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Caustic Soda
Caustic Soda Prices | Historical and Current
Caustic Soda
Caustic Soda
Caustic Soda
NaOH

About Caustic Soda. Sodium Hydroxide (a.k.a. Caustic Soda, NaOH, Lye) is a major inorganic compound, used in several industries. It is a white, translucent crystalline solid. It is commonly referred to as caustic soda due to its corrosive action on many substances - it decomposes proteins at room temperature and may cause chemical burns to human bodies. Even though it does not occur in nature, sodium hydroxide has been manufactured at a large scale for many years from readily obtainable raw materials and is used in numerous industrial processes.

Most of the caustic soda produced on a commercial scale is based on the electrolysis of aqueous sodium chloride (brine), which also generates chlorine and hydrogen as co-products (chlor-alkali processes). The electrolytic production of caustic soda can be accomplished through three basic processes: diaphragm cell, mercury cell, and membrane cell processes, which differ from each other mainly according to how the anode is kept separate from the cathode. As the membrane cell process has ecological advantages over the mercury process and has become the most economically advantageous option in most cases, almost all plants constructed in the past years are based on membrane cell technology.

Caustic Soda Handling. Pure Sodium Hydroxide has a high affinity for water and may form hydrates according to the concentration. Therefore, storage and transportation demand some caution - melting points of some hydrates formed may be greater than 0 °C, in such a way that insulation or heating may be necessary. Additional care is required because, in the presence of moisture, Sodium Hydroxide readily reacts with atmospheric carbon dioxide to form sodium carbonate. Shipment may be done in steel drums up to 50% maximum concentration. If at higher concentrations, pure nickel drums are required due to corrosion effects. Liquid caustic is shipped in tank trucks, tank cars, and barges. Typical tank trucks, constructed from stainless steel without insulation or heating coils, carry 150,000 liters or 11.3 tons of caustic soda. Tank cars, usually insulated and equipped with heating coils, are made of nickel clad steel or lined steel. Barges carrying 50% caustic have capacities ranging from 1,100 to 2,200 tons. Solid sodium hydroxide is usually packed in 25- to 50-kg hermetically sealed polyethylene sacks. For transport, the sacks are stacked on wooden palettes and shrink wrapped in polyethylene. Caustic soda prills are also carried in 50- or 200-kg steel drums, loose in 1,000-kg-capacity steel or flexible containers, or in transportable hoppers.

Caustic Soda Production. Sodium Hydroxide is primarily produced by electrolysis of sodium chloride, which generates chlorine as co-product. It may also be a by-product from the lime-soda process, which produces mainly calcium carbonate from lime and sodium carbonate. Raw materials and the respective production processes employed in the manufacturing of Caustic Soda are listed below.

  • Sodium chloride (electrolysis, coproduced with chlorine)

Caustic Soda Uses.The uses and applications of Caustic Soda may vary according to its specification. The main forms of Caustic Soda are liquid 32% (32% caustic soda solutions), liquid 50% (49-51% caustic soda solutions), and solid (min. bulk density of ca. 0.9 kg/dm3, flakes, prills, tablets, pastille, and cast blocks).

In pulp and paper industry, for instance, Sodium Hydroxide is used to remove lignin and hemicellulose in the Kraft pulping process. Since Caustic Soda solution is highly alkaline, it is widely used to neutralize acid solutions forming sodium salts. Sodium Hydroxide may also react with metals (Al, Zn, Sn) and respective oxides to form anions such as AlO2-, ZnO22-, SnO23-. Reaction of Al2O3 with Sodium Hydroxide is a step of the extraction of alumina from bauxite

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Data Type: chem-pricing
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Caustic Soda Prices | Historical and Current

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Monitor monthly Caustic Soda price assessments covering 5 locations: United States, Europe, South America, Southeast Asia and China. Also check Caustic Soda price history since 2007.

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Data Legend. The chart above shows Caustic Soda price assessments in USA Dollar per metric ton (USD/mt) in 5 locations, as follows:

  • Caustic Soda, US (United States): Caustic Soda, export transaction price, fob, United States, dry basis
  • Caustic Soda, EUR (Europe): Caustic Soda, export contract price, fob, Germany, dry basis
  • Caustic Soda, SAM (South America): Caustic Soda, import transaction price, cif, Brazil, dry basis
  • Caustic Soda, SEA (Southeast Asia): Caustic Soda, import contract price, cfr, India, dry basis
  • Caustic Soda (32%), CN (China): Caustic Soda (32% solution), domestic spot price, exw, Central China, dry basis

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Caustic Soda Price Outlook. The price of Caustic Soda (United States) decreased during April 2019 to 368 USD per metric ton, which represents a considerable decline of 17% compared to the previous month’s value. On a year-over-year basis, the prices of Caustic Soda (United States) decreased significantly by 49%. Meanwhile, the average price of Caustic Soda (China) amounted to 340 USD per metric ton, from 526 USD per metric ton one year earlier. On a month-over-month basis, the price of Caustic Soda (China) is 4% lower than the price one month before.

