Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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sodium hydroxide

A white, translucent, highly deliquescent, extremely caustic alkali (NaOH), prepared mainly by the electrolysis of sodium chloride. It is used in the manufacture of paper pulps, and can also be used for the rapid degradation of hair and other epidermal structures of hides and skins. it is seldom if ever used for this purpose in practical tannages, however, as it dissolves the hair (which is commercially valuable) and can severely damage the collagen of a skin unless very carefully controlled. Also called "caustic soda." (144 , 306 )

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