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Baking soda for increasing the pH of water

Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate is a chemical compound with formula NaHCo3 . Baking soda is most commonly used while baking, cooking and even for cleaning. It also helps provide relief from acid reflux and indigestion. There are several other uses of baking soda. It is often added to swimming pool water, water in a fish tank and so on. You would want to know if adding baking soda lowers the pH in water.

pH levels are a measure of acidity or alkalinity of a solution. If pH of liquid is lower then that solution is acidic and when pH is higher the solution is alkaline. pH scale ranges are from 0 to 14. Usually pure water is neutral with pH levels of around 7. However, there are factors that cause pH of water to alter. Usually high pH of water is due to the dissolved solids and mineral ions. Such water is referred as hard water. Hard water is often the cause of stains on appliances, laundry, etc. It is mostly not suitable for use.

Baking soda does not lower the pH in water but is useful in raising the pH. If you want to make it safe for you to use the swimming pool water with pH levels higher than they are, then adding baking soda helps raise the pH in water. Similarly, when you have some fish in the aquarium at home you may find it necessary to modify the pH value and the hardness. For some species of fish, it has been found that tap water is not suitable.

Taking the example of fish, if you have the African Rift valley cichlids, the water hardness and pH levels will have to be changed. To do that you need equal parts of baking soda, Epsom salts and calcium chloride or marine salt mix. You can achieve a pH value of up to 8.2 with sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) ions. The Epsom salt and calcium chloride can be used to increase the water hardness. Only remember and be cautious when you play around changing the pH and hardness levels. If water conditions become unstable it may prove fatal for the aquarium fish. It is Epsom salt that is useful in making water softer, i.e. reducing hardness of water. If you add baking soda to de-chlorinated water from the aquarium, it may cause short term drop of pH. However, it will gradually bring up the pH to 8.2. Baking soda should be used to buffer the drop in pH levels when you trying to adjust the levels as it may be harmful to your fish.

Water that is used for drinking should preferably have a pH level between 6.5 and 8.5. If the levels go beyond 8.5, it means there are high levels of alkalinity minerals in it. Though it is not harmful for health, you will find an alkali taste to water. If the pH is lower then water is acidic, it is naturally soft. It can leach metals like copper, lead and zinc from your pipes and plumbing which may be harmful.

Baking soda cannot be used to lower the pH of water. It is most commonly used to increase the pH levels and also help buffer drops in levels when you are trying to adjust water quality to suit the needs of swimming pools and aquariums.

Joseph Priestly was the chemist who invented soda water

Soda water has become a million dollar industry. It has gained fan following around the world. There are so many variants you can find which are popular among people of all ages. You would surely be interested in knowing “who invented soda water?” It was Joseph Priestly who gave this gift to us. The first instance of soda water or carbonated water is the mineral water found naturally.
Scientists wondered what made water bubble. Initially it was thought that the medicinal properties in water were the cause. Further research however showed it to be caused due to carbon dioxide that is mixed with water when it flows from several layers of minerals in the ground.

Joseph Priestly worked with a church initially but later his interest grew in experimenting. He was considered an unorthodox philosopher. He was the first chemist to prove that oxygen was essential for combustion. He has to his credit the discovery of ammonia, sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxide and rubber pencil eraser.

Joseph Priestly noted in 1772 that air on top of a beer vat could be injected into water. He had already noted earlier that mice suspended in this air died. However, he went ahead and decided to flavor water with it. He offered it to his friends as a pleasant drink. It was loved by most because of its tangy and refreshing taste.

The process of mixing the gas which is carbon dioxide gas to water is carbonation. That’s how carbonated water was discovered. Priestly was introduced in French Academy of Sciences for this invention. In 1772 Priestly published a paper “Impregnating water with Fixed Air”. In it he described how dripping oil of vitriol (i.e. sulfuric acid) on chalk produced carbon dioxide gas. He also mentions dissolving the gas into an agitated bowl of water.

In 1771 it was Torbern Bergman who independently tried to create carbonated water from chalk and sulfuric acid to get effervescence like natural spring water. At that time mineral water was considered to be beneficial to health.

