Leblanc process

LeblancLeblanc alkaliLeblanc alkali worksprocess for mass-producing sodium carbonate
The Leblanc process was an early industrial process for the production of soda ash (sodium carbonate) used throughout the 19th century, named after its inventor, Nicolas Leblanc.wikipedia
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Solvay process

ammonia-soda processSolvayammonia-soda
The process gradually became obsolete after the development of the Solvay process.
This method superseded the Leblanc process.

Sodium sulfate

Glauber's saltsodium sulphateNa 2 SO 4
It involved two stages: production of sodium sulfate from sodium chloride, followed by reaction of the sodium sulfate with coal and calcium carbonate to produce sodium carbonate. This reaction produces sodium sulfate (called the salt cake) and hydrogen chloride:
Therefore, in the nineteenth century, the large scale Leblanc process, producing synthetic sodium sulfate as a key intermediate, became the principal method of soda ash production.

Kelp

Laminarialeskelpsseaweed
In Britain, the only local source of alkali was from kelp, which washed ashore in Scotland and Ireland.
Until the Leblanc process was commercialized in the early 19th century, burning of kelp in Scotland was one of the principal industrial sources of soda ash (predominantly sodium carbonate).

Chemical reaction

reactionchemical reactionsreactions
This chemical reaction had been discovered in 1772 by the Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele.
With the development of the lead chamber process in 1746 and the Leblanc process, allowing large-scale production of sulfuric acid and sodium carbonate, respectively, chemical reactions became implemented into the industry.

Glasswort

beach asparagussaltwort
Soda ash was imported from Spain and the Canary Islands, where it was produced from the ashes of glasswort plants (called barilla ashes in Spain), or imported from Syria.
The commercialization of the Leblanc process for synthesizing sodium carbonate (from salt, limestone, and sulfuric acid) brought an end to the era of farming for soda ash in the first half of the 19th century.

Sodium carbonate

soda ashsodaNa 2 CO 3
The Leblanc process was an early industrial process for the production of soda ash (sodium carbonate) used throughout the 19th century, named after its inventor, Nicolas Leblanc. In the second stage, is the reaction to produce sodium carbonate and calcium sulfide. Soda ash (sodium carbonate) and potash (potassium carbonate), collectively termed alkali, are vital chemicals in the glass, textile, soap, and paper industries.
The hydrochloric acid produced by the Leblanc process was a major source of air pollution, and the calcium sulfide byproduct also presented waste disposal issues.

James Muspratt

Following the repeal of the salt tariff, the British soda industry grew dramatically, and the chemical works established by James Muspratt in Liverpool and Flint, and by Charles Tennant near Glasgow became some of the largest in the world.
James Muspratt (12 August 1793 – 4 May 1886) was a British chemical manufacturer who was the first to make alkali by the Leblanc process on a large scale in the United Kingdom.

Losh, Wilson and Bell

Bell BrothersLosh, Wilson & BellThomas Bell (ironmaster)
The first British soda works using the Leblanc process was built by the Losh family of iron founders at the Losh, Wilson and Bell works in Walker on the River Tyne in 1816, but steep British tariffs on salt production hindered the economics of the Leblanc process and kept such operations on a small scale until 1824.
The alkali works was the first in England to make Soda using the Leblanc process; the ironworks was the first to use Cleveland Ironstone, presaging the 1850s boom in ironmaking on Teesside.

William Losh

Mr. Loshthe Losh family of iron founders
The first British soda works using the Leblanc process was built by the Losh family of iron founders at the Losh, Wilson and Bell works in Walker on the River Tyne in 1816, but steep British tariffs on salt production hindered the economics of the Leblanc process and kept such operations on a small scale until 1824.
William Losh (Carlisle 1770 – 4 August 1861, Ellison Place, Newcastle) was a chemist and industrialist who is credited with introducing the Leblanc process for the manufacture of alkali to the United Kingdom.

