Sodium hexametaphosphate

Sodium hexametaphosphate

Sodium hexametaphosphate is a chemical compound with the formula (NaPO3)6. It is commonly referred to as sodium polyphosphate or SHMP. Sodium hexametaphosphate is a white, crystalline powder or glassy material that is highly soluble in water. It is derived from the polymerization of phosphoric acid, resulting in a chain-like structure composed of repeating phosphate units.

Sodium hexametaphosphate is widely used in various industrial and commercial applications. Its primary function is as a sequestrant and water treatment agent due to its ability to bind metal ions and prevent their interference in processes. It is also utilized as a dispersant, emulsifier, and buffering agent in food and beverage production, where it helps to enhance texture, stability, and shelf life of products. Additionally, it finds applications in detergents, ceramics, textile processing, and oil drilling.

In summary, sodium hexametaphosphate is a versatile chemical compound that offers multiple functionalities across different industries, primarily serving as a sequestrant, water treatment agent, dispersant, and emulsifier.



Sodium hexametaphosphate (SHMP) is commonly used in various industries for its versatile properties. Here are some major or common uses of sodium hexametaphosphate:

  1. Water Treatment: SHMP is widely utilized as a water treatment agent to prevent scale formation and corrosion in water systems. It helps in sequestering metal ions, such as calcium and magnesium, which are responsible for scale buildup in pipes and equipment.
  2. Food and Beverage Industry: SHMP finds extensive use in the food and beverage industry. It acts as a sequestrant, stabilizer, and emulsifier. It helps improve the texture and appearance of processed meat, seafood, and dairy products. It is also used in beverages, such as fruit juices and soft drinks, to prevent precipitation and maintain clarity.
  3. Detergents and Cleaners: Sodium hexametaphosphate is employed in detergents and cleaners as a builder and water softener. It enhances the cleaning efficiency by preventing the redeposition of dirt and by sequestering hard water ions that can interfere with the cleaning process.
  4. Ceramic and Tile Industry: SHMP is utilized in ceramic and tile manufacturing as a dispersant and deflocculating agent. It helps in improving the flow properties of ceramic slurries, reducing viscosity, and enhancing the homogeneity of the mixture.
  5. Textile Processing: In the textile industry, sodium hexametaphosphate is used as a sequestering agent to remove metal ions present in the water used for dyeing and bleaching processes. It helps to prevent unwanted color changes and improves dye absorption.
  6. Oil Drilling: SHMP is employed in the oil drilling industry as a deflocculant and dispersant. It aids in reducing the viscosity of drilling mud, preventing the clumping of solids, and improving the overall performance of the drilling fluid.
  7. Other Applications: Sodium hexametaphosphate is also used in various other applications, including metal treatment, paper production, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and as a corrosion inhibitor in cooling systems.

These are some of the major and common uses of sodium hexametaphosphate across different industries. Its versatility and properties make it a valuable chemical compound in various industrial processes.


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Safety Guidelines

When using sodium hexametaphosphate (SHMP), it is important to observe certain precautions to ensure safe handling and usage. Here are some precautions to consider:
  1. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Wear appropriate PPE, such as gloves, safety goggles, and protective clothing, when handling SHMP. This will help protect your skin, eyes, and body from direct contact with the chemical.
  2. Ventilation: Work in a well-ventilated area or use local exhaust ventilation to prevent the buildup of potentially harmful vapors or dust. This will help minimize the risk of inhalation and exposure to airborne particles.
  3. Storage and Handling: Store sodium hexametaphosphate in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area away from incompatible substances. Follow proper storage guidelines to avoid accidental spills, leaks, or mixing with other chemicals.
  4. Avoid Ingestion and Inhalation: Avoid eating, drinking, or smoking while handling SHMP. It should not be ingested or inhaled as it may cause irritation or harm to the respiratory system.
  5. Avoid Eye and Skin Contact: In case of accidental contact with the eyes or skin, immediately flush the affected area with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes. Seek medical attention if irritation persists.
  6. Handling Precautions: Handle SHMP with care to avoid generating dust or aerosols. If working with powdered SHMP, use appropriate measures to prevent the dispersion of particles, such as using dust collection systems or wet methods.
  7. Follow Manufacturer’s Recommendations: Always follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer on the product label or safety data sheet (SDS) for proper handling, storage, and disposal of sodium hexametaphosphate.
  8. Disposal: Dispose of SHMP in accordance with local regulations and guidelines. Do not dispose of it in drains or water bodies, as it may have environmental implications.
It is important to note that these precautions are general guidelines, and specific safety recommendations may vary depending on the concentration, form, and intended use of sodium hexametaphosphate. Always refer to the product’s safety information and consult the relevant safety data sheet for comprehensive guidance on safe handling practices

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