Developed by Chinese chemist Hou Debang in 1930s, the first few steps are the same as the Solvay process. However, instead of treating the remaining solution with lime, carbon dioxide and ammonia are pumped into the solution, then sodium chloride is added until the solution saturates at 40 °C. Next, the solution is cooled to 10 °C. Ammonium chloride precipitates and is removed by filtration, and the solution is recycled to produce more sodium carbonate. Hou's process eliminates the production of calcium chloride and the byproduct ammonium chloride can be refined or used as a fertilizer.
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