Sodium bisulfite

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Chemical structure

Sodium bisulfite.jpg

White crystals or powder. Sodium bisulfite is used as a Disinfectant and bleach, especially for wool and leather. It is also used as a bleach, digestive aid, and antichlor in papermaking vats. Sodium bisulfite is also used in photographic developing solutions and dye baths as a reducing agent.

Synonyms and Related Terms

sodium acid sulfite; sodium hydrogen sulfite; sodium metabisulfite; sodium pyrosulfite


  • Noncombustible.
  • Contact causes irritation and burns.
  • Toxic by ingestion.
  • Reacts with acids to evolve toxic sulfur dioxide fumes.
  • ThermoFisher: SDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

Soluble in water. Insoluble in ethanol.

Composition NaHSO3
CAS 7631-90-5
Melting Point 150 C
Density 1.48 g/ml
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 104.06
Refractive Index 1.474, 1.526, 1.685

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 785
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1982
  • The Dictionary of Paper, American Paper Institute, New York, Fourth Edition, 1980
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 8731
  • A Glossary of Paper Conservation Terms, Margaret Ellis (ed.), Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts, New York City, 1998
  • CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, Robert Weast (ed.), CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, v. 61, 1980 Comment: ref. index= 1.474, 1.526, 1.685

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