Sodium chloride, a mineral with a crystalline aspect and white color, is abundantly present in nature. It can be found in large solid masses or dissolved in seawater. It is also known as common salt or table salt and its chemical composition is NaCL.

Have you heard about this mineral? If it is the first time that you read a little about it, you should be attentive to different characteristics such as its benefits, uses, properties and risks in its use.

To begin with we have already defined ad supra what substance is sodium chloride. Well, this mineral is essential in our body as it is responsible for absorbing and transporting nutrients, maintain blood pressure, ensure the correct balance of fluids, transmit nerve signals and relax muscles.

sodium chloride

For its part, salt is an inorganic compound, which means that it does not come from living matter. It materializes when Na (sodium) and Cl (chloride) join to form soft, crystalline cubes.

The human body needs this chemical compound to function, but an excess or lack of it could have harmful effects on health.

Although salt is often used for cooking, it can also be found in cleaning products and other substances. Sodium chloride also has an important role in medicine.

Health benefits

Sodium and chloride play a fundamental role in the small intestine. For its part, sodium helps the body to better absorb chloride, sugar, water and amino acids.
However, when it is in the form of hydrochloric acid can also make the function of gastric juice, supporting the body to digest and absorb nutrients.

sodium chloride1

On the other hand, it can also help to keep the energy at rest, since sodium and potassium are electrolytes in the fluid inside and outside the cells. Precisely, the balances between both help maintain energy in the body.

Finally, a benefit of sodium chloride is that it can help the kidneys, brain and adrenal glands work together to regulate the amount of sodium in the body. The chemical signals of the body stimulate the kidney to accumulate water, in order that it is reabsorbed in the blood or the excess is eliminated through the urine.

When there is too much sodium in the blood, the brain sends signals to the kidneys to release more water. Even so, the sodium intake should be low.

Uses of sodium chloride

· Feeding

In general, common salt is used frequently in food. It can serve as a food condiment, also as a natural preservative of different foods like meat, and even creating a brine to marinate certain foods.

· Cleaning

On the other hand, they have a wide variety of uses in the home, such as cleaning pots and pans, preventing mold, stain removers and to avoid ice in winter. In fact, some products based on sodium hydroxide, sodium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate and hydrochloric acid are manufactured from this compound.

· Industry

It has applications in different industries such as oil refineries, textile industry, rubber industry, or other related industries.

workers in salt

· Health

Sodium chloride can also be used for medicinal purposes in clinical processes. Of course, we refer to common salt, but in medical terms they will always use their scientific name.

Sodium chloride when mixed with water creates a saline solution, which in turn has several medical functions. Everything will depend on the use that is given, because it can be applied intravenously to avoid dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. It is also used to clear the nasal congestion and keep the nasal cavity moist.

Other medical uses also include the cleaning of wounds and drops to prevent redness, tearing and dry eyes.

Remember that it is very important to consult the doctor about saline products and only acquire the ones prescribed by him.

Properties

As for its physical properties, the salt has a density of 2.16 g / ml and a melting point of 801 degrees Celsius. It can be available in aqueous solutions called saline solutions.

Now, if we refer to its chemical properties, sodium chloride can be diluted in water and other solvents. It is a stable solid and only decomposes at high temperature, producing hydrochloric acid and disodium oxide.

Chemical formulation

The chemical formula of sodium chloride is NaCl and its molar mass is 58.44 g / mol. It is an ionic compound consisting of a sodium cation (Na +) and a chloride anion (Cl-). NaCl has a crystalline structure.

Production

Salt is produced mainly by the evaporation of seawater. When a liquid solution of several salts (such as seawater) evaporates, each of the salts precipitates when it reaches its saturation point in the solution. Thus, the different salts precipitate at different times giving rise to calcium carbonate, calcium sulfate, sodium chloride, magnesium chloride, among others.

salt production

Risks

Although common salt is not exactly a health hazard, when it is consumed or applied in excessive amounts it can irritate the eyes, skin, respiratory tract and stomach. In case of irritation, it is best to rinse with running water while receiving fresh air

On the other hand, the excess of salt in the consumption of foods, ingesting it in high quantities could also cause negative effects such as: high blood pressure, increased risk of heart and kidney disease, increased fluid retention and dehydration.

salt

One teaspoon of this component contains approximately 2,300 milligrams of sodium, which can be consumed and easily overcome during the day. To avoid its negative effects, it is recommended to consume less than 2,300 mg per day.

