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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals, minerals, and fuels 1972
Year 1972, Volume 1 (1972)

Klingman, Charles L.
Sodium and sodium compounds,   pp. 1147-1151 ff. PDF (528.3 KB)


Page 1147

  1147Sodium and Sodium Compounds 
By Charles L. Klingmanl 
 Production of sodium compounds from natural sources, trona and dry lakes
and well brines, accounted for practically all the increased sodium output
in 1972. Soda ash (sodium carbonate) made from natural sources increased
12.3% compared with the output from this source i-n 1971. On the other hand,
soda ash manufactured from salt by the Solvay process increased only 0.6%
compared with 1971 output. Salt cake made from brine increased 1.9% compared
-to an equal decline i-n output of manufactured sodium sulfate. Several manufacturers
of naturally derived sodium 
compounds completed sizable increases in ' their production capacity in 1972
and announced plans for further increases through 
1975. 
 Metallic sodium also showed a small increase in production. Most of it was
consumed in the manufacture of tetraethyl and tetramethyl lead, compounds
used as gasoline additives. Despite proposed stringent standards for air
pollution from automotive exhausts, the expected decreases in the use of
these compounds failed to materialize. 
DOMESTIC PRODUCTION 
 In 1972 total soda ash production increased 5.3% over that of the previous
year as compared with a 2.7% per year average growth rate since 1958. Practically
all the 1972 growth occurred i-n natural soda ash. The portion of the total
ash production, which came from natural origins, increased from 40.1% in
1971 to 42.8% in 1972. The average unit value of natural soda ash reported
by producers, - increased 5.0%, and the -total value of the 1972 natural
soda ash output increased 18.0% above comparable figures in 1971. 
 Total sodium sulfate showed no change in output. In a trade-off, the manufactured
product declined a-nd the natural product increased 1.9% compared with 1971
figures. The fraction of sodium sulfate derived from natural sources crept
up from 50.7% to 51.6% of the total. 
 Metallic sodium production increased 4.5% over that of 1971 to a total of
159,881 short tons. 
 1 Physical scientist, Divi,ion of Nonmetallic Minerals. 
Table 1.—Manufactured and natural sodium carbonates produced in the
United States (Thousand short tons and thousand dollars) - 
- 
Year 
Manufactured soda ash (ammonia-soda 
process)'2 
Natural sodium carbonates' 
- 
Quantity 
Quantity Value 
1968                                         
1969                                         
1970                                         
1971                                         
1972                                         
4,596 
4,540 
' 4,393 
4,275 
p4,301 
 2,043 42,104 2,495 50,922 2,678 56,320 ' 2,865 60,774 3,218 71,689 
 P Preliminary. ' Revised. 
 ' Current Industrial Reports, Inorganic Chemicals, U.S. Department of Commerce,
Bureau of Census. ' Includes quantities used to manufacture caustic soda,
sodium bicarbonate, and finished light and dense soda ash. - 
 ' Soda ash and trona (sesquicarbonate). 


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