What Is Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate?

The compound sodium hydrogen carbonate, also known as baking soda, sodium bicarbonate and bicarbonate of soda, is a white crystalline powder that is soluble in water. The chemical formula for sodium bicarbonate is NaHCO3.

This compound's molecular weight is 84.007 grams per mole. Sodium bicarbonate is odorless and alkaline in taste. It is also a weak base that reacts with acids like acetic acid, also known as vinegar. In this reaction, the products formed are carbon dioxide, water and sodium acetate.

Bicarbonate of soda has many uses. Toothpastes can contain this compound. Similarly, baking soda can be important as a leavening agent in many recipes. It is also a common ingredient found in antacids, which are useful for the relief of indigestion. A medical application for this compound is as an injection to restore electrolyte imbalances, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.