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The density of anhydrous sodium sulfate is 2.68 grams per cubic centimeter. It has a melting point of about 884 degrees Fahrenheit. It is a white, orthogonal double-cone crystal or crystalline powder with a slightly bitter taste. It is soluble in water and glycerol but insoluble in ethanol. It is hygroscopic and absorbs moisture in the air, converting it to the hydrated form. Its aqueous solution is neutral. It is used for drying non-aqueous solvents and also in the Kraft process for paper pulping, in manufacture of glass and ultramarine, dyeing and printing textiles, and as a filler in synthetic detergents. It is also a standard laboratory reagent for the determination of nitrogen and for preparing other sodium salts.
Sodium sulfate anhydrous is often handled by pneumatic conveyor systems. However, it is also a corrosive material. Consequently, it is important to choose a rugged conveyor system designed for this particular application. Depending on the humidity of the air, it can also be hygroscopic, meaning that it may absorb moisture from the air and clump together. This can cause the flow of the conveyor to slow and can result in excessive abrasion and wear on the conveying equipment.
Sodium sulfate can have adverse effects on freshwater ecosystems, including reduced growth of clams downstream of sulfate-dominated effluents and altered bioenergetics in filter-feeding invertebrates. It can also interact with certain medications, such as diuretics, and interfere with the body’s natural balance of electrolytes. The risk of these adverse effects can be mitigated by following the dosing instructions provided by the manufacturer and by limiting exposure to sodium sulfate anhydrous.