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What is sodium hexametaphosphate made from? What is the purpose of adding sodium hexametaphosphate?

Mar. 25, 2024

Sodium hexametaphosphate (SHMP), known by its chemical name and its French counterpart, "Hexametaphosphate de Sodium," is a compound renowned for its multifaceted utility across various industries. With applications ranging from food processing to water treatment, SHMP plays a pivotal role in modern manufacturing processes. This article aims to delve into the origins, grades, and diverse applications of SHMP, with a particular focus on its role in water treatment and beyond.

Composition and Manufacturing:

SHMP, a hexamer of composition (NaPO3)6, is typically a mixture of polymeric metaphosphates, with the hexamer being a key constituent. This white, water-soluble solid is synthesized through a meticulous process of polymerization involving the controlled heating, dehydration, and condensation of phosphoric acid molecules. The resulting compound, sodium hexametaphosphate, forms the basis for its myriad applications across industries.

Grades of SHMP:

SHMP is available in food-grade and industrial/technical-grade variants, each tailored to specific applications. While it is generally recognized as safe when applied in foods, its industrial applications encompass a broader spectrum, including water treatment, paint formulation, and detergent manufacturing. Stringent quality standards ensure its safety and efficacy across diverse sectors.

Versatile Applications of SHMP:

SHMP in Water Treatment:

In the realm of water treatment, SHMP emerges as a vital component, addressing various challenges associated with corrosion, scale formation, and water quality management. As a sequestrant, deflocculating, and antiscale agent, it prevents corrosion in pipes and boilers while also inhibiting scale formation, ensuring the integrity and efficiency of water distribution systems.

In the realm of water treatment, SHMP emerges as a vital component

Industrial Water Management:

In industrial settings, SHMP plays a crucial role in treating water used for dye production, titanium dioxide production, printing and dyeing, and chemical processes. By effectively complexing metal ions such as calcium, magnesium, and iron, SHMP prevents the formation of insoluble salts, ensuring the purity and quality of industrial water. Its ability to form soluble complexes with alkali metal ions makes it particularly effective in preventing the precipitation of hardly soluble salts, thus maintaining the integrity of industrial water systems.

Domestic Water Treatment:

For domestic applications, SHMP serves as a water softener, effectively removing hardness caused by calcium and magnesium ions. By forming soluble complexes with these metal ions, SHMP prevents their precipitation and deposition, ensuring the longevity and efficiency of household water appliances. Its widespread use in water softening systems, particularly in areas with high water hardness, underscores its importance in domestic water treatment.

Wastewater Disposal:

In the realm of wastewater disposal, SHMP emerges as a vital agent in controlling scale formation and corrosion. By interfering with the precipitation and scale formation of insoluble inorganic salts, SHMP maintains optimal heat transfer efficiency in metal equipment, ensuring the smooth operation of wastewater treatment facilities. Its role as a corrosion inhibitor further enhances the durability and lifespan of metal infrastructure, mitigating the risk of degradation and structural damage.

Corrosion Inhibition and Scale Prevention:

The multifaceted properties of SHMP extend beyond water softening and scale inhibition. Its ability to slow down metal corrosion while maintaining the physical and mechanical properties of metal surfaces underscores its significance in corrosion inhibition. By forming adsorption films on metal surfaces, SHMP effectively shields against corrosive agents, prolonging the lifespan of metal equipment in water treatment facilities and industrial processes.

SHMP in Corrosion Inhibition and Scale Prevention

Safety and Packaging:

As a widely used water treatment agent, SHMP is available in various grades and packaging options to suit diverse applications. From industrial-sized containers to consumer-friendly volumes, SHMP caters to the needs of different users. However, precautions must be taken to avoid direct contact with skin, eyes, and inhalation of dust, highlighting the importance of proper handling and storage practices.

Food Industry:

SHMP is extensively used in food processing, where it serves as a versatile additive under the E number E452i. Its roles as a sequestrant, thickener, emulsifier, and texturizer enhance texture, stabilize pH, and preserve color in processed foods. From dairy products to meat processing, SHMP contributes to the quality and shelf-life of various food products.

Industrial Applications:

Beyond water treatment and food processing, SHMP finds diverse applications across industrial domains. In the paint and coating industry, it serves as a dispersing agent, enhancing fluidity and performance. Its influence on adhesion and corrosion inhibition underscores its importance in achieving desired coating characteristics.


Sodium hexametaphosphate stands as a testament to the versatility and utility of chemical engineering, offering solutions to diverse challenges across industries. From its pivotal role in water treatment, ensuring the purity and efficiency of water distribution systems, to its indispensable function in food processing, enhancing texture, and preserving quality, SHMP embodies innovation and ingenuity. 

As industries continue to evolve, the demand for SHMP is expected to rise, further underscoring its significance in modern manufacturing processes. Understanding its composition, manufacturing process, and diverse applications not only deepens our appreciation for its myriad uses but also highlights the pivotal role of scientific innovation in addressing contemporary challenges. As we navigate the complexities of modern industry and agriculture, sodium hexametaphosphate remains a steadfast ally, facilitating progress and sustainability in diverse domains.If you are looking for reliable sodium hexametaphosphate suppliers, welcome to contact us at TJCY Industrial Chemical; we will be honored to provide services for you!

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