Isonex's main business activity is the
preparation of technical and economic feasibility
studies for the production of soda ash. In
North America, 97% of all soda ash is produced by
refining soda ores occurring in California and Wyoming.
Trona is refined into soda ash (sodium
carbonate), a main ingredient in the production
of glass, detergents, and many chemicals.
The main commercial product manufactured from
trona ores is sodium carbonate, also
known as soda ash. This is accomplished by
calcining natural trona, that is heating the ore
driving out the carbon dioxide and water as gases.
The calcinate is a mixture of sodium carbonate,
calcium carbonate, and silicates. The sodium
carbonate is leached with hot water leaving behind
the insoluble calcium and silicon compounds, which
are separated by filtration. The sodium carbonate
is recovered from the water solution by
crystallizing sodium carbonate monohydrate in large
The sodium carbonate monohydrate crystals are
separated by centrifugation and the water of
hydration is driven out by drying forming the final
commercial product, dense soda ash. The term
dense refers to the higher bulk density.
Most of known trona deposits occur in
Sweetwater County Wyoming where four firms mine and
refine the trona to soda ash, caustic soda, and
other derivatives. Other significant trona deposits
occur in California, China, Turkey, and East Africa.
About 4.9 million short tons of American soda
ash were exported in 2003 from the United States.