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Sodium Acetate is a colourless and odorless solid that occurs as the trihydrate NaC2H3O2*3H2O. It is very soluble in water, with its solubility increasing as the temperature increases. It is also soluble in many organic solvents such as methanol, acetone, and ethanol. It is a strong base, deprotonating amines to produce carboxylic acid and is used in chemical synthesis. It can also be used as a buffer with acetic acid to keep a constant pH level in biochemical reactions.
It is made by the reaction of acetic acid (often in the form of vinegar) with a sodium carbonate or sodium bicarbonate solution. The resulting sodium acetate can then be purified using several methods such as distillation and crystallization. It is sometimes also prepared by reacting acetic anhydride with an excess of sodium hydroxide in aqueous media.
In humans, sodium acetate is converted to bicarbonate and excreted in the urine. It is also a common ingredient in intravenous fluid solutions for dialysis patients. Sodium acetate is an important source of sodium and can help prevent or correct hyponatremia in these patients.
Sodium acetate is also used in the tanning industry to reduce water damage to concrete structures. It is often dissolved in water and then spread onto concrete structures to help protect them from water damage. It is also used as a pickling agent in chrome tanning processes and can be mixed with cement to help strengthen concrete. It is also a common ingredient in commercially available lubricants.