Sodium Oxide

When it comes to Chemistry, compounds are very common. You will get to relate yourself through various aspects of the studies. Compounds are simple molecules that are made up of two or more elements. By looking at the name or chemical formula, one can find out what are the elements included in the compound. One of the examples is Sodium Oxide.

The name suggests that Sodium Oxide is a source of Sodium that is highly insoluble and thermally stable. It is the best use for optic, glass, and ceramic applications. The compounds that are oxidised are conductive to electricity. However, there are certain perovskite structures of oxides that are electronically conductive. For this reason, it finds its application in the cathode of oxidised solid fuel cells and in the generation system of oxygen. Sodium Oxide is a form of a compound that contains at least one O2 anion and one metallic cation. 

Theoretical Properties of Sodium Oxide

Molecular Weight


Compound Formula



Yellow Crystalline Solid

Melting Point

1,132°C (2,070° F)

Boiling Point

1,950°C (3,542° F)


2.27 g/cm3

How are they useful for normal applications?

Sodium Oxide stays insoluble in water or other aqueous solutions. This makes it extremely stable for making ceramic structures, clay bowls, light-weight structural components in the industry of aerospace, and advanced electronics. It is also used for making fuel cells due to the properties of ionic conductivity. The compounds are basic anhydrides, and therefore, react well with acids. Sodium Oxides are available in pieces, pellets, tablets, spluttering targets, and nonopowder. 

Na2O Structure

The Na2O structure is a bit complex as the molar mass is 61.98g mol – 1. A single oxygen atom makes up the oxidization, and it has a couple of ionic bonds with two sodium atoms. The structure of the molecule seems like an antifluorite crystal, and thus, the Na atoms coordinate 4 O2 atoms. 

Health & Safety Information For Sodium Oxide

Signal word


Hazard Statement


Hazard Codes

O, C

Risk Codes


Preparation of Sodium Oxide

Sodium Oxide is produced with the reaction of sodium hydroxide and metallic sodium. It can also be formed from sodium peroxide or sodium nitrate. However, this reaction will produce hydrogen along with sodium oxide. The chemical formula is:

  • 2NaOH + 2Na > 2Na2O + H2

Sodium oxide can also be formed from thermal decomposition of sodium carbonate at 850°C. This produces carbon dioxide along with sodium oxide. The chemical formula is:

  • Na2CO3 > Na2O + CO2

Chemical properties of Sodium Oxide

Sodium Oxide produces Sodium Hydroxide when it reacts with water. This reaction is violent due to highly exothermic abilities. This is the reason; it is suggested to keep sodium oxide out of the reach of the water. The chemical formula is:

Na2O + H2O > 2NaOH

The alkali oxides M2O (M = Na, Li, Rb) helps in crystalizing that antifluorite structure. Therefore, the position of the cations and anions gets reversed relatively when compared with the position of CaF2. This happens due to sodium ions that coordinate tetrahedrally with 4 ion oxides and cubical oxides that coordinate with 8 NA (sodium) ions.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is the formula of Sodium Oxide?

The chemical formula of Sodium Oxide is Na2O. It is also known as disodium oxide. It is an inorganic compound that is used for manufacturing glasses and ceramics.

2. In which applications sodium oxide is used?

Sodium oxide is used for making glasses and ceramics. It is also used for making light-weight structures in aerospace and advanced electronics.

3. What happens when hydrogen reacts with sodium oxide?

Sodium Oxide absorbs hydrogen to create sodium hydride and NaOH or sodium hydroxide. They have the power to find the application to reverse hydrogen storage.

4. Is sodium oxide toxic?

The sodium oxide is a substance that is corrosive to eyes, respiratory tracts, and skin. Inhalation of the substance may cause lung oedema. It can be corrosive when ingested. Artificial respiration is pivotal if ingested and should seek immediate medical attention.

5. What are the related chemical compounds of sodium oxide?

Sodium oxide is produced when reacted with sodium, sodium nitrite, sodium hydroxide, and sodium peroxide. The related compounds are phosphorous pentachloride, Sodium bicarbonate, Sodium Iodine, and others.