Alginates are the water-soluble salts of water-insoluble alginic acids. Alginic acid is one of the structural components of brown algae, which grows in cold sea water and is harvested by hand or machine and then dried.
The alginic acid is converted into a soluble sodium salt and then extracted. The resulting solutions are then purified by filtration and decantation.
The sodium alginate powder is used as a thickener for the textile printing industry and other industrial applications.