Chemistry - Sodium


  • Sodium is a soft, silvery color, and highly reactive alkali metal.

  • In the periodic table, Sodium is kept in group 1, as it has single electron in its outer shell.

  • The symbol of sodium is ‘Na,’ which has been actually taken from Latin word ‘natrium.’

  • In terms of abundance, sodium is the sixth element found in the Earth's crust.

  • Sodium exists in various minerals including feldspars, sodalite, and rock salt (NaCl).

  • In 1807, Humphry Davy first isolated sodium by the electrolysis of sodium hydroxide.

  • By the time, 20 isotopes of sodium are known, but among all, only 23Na is stable.

Salient Features of Sodium

  • Following are the major features of sodium element −

    • Sodium metal a soft element that be can be easily cut with a knife.

    • Sodium is a good conductor of heat and electricity.

    • Because of having low atomic mass and large atomic radius, sodium is one of the least dense elements (third least dense element – first two are lithium and potassium).

    • Sodium can float on water.

    • Sodium along its compounds glow yellow (see image below).

Sodium Compounds
  • Sodium compounds have very high commercial importance and have high demand in the industries of glass, paper, soap, and textiles.

Sodium Compounds

  • Following are some of the significant examples of sodium compounds −

    • Table salt -(NaCl)

    • Soda ash -(Na2CO3)

    • Baking soda -(NaHCO3)

    • Caustic soda -(NaOH)

    • Sodium nitrate -(NaNO3)

    • Sodium thiosulfate -(Na2S2O3·5H2O)

    • Borax -(Na2B4O7·10H2O)

Occurrence of Sodium

  • The crust of Earth contains about 2.27% sodium.

  • Sodium is the 5th most abundant metal; other four are aluminum, iron, calcium, and magnesium.

  • In the oceanic water, about 1.08 × 104 milligrams sodium found in per liter.

  • Sodium does not found as a pure element, as it is highly reactive.

Uses of Sodium

  • Following are the major uses of sodium −

    • Sodium chloride is highly useful for anti-icing and de-icing as well as a preservative.

    • In cooking, sodium bicarbonate is used.

    • Sodium and some of its compounds are used in medicines.

    • In comparison to potassium (which is a better ion), sodium is more frequently used because of its lower price and atomic weight.

    • In organic chemistry, sodium hydride is used as various reactions.

    • Metallic sodium is principally used for the production of sodium borohydride, sodium triphenylphosphine, azide, indigo, etc.

    • In some fast reactors, liquid sodium is used as a heat transfer fluid because of having the property of good heat conductivity.

    • Sodium is also an essential mineral for the human health, as it regulates blood pressure, blood volume, osmotic equilibrium, and pH value.

    • The minimum amount of 500 milligrams sodium is required every day for a healthy human body.