Sodium sulfate is the inorganic compound with formula Na2SO4 as well as several related hydrates. All forms are white solids that are highly soluble in water. With an annual production of 6 million tonnes, the decahydrate is a majorcommodity chemical product.
- Soaps and detergents. It is an important ingredient in powdered soaps.
- Production of paper and paper pulp and glass.
In the laboratory, anhydrous sodium sulfate is widely used as an inert drying agent, for removing traces of water from organic solutions. It is more efficient, but slower-acting, than the similar agent magnesium sulfate. It is only effective below about 30 °C, but it can be used with a variety of materials since it is chemically fairly inert. Sodium sulfate is added to the solution until the crystals no longer clump together; the two video clips (see above) demonstrate how the crystals clump when still wet, but some crystals flow freely once a sample is dry.
Glauber’s salt, the decahydrate, was historically used as a laxative. It is effective for the removal of certain drugs such as paracetamol(acetaminophen) from the body, for example, after an overdose.
Although sodium sulfate is generally regarded as non-toxic, it should be handled with care. The dust can cause temporary asthma or eye irritation; this risk can be prevented by using eye protection and a paper mask. Transport is not limited, and no Risk Phrase or Safety Phrase applies.
None are recorded.
Source: Hubermaterials, http://www.hubermaterials.com/sodium-sulfate.aspx