Glass Industry

The glass industry provides another significant application for sodium sulfate, as second largest application in Europe. Sodium sulfate is used as a fining agent, to help remove small air bubbles from molten glass. It fluxes the glass, and prevents scum formation of the glass melt during refining. The glass industry in Europe has been consuming from 1970 to 2006 a stable 110,000 tonnes annually.

Sodium sulfate is important in the manufacture of textiles, particularly in Japan, where it is the largest application. Sodium sulfate helps in “leveling”, reducing negative charges on fibers so that dyes can penetrate evenly. Unlike the alternative sodium chloride, it does not corrode the stainless steel vessels used in dyeing. This application in Japan and USA consumed in 2006 approximately 100,000 tonnes.