Sodium hypochlorite is mainly used as a bleaching agent. It is also used as a disinfectant, for example in swimming pools.
Sodium hypochlorite (the sodium salt of hypochloric acid) is a white powder that is only stable in an aqueous solution. This solution is a slightly yellow liquid with a characteristic chlorine odour. Sodium hypochlorite is available in various concentrations (10 to 15%). It is produced by electrolyis of a brine solution, or by passing chlorine gas through a sodium hydroxide solution.
Examples of applications
Sodium hypochlorite is mainly used as a bleaching agent and disinfectant (chlorination of swimming pools). It also finds application in water treatments, and in highly diluted form it is also found in household cleaning agents, drain cleaners, and in dentistry (as a disinfectant in root canal treatments). Sodium hypochlorite is also used in power stations to disinfect the main cooling water circuit (elimination of bacteria such as Legionella).
- In bulk