The price of Caustic Soda (Southeast Asia) rose slightly throughout April 2019, reaching 499 USD per metric ton.  The price is 0.8% higher than the average price in the previous month and 5% lower than the average price one year before. In contrast, the prices of Caustic Soda (Europe) decreased modestly during April 2019, reaching 305 USD per metric ton, which means a decline of 2% from the previous month’s price and a rise of 3% from the previous year’s price. 

The prices of Caustic Soda (South America) experienced a significant decline of 183 USD per metric ton from the prior month's price, to 353 USD per metric ton. Such price movement meant a decrease of 34% on a monthly basis and a decrease of 40% on a yearly basis.

About Caustic Soda. Sodium Hydroxide (a.k.a. Caustic Soda, NaOH, Lye) is a major inorganic compound, used in several industries. It is a white, translucent crystalline solid. It is commonly referred to as caustic soda due to its corrosive action on many substances - it decomposes proteins at room temperature and may cause chemical burns to human bodies. Even though it does not occur in nature, sodium hydroxide has been manufactured at a large scale for many years from readily obtainable raw materials and is used in numerous industrial processes.

Most of the caustic soda produced on a commercial scale is based on the electrolysis of aqueous sodium chloride (brine), which also generates chlorine and hydrogen as co-products (chlor-alkali processes). The electrolytic production of caustic soda can be accomplished through three basic processes: diaphragm cell, mercury cell, and membrane cell processes, which differ from each other mainly according to how the anode is kept separate from the cathode. As the membrane cell process has ecological advantages over the mercury process and has become the most economically advantageous option in most cases, almost all plants constructed in the past years are based on membrane cell technology.

Caustic Soda Handling. Pure Sodium Hydroxide has a high affinity for water and may form hydrates according to the concentration. Therefore, storage and transportation demand some caution - melting points of some hydrates formed may be greater than 0 °C, in such a way that insulation or heating may be necessary. Additional care is required because, in the presence of moisture, Sodium Hydroxide readily reacts with atmospheric carbon dioxide to form sodium carbonate. Shipment may be done in steel drums up to 50% maximum concentration. If at higher concentrations, pure nickel drums are required due to corrosion effects. Liquid caustic is shipped in tank trucks, tank cars, and barges. Typical tank trucks, constructed from stainless steel without insulation or heating coils, carry 150,000 liters or 11.3 tons of caustic soda. Tank cars, usually insulated and equipped with heating coils, are made of nickel clad steel or lined steel. Barges carrying 50% caustic have capacities ranging from 1,100 to 2,200 tons. Solid sodium hydroxide is usually packed in 25- to 50-kg hermetically sealed polyethylene sacks. For transport, the sacks are stacked on wooden palettes and shrink wrapped in polyethylene. Caustic soda prills are also carried in 50- or 200-kg steel drums, loose in 1,000-kg-capacity steel or flexible containers, or in transportable hoppers.

Caustic Soda Production. Sodium Hydroxide is primarily produced by electrolysis of sodium chloride, which generates chlorine as co-product. It may also be a by-product from the lime-soda process, which produces mainly calcium carbonate from lime and sodium carbonate. Raw materials and the respective production processes employed in the manufacturing of Caustic Soda are listed below.

  • Sodium chloride (electrolysis, coproduced with chlorine)

Caustic Soda Uses.The uses and applications of Caustic Soda may vary according to its specification. The main forms of Caustic Soda are liquid 32% (32% caustic soda solutions), liquid 50% (49-51% caustic soda solutions), and solid (min. bulk density of ca. 0.9 kg/dm3, flakes, prills, tablets, pastille, and cast blocks).

In pulp and paper industry, for instance, Sodium Hydroxide is used to remove lignin and hemicellulose in the Kraft pulping process. Since Caustic Soda solution is highly alkaline, it is widely used to neutralize acid solutions forming sodium salts. Sodium Hydroxide may also react with metals (Al, Zn, Sn) and respective oxides to form anions such as AlO2-, ZnO22-, SnO23-. Reaction of Al2O3 with Sodium Hydroxide is a step of the extraction of alumina from bauxite

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