From baking soda to car windshields, soda ash is found in a variety of everyday products. Known chemically as sodium carbonate, soda ash has been a fundamental ingredient in our daily lives for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians dug up dry lakebed deposits, using it to make glass ornaments and vessels while Romans used soda ash to bake bread, make glass, and for medicinal purposes. Until the 19th century, soda ash was extracted from the ashes of plants that grew in sodium-rich soil. This method was so common, it is how the powder received the name ‘soda ash.’
Today, soda ash is mined from trona deposits and is one of the world’s most abundant natural resources. After it is processed, soda ash helps create a variety of products across many industries, such as building, automotive, home, cleaning, energy, beverage, food and glass, bakeware, industrial, water treatment, oil, and gas. Soda ash is one of the most widely used and important commodities in the United States, substantially contributing to the gross domestic product. For these reasons, the Federal Reserve Board incorporates soda ash production data into the economic indicators that monitor the condition of the U.S. economy.
Ciner (pronounced ‘jin-ner’) Resources Corporation, formerly OCI Chemical Corporation, has been supplying the world with natural soda ash since 1962. Unlike synthetic processes, Ciner operates an all-natural mining system. Synthetic soda ash is made using either the Solvay or Hou process and contains a number of different chemicals. Both methods leave behind byproducts and require either seaside discharge or waste beds to catch leftover impurities. These impurities have led to water pollution and an overall deterioration of the surrounding environment. Ciner soda ash is mined from the ground and refined with no additional chemicals. The Ciner method is environmentally friendly and produces a pure, high-quality product, allowing us to distribute natural soda ash all over the world.
Ciner’s trona mine, located in the Green River Basin, utilizes evaporative crystallizer technology. Similar to all evaporative systems, a concentrated aqueous solution is introduced to maintain the purity and quality of the refined soda ash product. The run-off of this stream (a mixture of soda ash and water) is contained in holding ponds throughout the facility. Ciner has developed a unique solution to reduce the capacity of these ponds and recover the useable soda ash, effectively recovering waste while improving efficiencies. The purified soda ash crystals, chemically sodium carbonate decahydrate, is harvested from the ponds seasonally and introduced as an additional feedstock to complement the mining of trona ore which produces soda ash.
Ciner is dedicated to providing the world with an all-natural superior product and remains the global leader in soda ash production. Ciner is a proud member of American Natural Soda Ash Corporation (ANSAC), which manages soda ash supply chains. Through strong relationships, ANSAC minimizes costs and increases industry efficiency among customers, distributors, business partners, and member companies.