Carbothermic reaction

carbothermal reductioncarbothermic reductioncarbothermic
First is the carbothermic reaction whereby the coal, a source of carbon, reduces the sulfate to sulfide:
Of historic interest is the Leblanc process.

Hydrogen chloride

HClanhydrous hydrochloric acidHCl gas
This reaction produces sodium sulfate (called the salt cake) and hydrogen chloride:
In the Leblanc process, salt was converted to soda ash, using sulfuric acid, limestone, and coal, giving hydrogen chloride as by-product.

Alkali Act 1863

Alkali ActAlkali ActsHer Majesty's Inspectorate of Pollution
In 1863, the British Parliament passed the first of several Alkali Acts, the first modern air pollution legislation.
Under the British Alkali Act 1863, an alkali inspector and four subinspectors were appointed to curb discharge into the air of muriatic acid gas (gaseous hydrochloric acid) from Leblanc alkali works.

Mannheim process

In the first step, sodium chloride is treated with sulfuric acid in the Mannheim process.
The Mannheim process is a stage in the Leblanc process for the production of sodium carbonate.

Calcium sulfide

calcium sulphideCaS
In the second stage, is the reaction to produce sodium carbonate and calcium sulfide.
CaS is also a byproduct in the Leblanc process, a once major industrial process for producing sodium carbonate.

Hydrochloric acid

HClhydrochloricmuriatic acid
The chemical works usually dumped the resulting hydrochloric acid solution into nearby bodies of water, killing fish and other aquatic life.
In this Leblanc process, common salt is converted to soda ash, using sulfuric acid, limestone, and coal, releasing hydrogen chloride as a by-product.

Ernest Solvay

SolvayErnestE. Solvay
In 1861, the Belgian chemist Ernest Solvay developed a more direct process for producing soda ash from salt and limestone through the use of ammonia.
The process was an improvement over the earlier Leblanc process.

Nob End

Nob End Locks
Only four such sites have survived the new millennium; three are protected as local nature reserves of which the largest, at Nob End near Bolton, is an SSSI and Local Nature Reserve - largely for its sparse orchid-calcicole flora, most unusual in an area with acid soils.
Standing at the confluence of the River Irwell and River Croal the site was used around 1850-70 as a tip for toxic alkaline waste from the production of sodium carbonate (soda ash) by the Leblanc process.

Nicolas Leblanc

Leblanc, NicolasNicholas Leblanc
The Leblanc process was an early industrial process for the production of soda ash (sodium carbonate) used throughout the 19th century, named after its inventor, Nicolas Leblanc.

Sodium chloride

NaClsaltroad salt
It involved two stages: production of sodium sulfate from sodium chloride, followed by reaction of the sodium sulfate with coal and calcium carbonate to produce sodium carbonate.

Coal

coal seamcoal industrycoal-fired
It involved two stages: production of sodium sulfate from sodium chloride, followed by reaction of the sodium sulfate with coal and calcium carbonate to produce sodium carbonate.

Calcium carbonate

CaCO 3 calcareouscalcium
It involved two stages: production of sodium sulfate from sodium chloride, followed by reaction of the sodium sulfate with coal and calcium carbonate to produce sodium carbonate.

Potash

pearl ashPot Ashpotassium fertilizer
Soda ash (sodium carbonate) and potash (potassium carbonate), collectively termed alkali, are vital chemicals in the glass, textile, soap, and paper industries.

Potassium carbonate

pearlashK 2 CO 3 potassium
Soda ash (sodium carbonate) and potash (potassium carbonate), collectively termed alkali, are vital chemicals in the glass, textile, soap, and paper industries.

Glass

glassmakersilicate glassvitreous
Soda ash (sodium carbonate) and potash (potassium carbonate), collectively termed alkali, are vital chemicals in the glass, textile, soap, and paper industries.

Textile

textilesfabriccloth
Soda ash (sodium carbonate) and potash (potassium carbonate), collectively termed alkali, are vital chemicals in the glass, textile, soap, and paper industries.