Sodium Metal | Properties | Uses | Facts - Elements and Compounds


Monday, March 6, 2023

Sodium Metal | Properties | Uses | Facts

Properties Uses and Facts about Sodium Metal

    What is Sodium

    Sodium is classified as an alkali metal, and chemically it is an element. Sodium is a white-silver soft metal with a density of 0.97 grams per cubic centimeter. The symbol of sodium is Na, its atomic number is 11 and its atomic weight is 22.9897 amu. An atom of sodium has 11 electrons, 11 protons, 12 neutrons and 3 energy levels. In the Periodic Table, sodium is located in group 1, period 3 and block S. Sodium is found in the solid state at room temperature, with a melting point of 97.72 °C (207.9 °F) and a boiling point of 883 °C (1621 °F).

    Sodium was discovered by Sir Humphrey Davy in 1807.
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    Properties of Sodium Metal

    • Sodium is a white-silver colored metal.
    • Pure sodium is a good conductor of electricity and heat.
    • Sodium is a very soft metal, it is so soft that it can be easily cut with an ordinary knife.
    • Sodium is chemically very active, so it is not found in pure state in nature. Pure sodium metal is produced by electrolysis of molten sodium chloride.
    • Sodium immediately explodes violently when it comes in contact with water. When water and sodium react, sodium hydroxide and hydrogen gas are produced.
    • Sodium reacts with alcohol in the same way as with water, but the reaction is slightly slower.
    • When pure sodium comes in contact with air, a gray colored layer of oxide accumulates over it, which is called sodium oxide.
    • Sodium does not react with nitrogen, not even at very high temperatures.
    • Sodium reacts with hydrogen above 200 °C to form sodium hydride.
    • On burning of sodium, a very bright yellow flame comes out of it.
    • Sodium dissolves in mercury and forms sodium amalgam. 

    Uses of Sodium Metal

    • Liquid sodium metal is used in nuclear power plants as a heat exchanger medium.
    • Sodium is used to make titanium metal from titanium tetrachloride (TiCl4).
    • Sodium is used as a catalyst in the manufacture of synthetic rubber.
    • The combination of sodium vapor and electric current produces yellow light, so sodium is used to make yellow light bulbs, most commonly used as street bulbs.
    • Sodium is essential for every living being, its quantity in the body of an adult human being is about 100 grams. Sodium works to transmit the signals of the nervous system in our body, apart from this it works to regulate the water level in the cells and blood of our body.
    • The sodium compound sodium chloride (common salt) is used in food in many ways. Sodium chloride is also used to remove snow from roads in winter.
    • The sodium compound sodium carbonate (Na2CO3, washing soda) is used as a water softener. Sodium carbonate is used in making glass.
    • The sodium compound sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3, baking soda) is used in food.
    • The sodium compound sodium hydroxide (NaOH, caustic soda) is used to make soap. Apart from this, sodium hydroxide is used in paper industry, petroleum industry, textile industry, metal processing industry, mining industry and glass industry.
    • The sodium compound sodium nitrate (NaNO3, Chile saltpeter) is used as a fertilizer.

    Interesting Facts about Sodium Metal

    • Sodium is the sixth most abundant element on earth.
    • The most commonly found compound of sodium is sodium chloride (common salt).
    • Sodium is very reactive chemically and can react with atmospheric oxygen and moisture. Therefore, to store sodium metal, it is kept inside kerosene.
    • Sodium is lighter than water, so it floats when put in water, but it immediately reacts with water to produce hydrogen gas, the energy released in this reaction is so high that hydrogen explodes immediately. 
    • Sodium compounds are more commonly used than sodium metal.

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