Sodium amide, often called sodamide, is a highly reactive crystalline inorganic base. It is used in synthesis of various organic compounds and dyes. Sodium amide reacts aggressively with water and forms explosive compounds when exposed to air. Therefore, sodium amide is stored in inert atmosphere of nitrogen or argon. Sodium amide is used as a catalyst in the production of hydrazine and sodium cyanide. It is also employed in the production of hydrogen gas by the reaction of ammonia, sodium metal, and sodium amide.
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The compound is used to manufacture dyes, specifically indigo dye. Along with an alkali, sodium amide is used to obtain indoxly from phenyl glycine. This indigo production method exploits the reactivity of sodium amide with water to substantially lower the overall temperature of the entire process of indigo dye production. Furthermore, sodium amide acts as a drying reagent for dehydrating ammonia gas and deprotonation of alkynes, weak acids, alcohols, etc.
Demand for sodium amide is rising due to the high demand for indigo dye in the textile industry, especially in China and India. Need for sodium amide in the manufacture of indigo dye is expected to increase during forecast period owing to the rapid technological advancement in textile production. Sodium cyanide, which requires sodium amide for its synthesis, is one of the key reagents in the extraction of gold from its ore.
The gold industry is expanding significantly; this is estimated to propel the demand for sodium cyanide, thereby boosting the demand for sodium amide. Sodium amide is also used for synthesis of hydrazine. Usage of hydrazine as a part of rocket fuel in space exploration; gun propellant; and precursor to production of pharmaceuticals and pesticides & insecticides is driving the market for sodium amide. However, high reactivity, difficulty in handling, and other environmental hazards are compelling industry participants to search for better, more stable, and safer alternatives of sodium amide. This is likely to moderately hamper the sodium amide in the near future.
Based on functionality, the global sodium amide market can be classified into catalyst, deprotonation agent, and dehydrating agent. Sodium amide is largely used as a catalyst in the production of several industrial compounds such as hydrazine and sodium cyanide. Geographically, the sodium amide market has been divided into North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East & Africa, and Latin America. Asia Pacific (especially China and India) utilizes significant amount of sodium amide for the production of indigo dyes for textiles. Consumption of sodium amide is also high in North America and Europe for the production of jeans and denims; indigo dye is primarily used in coloring denims and jeans. Furthermore, the use of sodium amide as a catalytic agent for the production of hydrazine is also boosting the market in Asia Pacific as the region is a significant producer of hydrazine hydrate.
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The compound is commercially manufactured by reacting ammonia gas/liquid with sodium metal in the presence of ferric nitrate as a catalyst. The compound is also obtained as a by-product during the production process of hydrogen gas. Manufacturers of sodium amide include JinXiang Chemical Enterprise, Natrizen Chemicals Private Limited, Nasense Labs Private Limited, Hongze Xinxing Chem Co., Ltd., Solvay USA Inc., Alkali Metals Limited, Fox Chemicals GmbH, Hangzhou Meite Chemical Co., Ltd. (Meite Industry Co., Ltd.), and Align Chemicals.