My attempt at sodium hydroxide

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Some bubbling, some heat, and that’s about it.

My attempt at making sodium hydroxide was not successful due to the fact that I didn’t receive much hydroxide in the end. So much for 50%…

Chloralkali process

Anyways.. It’s a simple chloralkali process; take a solution of cold saltwater in one cup, a very weak solution of saltwater in the other, combine using a paper towel soaked in saltwater, and apply electricity using electrodes in both cups. The paper towel acts like a very strict membrane, allowing only sodium, chlorine, and hydroxide ions to pass through.

12 volts at 4 amps was applied via battery charger in this experiment.

Then the experiment was left alone for 1 and a half hours before taking the solution in the right cup and boiling it down until crystals started to form. I added a small square of aluminum foil (1×1 inch) and dropped it into the solution.

A reaction should have happened between the water, the sodium hydroxide, and aluminum. Hydrogen gas should have been released in moderate quantity, unlike what actually happened.


The results were not exciting. Some bubbling, some heat, and that’s about it. I’ll try making a better membrane, and maybe redoing the experiment some other time.

Vladislav Pomogaev

I'm a highschooler who is interested in technology, science, and engineering. In my spare time I work on projects that allow me to learn new skills and concepts. - Vlad

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