The chemical symbol for sodium is Na, and its atomic number is 11. It is an alkali metal and is the sixth most abundant element in the Earth’s crust. Sodium’s chemical and physical properties, valency, electronic configuration, uses, reactions with other elements, and industrial and medical applications are discussed further below.
Chemical Properties of Sodium:
- Sodium is a highly reactive metal that reacts violently with water, acids, and other substances.
- It can combine with many other elements to form oxides, chlorides, and carbonates, among many more.
- Sodium has a low electronegativity and can easily donate its valence electron to form ionic compounds.
Physical Properties of Sodium:
- Sodium is a soft, silvery-white metal at room temperature and pressure.
- It has a melting point of 97.72°C and a boiling point of 883°C.
- Sodium is highly reactive and must be stored in oil or other inert materials to prevent reaction with air or moisture.
Valency of Sodium:
Sodium has a valency of +1.
It readily donates its valence electron to form ionic compounds.
Electronic Configuration of Sodium:
Sodium has an electron configuration of [Ne] 3s1.
It has one valence electron that is easily donated to form ionic compounds.
Uses of Sodium:
Sodium is a key ingredient in several common compounds, including sodium hydroxide and sodium carbonate.
Many cleaning products, including soaps and detergents, depend on it.
Sodium is a crucial ingredient in many industrial processes, including those producing glass, paper, and textiles.
It has a vital role in nuclear power plants as a coolant.
Reactions of Sodium with Other Elements:
Sodium is a highly reactive metal and reacts violently with water to produce hydrogen gas and sodium hydroxide.
It can also react with acids to produce hydrogen gas and a sodium salt.
Balanced equations for Reactions of Sodium with Other Elements:
Sodium + Oxygen -> Sodium Oxide
2 Na + 1/2 O2 -> Na2O
Sodium + Chlorine -> Sodium Chloride
2 Na + Cl2 -> 2 NaCl
Sodium + Fluorine -> Sodium Fluoride
2 Na + F2 -> 2 NaF
Sodium + Hydrogen -> Sodium Hydride
2 Na + H2 -> 2 NaH
Sodium + Sulfur -> Sodium Sulfide
2 Na + S -> Na2S
Sodium + Nitrogen -> Sodium Nitride
6 Na + N2 -> 2 Na3N
Industrial Uses of Sodium:
Sodium is used in a wide range of industrial applications, including the production of chemicals, soaps, and detergents.
It has an important role as a coolant in nuclear power plants.
Medical Uses of Sodium:
Sodium is an essential nutrient for the human body and is used in a variety of medical applications.
It is used in intravenous fluids to treat dehydration and other medical conditions.
Sodium is also used as a treatment for low blood sodium levels.
Chemical and Physical Properties of Sodium in a table
|Electron Configuration||[Ne] 3s1|
|Solubility||Soluble in water and most other solvents|
The formula for the inorganic compound sodium nitrite is NaNO2. It is a water-soluble white to slightly yellowish crystalline powder.
Uses of Sodium Nitrite:
Sodium nitrite is an important chemical compound used in many industrial applications, such as in the production of dyes, pharmaceuticals, and rubber chemicals. It is also used as a food preservative, primarily in cured meats such as bacon, ham, and sausages. In this application, sodium nitrite helps prevent the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms, as well as preserving the color and flavor of the meat.
Sodium thiosulfate is an inorganic compound with the chemical formula Na2S2O3. It is a white crystalline powder that is soluble in water.
Uses of Sodium Thiosulfate:
Sodium thiosulfate is commonly used in the photography industry as a photographic fixer, where it helps remove unexposed silver halide from photographic films and papers. It is also used as an antidote for cyanide poisoning, as it reacts with cyanide ions to form thiocyanate, which is less toxic and can be eliminated from the body through urine. Sodium thiosulfate is also used in various other industrial applications, such as in the production of paper, textiles, and chemicals.
Sodium acetate is an organic compound with the chemical formula CH3COONa. It is a water-soluble white powder composed of crystalline particles.
Uses of Sodium Acetate:
Sodium acetate is used in a variety of applications, including as a food additive, flavoring agent, and preservative. It is also used as a buffering agent in the production of pharmaceuticals and in the textile industry as a mordant for dyes. Sodium acetate can also be used as a heat source, as it can be heated to form a supersaturated solution that can be cooled to room temperature, resulting in the release of heat energy. This property makes it useful in various applications, such as in the production of hand warmers and in the maintenance of laboratory equipment at a constant temperature.