Product Application

Dechlorination in municipal, pulp & paper, power, and textile water treatment plants, Oxygen scavenger – oil well drilling process  Mining industries Aluminum cation reaction

Industrial production and laboratory synthesis

On an industrial scale, sodium thiosulphate is produced chiefly from liquid waste products of sodium sulphide or sulphur dye manufacture.In the laboratory, this salt can be prepared by heating an aqueous solution of sodium sulphite with sulphur.

Principal reactions and applications

Thiosulfate anion characteristically reacts with dilute acids to produce sulfur, sulfur dioxide and water-

1.Na2S2O3 + 2HCl →2NaCl + S + SO2 + H2O

This reaction is known as a "clock reaction", because when the sulfur reaches a certain concentration the solution turns from colourless to a pale yellow. This reaction has been employed to generate colloidal sulfur. When the protonation is conducted at low temperatures, H2S2O3 (thiosulfuric acid) can be obtained. It is a somewhat strong acid with pKas of 0.6 and 1.7 for the first and second dissociation respectively.

Iodometry

In analytical chemistry, the most important use comes from the fact that the thiosulfate anion reacts stoichiometrically with iodine, reducing it to iodide as it is oxidized to tetrathionate:

 

Photographic processing

The terminal sulfur atom in S2O32− binds to soft metals with high affinity. Thus, silver halides, e.g. AgBr, typical components of photographic emulsions, dissolve upon treatment with aqueous thiosulfate:

2 S2O32− + AgBr →[Ag(S2O3)2]3−+ Br−

In this application to photographic processing, discovered by John Herschel and used for both film and photographic paper processing, the sodium thiosulfate is known as a photographic fixer, and is often referred to as hypo, from the original chemical name, hyposulphite of soda.

Gold extraction

Sodium thiosulfate is one component of an alternative lixiviant to cyanide for extraction of gold.[3] It forms a strong complex with gold(I) ions, [Au(S2O3)2]3−. The advantage of this approach is th

2 S2O32−(aq) + I2(aq) →S4O62−(aq) + 2 I−(aq)

Due to the quantitative nature of this reaction, as well as the fact that Na2S2O3•5H2O has an excellent shelf-life, it is used as a titrant in iodometry. Na2S2O3•5H2O is also a component of iodine clock experiments.

This particular use can be set up to measure the oxygen content of water through a long series of reactions. It is also used in estimating volumetrically the concentrations of certain compounds in solution (hydrogen peroxide, for instance) and in estimating the chlorine content in commercial bleaching powder and water.at thiosulfate is essentially non-toxic and that ore types that are refractory to gold cyanidation (e.g. carbonaceous or Carlin type ores) can be leached by thiosulfate. Some problems with this alternative process include the high consumption of thiosulfate, and the lack of a suitable recovery technique, since [Au(S2O3)2]3− does not adsorb to activated carbon, which is the standard technique used in gold cyanidation to separate the gold complex from the ore slurry.

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