A red crystalline solid, Na2Cr2O7.2H2O, soluble in water and insoluble in ethanol. It is usually known as the dihydrate (r.d. 2.52), which starts to lose water above 100°C; the compound decomposes above 400°C. It is made by melting chrome iron ore with lime and soda ash and acidification of the chromate thus formed. Sodium dichromate is cheaper than the corresponding potassium compound but has the disadvantage of being hygroscopic. It is used as a mordant in dyeing, as an oxidizing agent in organic chemistry, and in analytical chemistry.