In other cases a low sodium diet is recommended. Especially if you are at risk of heart disease or high blood pressure. Salt consumption should also be reduced in cases of renal failure or risk of suffering it; The same happens if you suffer from kidney stones.

FAQ

1.Where does the salt come from?

Salt is extracted from sea water, rock salt and other natural and artificial brines. In the case of artificial brine, it is obtained by pumping water to underground salt beds.

2.What is 0.9% sodium chloride?

It is an intravenous solution that is used to regulate energy levels and stability in the body. It is usually used by doctors and nurses to replenish electrolytes in patients.

3.What is saline solution?

Saline solution, or also called saline solution, is a solution used in medicine to elevate electrolytes in different patients.

4.What is the Lewis structure of sodium chloride?

The structure or formulation according to Lewis for sodium chloride is “Na + Cl -“.

sodium chloride lewis structure

5.What is the molecular weight of sodium chloride?

Sodium chloride has a molecular weight of 58.4 g / mol.

6.How is it obtained table salt?

It is obtained by means of minerals that are extracted from salt mines or mines of reduced depth. These materials are known as halite.

7.What is the toxicity of sodium chloride?

This component can only become toxic if consumed or used in excess. Therefore, it should be avoided in certain cases. The industrial use component requires a specific verification of its toxicity with respect to its specifications.

8.What type of material is sodium chloride?

In this case we refer directly to a mineral, as can also be magnesium chloride or calcium.

salt mineral

9.What are the properties of salt?

Salt is a chemical component with different properties. Among them it stands out for being a white crystalline powder, very similar to the smell. It is crystallized in the isometric system, is soluble in water and slightly soluble in alcohol. It is not combustible.

10.Why is salt a mineral?

Because it comes from a mineral source sedimented, like other compounds such as potassium chloride or magnesium sulfate among others.

11.What is the salt without sodium?

When another chemical compound is used instead of sodium, such as, for example, potassium salts, the salt is called “salt without sodium”.

12.What is the scientific name of salt?

The scientific name of the salt is “sodium chloride”, which can also be represented by the acronym “NaCl”.

13.What is the best substitute for salt?

It depends in large part on the tastes of each person. However, among the best substitutes are potassium salt, garlic salt, lemon juice, fresh black pepper, cinnamon or mustard.

salt substitute

14.What is dietary salt?

Dietary salt is one that is subjected to different chemical processes to reduce the percentage of sodium. Thanks to this, it can generate less negative effects on hypertensive patients.

15.What is the type of bond that sodium chloride presents?

A sodium cation and a chloride anion are linked, that is: “Na + Cl-“. From there, each Ca + ion is surrounded by six chloride ions.

History of sodium chloride

The salt would have been discovered thousands of years ago, and was by then incredibly valued by those who owned it. It should be noted that its main use would be to cover the most basic needs of the human being, food.

It is a kind of compound that has a crystalline structure arranged in a cubic form, where an atom of chlorine and sodium are altered, which would eventually be joined by ionic bonds. It turns out to be soluble in water, but its properties could vary depending on the size of the crystal that composes it.

Historically, it has been useful to preserve food in the cooler seasons of the year, when the weather became harsh and food was more difficult to obtain. Therefore, salt would become an essential element for the time. Salting meat and fish would make it possible to store proteins. While pickles would make it possible to preserve some vegetables for a longer period of time.

Use in the history of as a preservative

In ancient Egypt they used their preservative power, used during the process of mummification. Within their beliefs of life after death, they tried to preserve the material body that would be waiting to unite with their “soul” in the Hereafter.

Payment method in antiquity

The importance of this material was such that at the time of the Roman Empire it would be used as a means of payment. Therefore, the words “salary” and “salaried” come from the Latin salarium.

salt as payment method

Other curiosities

Another discovery that has been made with respect to salt, is that since very remote times, it was used as a natural antiseptic, since it is known to have the property of dehydrating and therefore, inhibit the action of the development of a broad spectrum of Virus and bacteria. In this way, perishable products were made to be edible for a longer time.

Chemically, the boiling point of sodium chloride can also vary, as well as lowering the freezing point. In this sense, the salt is used to control the snow, since it manages to prevent it from forming. In countries where there is a lot of snow, for example, salt is spread all over the pavement in order to avoid accidents in the street and roads due to vehicle drift. When the salt comes in contact with the snow, it manages to return it to its liquid state, in this way, the water ends up mixing with the salt and creates a brine, which allows the liquid to remain in that state, although the temperature find below zero.