Soluble silicates complex or tie up metals such as iron, copper and manganese that catalyze hydrogen peroxide decomposition, thereby maximizing the use of the hydrogen peroxide in the bleaching of the textiles. This makes the process more economical. Soluble silicates contribute detergency benefits to textile cleaning operations that remove oil, grease and dirt from the fabric. Silicates provide buffered alkalinity and soil suspension. The alkalinity from the silicate serves to neutralize fatty acid soils and saponify triglycerides and greases. The buffering effect helps to maintain an alkaline solution even after the introduction of acidic soils. The silicate also deflocculates clay and suspends particulate soil, preventing it from redepositing on the fabric.
In the pad-batch dyeing process silicates provide alkalinity and buffering necessary to maintain the required pH for the dyeing process.
Soluble silicates act as corrosion inhibitors to prevent attack on metal tanks, pipes and water lines from soft water or alkaline solutions.
Activated silica can be used as a coagulant aid in pre-treatment or post-treatment of water to help floc settle faster and more efficiently. Magnesium sulfate can be used in the treatment of water and wastewater to remove total dissolved solids (TDS).