In 18th century a Hungarian, Anyos Jedlik invented the consumable soda water. He was the one who built the first carbonated water factory in Budapest. Since then soda water or carbonated water is being made by passing pressurized carbon dioxide through water.

The name soda water came into use around 1798 and was in use in the US until the World War II. It was also called as two cents plain during the Great Depression as it was the cheapest drink available at the fountain. In 1819 Samuel Fahnestock patented the first soda fountain. In 1835 the first bottled soda water was available in US. Later in 1886 and 1898 came the very popular Coca-Cola and Pepsi-cola brands respectively.

In the 1950’s, new terms, Sparkling water and Seltzer water came into use. The name Seltzer comes from the German town of Selters where naturally carbonated water is available and is commercially bottled and shipped around the world.

Over decades there have been several modification or additions to soda water that was invented by Joseph Priestley. What we enjoy now as soda water, sparkling water, seltzer water, tonic water, soft drinks and many more names is all thanks to his first attempt at creating the refreshing drink by passing carbon dioxide gas in agitated water.

difference between soda water and carbonated water

Carbonated drinks are much favored by most. It has become a staple in our diet. A carbonated drink in simple terms is water with carbon dioxide mixed to it. It is available naturally as well as manufactured for commercial purposes. It has been considered healthy since it was discovered in 1767. Over the decades carbonated water has been called with different names like soda pop, soda water, sparkling water and so on. Carbonated drinks are available with different ingredients now. Practically most of you would be thinking “what is the difference between soda and carbonated water then?” Carbonated and soda water are nearly the same except a few subtle differences.

In 1767, Joseph Priestley discovered carbonated water when he was experimenting on dissolving the heavier air (what we now know as carbon dioxide) to water. The water tasted tangy. He offered it to his friends as a refreshing drink. Until the World War II carbonated water was also called as soda water. However, there are a few small additions to carbonated water when it is called as soda water. The main difference is that soda water contains baking soda and a few other small additives. Carbonated water is plain water mixed with carbon dioxide gas. That’s really all the difference that can be identified between the two.

Carbonated water can be naturally available as well as man-made. When water passes through minerals and absorbs carbonates you can get carbonated water. However, carbonated soda or soda water is not available naturally. It has to be prepared using ingredients like salts, acids and baking soda. Carbonated water has a tangy taste but no flavors. Soda water on the other hand has a pleasant taste.

Carbonated water can form the base for soda water. You can simply add a few flavors of your choice to get flavored soda water. You can either buy these carbonated drinks from the stores or make them at home. There are numerous soda makers and dispensers available. You can buy one for your home and enjoy carbonated drinks at home without having to worry about harmful ingredients. Usually there is a carbonator which helps you pass pressurized carbon dioxide into plain water or even any drink of your choice. You can have nice bubbly drinks in comforts of your homes. You can make a great impression serving fresh and tasty carbonated drinks during parties at home.

Carbonated water and soda water are otherwise similar. You cannot say which of them is healthier. Though there are a few people who blame it for dental erosion and calcium leaching, you can always drink it in moderation. Overindulgence in anything is always going to be harmful; however healthy that substance may claimed to be.

Carbonated water and soda water are similar, each contains carbon dioxide. The only difference between the two is the ingredients like baking soda and salt. They are otherwise identical. You can find several flavored carbonated drinks which have several health benefits.

Water soda blast is a gentle and environmentally safe process for cleaning

You may already be using baking soda as a leavening agent and even for cleaning different things throughout your household. The benefits and utility of baking soda is immense. It is popular as it is extremely environmentally safe as a cleaning agent. Now there are several commercial uses of soda; you will find many companies who use water soda blasting for safely removing grime, paint and graffiti gently from different surfaces.

Basically, soda blasting process includes usage of sodium bicarbonate or baking soda to apply against the surface to be cleaned using compressed air. It can be easily used for cleaning cars, food processing equipment, boat hulls as well as to clean structural steel. Little is known about who actually invented the process. However, it was a company in Houston, Texas who saw good opportunity in using this method for handling pick-up trucks with flawed paint jobs.

