with some coal (C) and limestone (CaCO3) in a 2-step reaction:
      Na2SO4 + 2 C → Na2S + 2 CO2
      Na2S + CaCO3 → Na2CO3 + CaS

      Then the sodium carbonate (CaCO3; alkali) can be extracted with water.

      I hope that helps…?