The principle application of sodium borohydride is the production of sodium dithionite, which is used as a bleaching agent in the for wood pulp. Sulfur dioxide reacts with the borohydride. In a related process, sodium dithionite is used in the dying industry. Sodium borohydride also used in Oxymercuration reaction.

Sodium borohydride reduces aldehydes and ketones into alcohols. This reaction is used in the production of various antibiotics including chloramphenicol,dihydrostreptomycin, and thiophenicol. Various steroids and vitamin A are prepared using sodium borohydride in at least one step. Sodium borohydride is a source of alkali, which is corrosive, and hydrogen or diborane, which are inflammable. Spontaneous ignition can result from solution of sodium borohydride in dimethylformamide.flammable.

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