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Sodium bisulfate

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Title: Sodium bisulfate  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Sodium sulfate, Sulfuric acid, Sani Flush, Sodium bisulfite, Sodium bicarbonate
Collection: Acid Salts, Cleaning Products, Food Additives, Photographic Chemicals, Sodium Compounds, Sulfates
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Sodium bisulfate

Sodium bisulfate
One sodium cation and one hydrogensulfate anion
Ball-and-stick model of the component ions
Sodium bisulfate, as a white powder, turns indicator paper red.
IUPAC name
Sodium hydrogen sulfate
Other names
Sodium acid sulfate
Bisulfate of soda
(monohydrate) Y
ChemSpider  Y
EC number 231-665-7
Jmol-3D images Image
RTECS number VZ1860000
Molar mass 120.06 g/mol (anhydrous)
138.07 g/mol (monohydrate)
Appearance white solid
Density 2.742 g/cm3 (anhydrous)
1.8 g/cm3 (monohydrate)
Melting point 58.5 °C (137.3 °F; 331.7 K) (monohydrate)
315 °C (anhydrous)
Boiling point decomposes to Na2S2O7 (+ H2O) at 315 °C (599 °F; 588 K)
28.5 g/100 mL (25 °C)
100 g/100 mL (100 °C)
Solubility insoluble in ammonia; decomposed by alcohol
Acidity (pKa) 1.99
triclinic (anhydrous)
monoclinic (monohydrate)
Safety data sheet External MSDS
R-phrases R34 R37 R41
S-phrases S26 S36 S37 S39 S45
NFPA 704
Flash point Non-flammable
Related compounds
Other anions
Sodium sulfate
Other cations
Potassium bisulfate
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
 Y  (: Y/N?)

Sodium bisulfate, also known as sodium hydrogen sulfate,[1] is the sodium salt of the bisulfate anion, with the molecular formula NaHSO4. Sodium bisulfate is an acid salt formed by partial neutralization of sulfuric acid by an equivalent of sodium base, typically either in the form of sodium hydroxide or sodium chloride. It is a dry granular product that can be safely shipped and stored. The anhydrous form is hygroscopic. Solutions of sodium bisulfate are acidic, with a 1M solution having a pH of < 1.


  • Production 1
  • Uses 2
  • In food 3
  • References 4
  • Further reading 5


One production method involves mixing stoichiometric quantities of sodium hydroxide and sulfuric acid which react to form sodium bisulfate and water.

NaOH + H2SO4 → NaHSO4 + H2O

A second production method involves reacting sodium chloride (salt) and sulfuric acid at elevated temperatures to produce sodium bisulfate and hydrogen chloride gas.

NaCl + H2SO4 → NaHSO4 + HCl

The liquid sodium bisulfate is sprayed and cooled so that it forms a solid bead. The hydrogen chloride gas is dissolved in water to produce hydrochloric acid as a useful coproduct of the reaction. Sodium bisulfate is also produced as a byproduct of the production of many other mineral acids via the reaction of their sodium salts with an excess of sulfuric acid:

In most cases, the acids produced have a lower boiling point than the reactants and are separated from the reaction mixture by distillation.

There are only two producers in the USA, one being Jones-Hamilton Co., who uses the sulfuric acid/sodium chloride process, which produces the anhydrous form. The other supplier, Jost Chemical, uses the sodium hydroxide/sulfuric acid method, which produces the monohydrate.


Sodium bisulfate is used primarily to lower pH. For technical-grade applications, it is used in metal finishing, cleaning products,[2] and to lower the pH of water for effective chlorination, including swimming pools. Sodium bisulfate is also AAFCO approved as a general-use feed additive, including companion animal food. It is used as a urine acidifier to reduce urinary stones in cats.

It is highly toxic to at least some echinoderms, but fairly harmless to most other life forms; sodium bisulfate is used in controlling outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish.

In jewelry making, sodium bisulfate is the primary ingredient used in many pickling solutions to remove the oxidation layer from surfaces, which occurs after heating.[3] Sodium bisulfate was the primary active ingredient in crystal toilet bowl cleaners Vanish and Sani-Flush, both now discontinued.[4]

In the textiles industry, it is sometimes applied to velvet cloth made with a silk backing and a pile of cellulose-based fiber (rayon, cotton, hemp, etc.) to create "burnout velvet": the sodium bisulfate, when applied to such a fabric and heated, causes the cellulose-based fibers to become brittle and flake away, leaving burned-out areas in the finished material, usually in attractive patterns.[5]

In food

Sodium bisulfate is used as a food additive to leaven cake mixes (make them rise) as well as being used in meat and poultry processing and most recently in browning prevention of fresh-cut produce. Sodium bisulfate is considered GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) by the FDA. Further, Sodium Bisulfate is considered a "natural product" by the FDA, IANPP (International Association of Natural Products Producers) and the NIRC (Natural Ingredients Resource Center). [6] [7] The food-grade product also meets the requirements set out in the Food Chemicals Codex. It is denoted by E number E514ii in the EU and is also approved for use in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Mexico [8] [9] where it is listed as additive 514. Food-grade sodium bisulfate is used in a variety of food products, including beverages, dressings, sauces, and fillings. It has many synonyms[10] (Bisulfate of soda, Sodium bisulfate, Sodium acid sulfate, Mono sodium hydrogen sulfate, Monosodium salt, Sodium hydrogen sulfate, Sodium hydrosulfate, Sodium pyrosulfate, Sulfuric acid, Sulfuric acid sodium salt (1:1)).


  1. ^ The prefix "bi" in "bisulfate" comes from an outdated naming system and is based on the observation that there is two times as much sulfate (SO4) in sodium bisulfate (NaHSO4) and other bisulfates as in sodium sulfate (Na2SO4) and other sulfates.
  2. ^ John Toedt, Darrell Koza, Kathleen Van Cleef-Toedt Chemical Composition of Everyday Products p.147
  3. ^ Fisch, Arline M. (2003), Textile Techniques in Metal: For Jewelers, Textile Artists & Sculptors, Lark Books, p. 32,  
  4. ^ SANI-FLUSH® Powder (Discontinued), Reckitt Benckiser.
  5. ^ Margo Singer (11 July 2007). Textile Surface Decoration: Silk and Velvet. University of Pennsylvania. p. 35.  
  6. ^ (
  7. ^ (
  8. ^ Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code
  9. ^ (
  10. ^ Noshly

Further reading

  • AAFCO Official publication
  • U of Illinois Research
  • Food Chemicals Codex
  • Browning Inhibitor Study
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