The advantage in using this system is that it does not damage the metal body panels as well as glass windows and lights. After soda blasting these trucks were ready for their new paint jobs. The most famous and early uses of soda blasting was to restore the Statue of Liberty in 1980s. The New York state engineers wanted a good process that could help protect the Statue’s surface but clean it well. Moreover it also sorted out their concern for environment and disposal of waste.

Water soda blast is a very simple process which involves using food grade baking soda as cleaning material. The soda dissolves in water but is a powerful cleaning and stripping agent when applied under pressure. The soda blasting machine propels soda based media via water or even compressed air to get surface cleaned. Soda is gentle in nature. The process and the material ensure removal of matter without causing any harm to the substrate. It can even be used to clean surfaces, remove rust or coatings of any nature without harming the surface beneath the material that you are removing.

Baking soda that is used is larger in size than you normally use in the kitchen. However, it has equal purity as approved by FDA. Usually the tools involved include a ‘sodablaster’ which is a self contained system. It includes a blast nozzle, blast hose, blast generator, high pressure compressed air and moisture decontamination system. These things are easily portable equipment and can reach hard to access places. Moreover, equipment need not be dismantled before cleaning. It saves lot of down time and labor. With pressurized air, the technique even does not require as much water and thus contributes to environment.

Soda blasting can effortlessly remove paint from brickwork as well as concrete. It is also helpful to prepare boat hulls for painting. It is useful for removal of internal and external, fire and smoke damage without water or chemicals. It removes graffiti in a short period as compared to other methods currently used. It is very safe for in-depth cleaning that is required in the food industry.

As baking soda is 100 percent biodegradable, water soda blast systems are easy as well as gentle to the environment.

Soda ash to manage pH levels and hardness of water before filtration

Water filtration is necessary for every household now. May it be well water or municipal water supply; there are some contaminants present that are harmful. Often well water, which was earlier considered pure, contains chemicals and contaminants which cause corrosion of pipes and plumbing throughout the house. This makes water filtration system even more necessary. Soda ash can be added to water to raise the pH and make the water safer for consumption.

The acidity in water is expressed as pH. It is healthy when it is neutral i.e. at a pH of 7. When water is acidic, it is in the pH range of 4 to 6.8. Such water may even have metals like lead, cadmium and copper which causes corrosion of household pipes. There can be other contaminants like manganese and iron as well. To make water non-corrosive you can add soda ash i.e. sodium carbonate. Soda ash is non toxic and added to water in the right proportion, can be useful in raising the pH to 7.0 to 7.5. To adjust the pH and handle hardness soda ash solution has to be mixed with the water using a contact tank.

Soda ash treatment is used to reduce hardness from water. It is used for conditioning water before filtration. Water with high concentration of hardness salts is treated with soda ash. Typically when there is high level of iron present in water you can disinfect it with a chemical feed pump. Hypochlorite bleach and soda ash are mostly mixed as a single solution to feed it into the water system using the same pump unit. Such filtration is called as neutralizing filters using neutralizing solutions. Generally if pH levels are less than 5 or 5.5 then soda ash feeders are preferred for water treatment.

Soda ash is an alkaline compound. It is thus preferred for neutralizing acids found in water. It helps eliminate corrosion from pipes, water heaters, pressure tanks and other water systems. It can also help remove tannins from tannin type water softener. It may thus be used for potable water systems as well.

Soda ash is also used when raising pH levels of swimming pools. Mostly when the pH of water is 7.2 it is advisable to use soda ash. About 3/4th of an ounce is needed. To make it effective as well as safe, walk around the perimeter of pool and sprinkle powder into water. Do not add more than two pounds per 10000 gallons of water at a time. Ensure that pump is running for at least two hours after treatment. Soda ash is also useful in raising the Total Alkalinity (TA). If TA is low it may corrosion of metal, etching of pool plaster, skin and eye irritation and so on. Use about 0.88 pounds of soda ash to increase TA by 10ppm. Use this ratio for the actual size. Use soda to raise TA when pH is also low.

Soda ash is very useful in raising the pH levels of water and for water conditioning or treatment if there are contaminants like iron and manganese in water. Filtration of water after soda ash treatment ensures you get clean and pure water without any harmful effects of contaminants and stable pH levels of water.