Caustic soda (sodium hydroxide) is a versatile alkali. The main use is in the manufacture of pulp and paper, alumina, soap and detergent, petroleum products and chemical production. Other applications include processing of water, food, textiles, metal processing, mining, glass making and others. Around three-quarters of end use demand tracks GDP growth.
One of the biggest consumers of caustic soda is the pulp and paper industry where it is used in the process of pulp and bleaching, the de-inking of waste paper and water treatment. Global growth is confined to GDP levels. Caustic soda is used in manufacturing aluminum (source: hydro). You can buy caustic soda in various forms including powder, crystals and liquid.
Alumina production from Bauxite is the main application for caustic soda. Demand has grown faster than the GDP driven by the growth of aluminum use. While consumption of caustic soda in alumina refining accounts for 11% of global demand, this use consumes more than half of caustic soda globally traded.
Caustic soda is a basic raw material in manufacturing various chemicals. It is used as an intermediary and reactants in processes that produce solvents, plastics, synthetic fibers, whitening, adhesive, coatings, herbicides, dyes, ink and pharmaceuticals. It is also used to neutralize the flow of acid waste and acidic scouring from gases.