Sodium Hydroxide NF/FCC
This is a white substance that comes in pellet form. This version of sodium hydroxide is desirable because of its uniform shape and ease of use. It is hygroscopic, so it will absorb water from the air, as well as carbon dioxide. If exposed for extended periods of time the chemical will turn into sodium carbonate, so it’s imperative that it is stored in an airtight container. The substance is odorless and has a soft feel to it. However, do not handle without proper protection as it can be caustic to skin and cause irreparable damage.
For the most part, sodium hydroxide NF/FCC is used in water and food treatment as well as a chemical base for soaps, textiles, and cleaners. Food-grade sodium hydroxide is mostly used to peel fruits and soften firm substances. It can also be utilized to treat water, so it doesn’t corrode pipes and won’t allow metals to dissolve in the water as well. Non-food-grade sodium hydroxide is used as a base for solid soaps or as a cleaning agent. It works well at dissolving grease and oil, which is why it is mostly used for paint stripping or drain cleaning.
Overall, sodium hydroxide is highly toxic and dangerous and must be handled as such. Always wear gloves and eye protection as it can dissolve your skin and cause severe damage to your eyes. It is considered hazardous waste and must be disposed of as such to avoid a significant environmental impact.