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Sodium Properties

Last updated date: 19th May 2024
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What is Sodium?

Sodium, like lithium and potassium, belongs to the alkali metal family. The most famous claim to fame is that it is one of the two elements that make up table salt. As sodium binds with chlorine, we get sodium chloride (NaCl). It's also used in fertilizers as a salt. Sodium is the most significant of all alkaline metals from a commercial standpoint because it is a reactive, soft metal with a low melting point. Sodium hydroxide is formed when sodium reacts quickly with water, snow, or ice.

As metallic sodium is exposed to sunlight, it loses its silver appearance and forms an opaque grey color layer of sodium oxide as a coating.Except at extremely high temperatures, sodium does not react with nitrogen, but it does react with ammonia to form sodium amide.

Over 200°C, sodium reacts with hydrogen to form sodium hydride. It also forms sodium chloride and the metal as it reacts with different metallic halides. It has an atomic number of 11 and is represented in the Periodic table by the symbol Na.

Sodium boiling point- 882.940°C, 1621.292°F, 1156.090 K

In this article, will study physical properties of sodium and Chemical Properties Of Sodium Metal In detail.

Physical and Chemical Properties Sodium

Physical Property of Sodium Metal:

  1. At normal temperature and pressure, sodium is a soft silvery metal that reacts with oxygen in the air to form greyish white sodium oxide unless it is contained in the oil or inert gas. Since it only has one electron in its valence layer, sodium metal is easily cut with a knife and is a strong conductor of electricity and heat. This results in poor metallic bonding and free electrons, which carry energy. 

  2. Sodium is the third least dense of all elemental metals, with a low atomic mass and a broad atomic radius, and is one of only three metals that can float on water, the other two being lithium and potassium. Sodium's melting (98 °C) and boiling (883) points are lower than lithium's but higher than the heavier alkali metals potassium, rubidium, and cesium, following periodic patterns down the group. 

  3. There are twenty different isotopes of sodium known, but only 23 Na is stable. By fusing two carbon atoms together in the carbon-burning process in stars, 23Na is produced; this requires temperatures above 600 mega-kelvins and a star with at least three solar masses.

Chemical Properties of Sodium Metal:

Sodium atoms have 11 electrons, one more than the noble gas neon's stable configuration. 495.8 kJ/mol and 4562 kJ/mol, respectively, are the first and second ionization energies. As a consequence, sodium is most commonly found in ionic compounds containing the Na+ cation.

1. Aqueous Solutions

Water-soluble sodium compounds contain halides, sulfates, nitrates, carboxylates, and carbonates. The aqua complexes [Na(H2O)n]+ are the most common aqueous species, with n = 4–8 and n = 6 shown by X-ray diffraction data and computer simulations.

Since sodium salts have a high affinity for water, direct precipitation of sodium salts from aqueous solutions is uncommon. Sodium bismuthate is an exception (NaBiO3). Sodium salts are normally separated as solids by evaporation or precipitation with an organic antisolvent, such as ethanol; for example, only 0.35 g/L of sodium chloride dissolves in ethanol.

2. Electrides and Sodides

Sodium, like the other alkali metals, dissolves in ammonia and some amines to form darkly colored solutions, which evaporate to leave a gleaming film of metallic sodium. The positive charge of the coordination complex (Na(NH3)6)+ is counterbalanced by electrons as anions in the solutions; cryptands allow the isolation of these complexes as crystalline solids. With crown ethers, cryptands, and other ligands, sodium forms complexes.

3. Intermetallic Compounds

Many metals, including potassium, calcium, iron, and the group 11 and 12 elements, form alloys with sodium. KNa2 and NaK are sodium and potassium compounds. At room temperature, NaK contains 40–90 percent potassium and is liquid. It functions well as a thermal and electrical conductor.

4. Salts and Oxides

  • Sodium compounds are extremely significant in the manufacturing of glass, paper, soap, and textiles, among other products.

  • The majority of soaps are fatty acid sodium salts. Sodium soaps have a higher melting temperature than potassium soaps (and seem "harder").

  • Sodium, like all alkali metals, reacts with water exothermically. Caustic soda (sodium hydroxide) and flammable hydrogen gas are produced in this reaction. As it is burned in the air, it produces mostly sodium peroxide and a small amount of sodium oxide.

Uses of Sodium

  1. It's also used in soaps, molten metal purification, and sodium vapor lamps to improve the structure of some alloys.

  2. Sodium is a part of sodium chloride, a vital compound in the living environment.

  3. Sodium is essential for the production of organic compounds and the formation of esters.

  4. Making glass necessitates the use of solid sodium carbonate.

Did You Know?

A strong connection exists between higher sodium intake and elevated blood pressure. According to studies, cutting sodium intake by 2 g a day lowers systolic blood pressure by two to four mm Hg. It is projected that lowering sodium intake by 9 to 17 percent will reduce hypertension cases by 9 to 17 percent. Every year, hypertension kills 7.6 million people prematurely around the world. (Salt contains about 39.3% sodium, with the remainder being chlorine and trace chemicals; hence, 2.3 g sodium equals about 5.9 g, or 5.3 ml, of salt—roughly one US teaspoon.)

FAQs on Sodium Properties

Question: What Effect Does Sodium Have on Your Body?

Sodium is an electrolyte that helps keep the water balance in and around your cells in place. It is essential for normal muscle and nerve function. It also aids in the maintenance of normal blood pressure levels. Hyponatremia is described as a lack of sodium in the blood.

Question: Why is Sodium Harmful to Your Health?

A small amount of sodium is needed for your body to function properly, but too much sodium can be harmful to your health. Diets high in sodium are linked to an increased risk of developing high blood pressure, which is a significant cause of stroke and heart disease, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Question: Is it True that Salt Clogs Arteries?

New findings “confirm the potentially harmful effects of a high dietary salt intake,” according to new findings that “confirm the potentially detrimental effects of a high dietary salt intake” independent of blood pressure effects.