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Sodium chloride, or NaCl, is an ionic compound that is found in nature and is most commonly used as table salt. It is also a major raw material in the manufacturing of many important chemicals including sodium hydroxide, hydrochloric acid, baking soda, etc.
The chemical properties of nacl (table salt) and other sodium chlorides are explained by simple ionic bonding. These bonds occur when an atom of the metals on one side of the periodic table, such as sodium, loses electrons to become a negatively charged ion, and an atom of the non-metals on the other side of the table, such as chlorine, gains electrons to become a positively charged ion.
As a result of this interaction the two ions sodium and chlorine are attracted to each other, on the principle that opposite charges attract. This ionic bonding is what gives nacl its good electrical conductivity.
In addition to its well-known use as table salt, nacl is a common component in saline solutions for medical purposes and is used in road deicing in cold and snowy weather conditions.
It is also a major ingredient in blackstrap molasses. This dark, thick molasses is one of the most beloved ingredients in cooking.
Historically, nacl was used as an optical component for infrared (IR) light. However, modern materials like zinc selenide are more effective in this spectral range. For this reason nacl has become less popular in recent years. It is still used in some applications, such as in the construction of vacuum sealed assembly areas or for short-term uses such as prototyping.