Sodium Bichromate

Definition - What does Sodium Bichromate mean?

Sodium Bichromate, also known as Sodium Dichromate, is an inorganic compound which is majorly generated in large quantities from chromium (III) oxide ores. The chemical formula for sodium bichromate is Na2Cr2O7. The color of this inorganic compound is reddish orange. When heated, it produces toxic chromium fumes and is highly corrosive. It is mainly used as a strong oxidizing agent.

Petropedia explains Sodium Bichromate

When Chromium (III) oxide ores are fused at temperatures of 1000 degree Celsius in the presence of Sodium Carbonate (Na2CO3) and oxygen they produce Sodium Bichromate.

Here's the equation below:

2 Cr2O3 + 4 Na2CO3 + 3 O2 = 4 Na2CrO4 + 4 CO2

Further acidification in the presence of carbon dioxide or sulfuric acid results in the production of Sodium bichromate.

2 Na2CrO4 + 2 CO2 + H2O = Na2Cr2O7 + 2 NaHCO3

Though, this inorganic compound is toxic, it is produced in millions of tons annually and is used in drilling mud (drilling fluids), metal treatment, wood preservatives, manufacturing of organic chemicals and in corrosion inhibitors.

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