What is the melting point of table salt?

In this brief article, we will provide you with the answer to the question: “What is the melting point of table salt?”, talk about the physical and chemical properties of table salt, and discuss the importance of table salt. We will also discuss if there are liquid salts at normal temperatures. 

What is the melting point of table salt?

The melting point of table salt is approximately 800 ºC (1472 degrees F). All common salts are solid at normal temperature. 

Sodium chloride (table salt), sodium bicarbonate (used as yeast in cakes, as an antacid, in talc, deodorants, and foam extinguishers), and calcium carbonate (composes marble, limestone, eggshells, shells, and corals) are all examples of salts that are solid at room temperature.

Na and Cl atoms are joined together by ionic bonds in salt molecules and tightly packed to form the dry crystalline solid. 

What are the other physical and chemical properties of table salt?

Besides being solid at room temperature, table salt has other important characteristics, such as:

  • Boiling point: 1413 °C
  • Solubility: soluble in water.
  • Solubility in other solvents: As sodium chloride is a polar compound, it cannot be dissolved in any solvent of a nonpolar nature, such as oil.
  • Density: The density of sodium chloride is 2.165 g/mL, therefore it is denser than water, which has a density equal to 1 g/mL.
  • Table salt is an electric current conductor. This occurs when they are fused (in the liquid form) or in an aqueous media, as their ions are liberated, which are responsible for electrical conduction. They are not conducive in the solid-state because the stiff structure of the crystal lattice prevents the free flow of ions.
  • Limited tenacity: Because salts are brittle solids, they have a low resistance to impact or mechanical stress. When pressure is applied, ions of the same sign repel each other, destroying the ionic cluster.

What is the importance of table salt?

Sodium chloride has no function in the human body by itself, but when it dissociates into sodium cations (Na+) and chloride anions (Cl-), each of these two ions has various vital activities. Consider the following functions:

The sodium cation (Na+) has several functions:

  • Prevents coagulation of the blood;
  • It works to prevent the production of kidney and gallstones.
  • Contributes to the control of bodily fluids;
  • Participates in blood pressure control.

The chloride anion’s functions (Cl-):

  • Contribution to the synthesis and composition of gastric juice (hydrochloric acid – HCl);
  • Participation in pancreatic juice formation.

Sodium chloride, in addition to being used to season food, can also be utilized in the following ways:

  • Production of shampoo;
  • Production of paper;
  • Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) production;
  • Production of detergents;
  • Production of soap;
  • Melting snow in areas prone to blizzards;
  • Metallic sodium production;
  • Chlorine gas production;
  • Isotonic beverages (used to replenish electrolytes in the body);
  • When using nasal decongestant solutions;
  • Production of saline, among other things.

Are there any liquid salts (at normal temperatures)?

Yes, there are liquid salts at normal temperatures. It was previously assumed that it would be impossible to have any chemical species in liquid form with properties equal to those of salt. 

This conclusion was founded on the fact that the interactions between the chemical species that comprise the substance (ions, molecules, or atoms) are stronger in this physical state than in the gaseous state and weaker in the solid-state. 

When a material is created by ions, there is a very strong force of attraction between its molecules, and as a result, it is generally solid. Because of this energy balancing problem, the great majority of liquids are composed of neutral molecules.

A more extensive review, however, revealed the existence of liquid salts that are better characterized as ionic liquids since they are created by positive and negative ions. These ionic liquids have a modest proportion of the properties of regular table salt.

Ionic liquids have very important properties, such as dissolving materials as different as plastics or rocks, and they can also replace chemical solvents derived from petroleum. In addition, they have a great advantage: they do not evaporate and, therefore, do not pollute the atmosphere.

Due to these characteristics, ionic liquids have been increasingly used in different fields of knowledge, such as in batteries, in electrochemistry, as solvents for spectroscopic analysis of metallic compounds, solvents for liquid-liquid extraction, as a phase stationary for gas chromatography and as solvents and acid catalysts for organic reactions.

Conclusion

In this brief article, we provided you with the answer to the question: “What is the melting point of table salt?”, talked about the physical and chemical properties of table salt, and discussed the importance of table salt. We also discussed if there are liquid salts at normal temperatures. 

References

Brasil Escola. “Sal Líquido. Existe algum sal líquido?” Accessed February 16, 2022. https://brasilescola.uol.com.br/quimica/sal-liquido.htm.

Para o Enem. “Propriedades dos sais inorgânicos. Sais inorgânicos.” Accessed February 16, 2022. https://www.preparaenem.com/quimica/propriedades-dos-sais-inorganicos.htm.

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.