Natron

related topics
{acid, form, water}
{food, make, wine}
{god, call, give}
{language, word, form}
{island, water, area}
{water, park, boat}
{household, population, female}

Natron is a naturally occurring mixture of sodium carbonate decahydrate (Na2CO3·10H2O, a kind of soda ash) and about 17% sodium bicarbonate (also called nahcolite[1] or baking soda, NaHCO3) along with small quantities of household salt (halite, sodium chloride) and sodium sulfate. Natron is white to colourless when pure, varying to gray or yellow with impurities. Natron deposits are sometimes found in saline lake beds which arose in arid environments. Throughout history natron has had many practical applications which still resonate in the wide range of modern uses of its constituent mineral components.

In modern mineralogy the term natron has come to mean only the sodium carbonate decahydrate (hydrated soda ash) which makes up most of the historical salt.

Contents

Etymology

The English word natron is a French cognate derived from the Spanish natrón through Greek νιτρων nitron, which derived from the Ancient Egyptian word netjeri, meaning natron. The modern chemical symbol for sodium, Na, is an abbreviation of that element's New Latin name natrium, which was derived from natron.

Importance in antiquity

Historical natron was harvested directly as a salt mixture from dry lake beds in Ancient Egypt and has been used for thousands of years as a cleaning product for both the home and body. Blended with oil, it was an early form of soap. It softens water whilst removing oil and grease. Undiluted, natron was a cleanser for the teeth and an early mouthwash. The mineral was mixed into early antiseptics for wounds and minor cuts. Natron can be used to dry and preserve fish and meat. It was also an ancient household insecticide, was used for making leather and as a bleach for clothing.

Full article ▸

related documents
Terbium
Endoplasmic reticulum
Carboxylic acid
Zirconium
Astatine
Biopolymer
Catalase
Roentgenium
Thallium
Sintering
Carbonic acid
Neon
Solvation
Lanthanoid
Organometallic chemistry
Gel
Nucleophile
Lanthanum
Polymerization
Functional group
Isopropyl alcohol
Alum
Phosphor
Boiling point
Sulfate
Caesium
Nucleosome
Ununoctium
Ziegler-Natta catalyst
RNA world hypothesis