Sodium Bicarbonate

Definition - What does Sodium Bicarbonate mean?

Sodium Bicarbonate, also known as baking soda or bicarb is a white crystalline salt that consists of sodium and carbonate ions in powder form. It is a chemical compound whose IUPAC name is Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate. Based on this IUPAC name, the chemical formula for sodium bicarbonate is derived as NaHCO3. It resembles washing soda and has wide range of uses as follows:

  • Cooking
  • Cleansing agent
  • Paint and corrosion removing agent
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Alkalinity or pH value enhancer
  • Pest control.

Petropedia explains Sodium Bicarbonate

In the oil and gas industry, sodium bicarbonate is used to prepare cement for well cementing applications. It helps in treating cement contamination in water mud.

In order to make cement a binding agent, it needs to be hydrated with water and when this is done, calcium hydroxide or slaked lime Ca(OH)2 is produced. As the cement sets in the well casing, less free lime is available. During well drilling, this partially set cement and the use of water base drilling mud makes the Ca+2 & OH- ions to be leached into the mud. This causes various problems such as polymer precipitation and clay flocculation. In order to avoid these problems, sodium bicarbonate is mixed with the cement when it is being hydrated for cementing application. This helps in neutralizing the OH- ions with H+ ions.

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