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Sodium - Chemical Properties

reacts compound carbon organic

As described above, sodium reacts violently with water and with oxygen to form sodium hydroxide and sodium oxide, respectively. The element also reacts vigorously with fluorine and chlorine, at room temperature, but with bromine and iodine only in the vapor phase. At temperatures above 392°F (200°C), sodium combines with hydrogen to form sodium hydride, NaH, a compound that then decomposes, but does not melt, at about 752°F (400°C).

Sodium reacts with ammonia in two different ways, depending upon the conditions under which the reaction takes place. In liquid ammonia with a catalyst of iron, cobalt or nickel, sodium reacts to form sodium amide (NaNH2) and hydrogen gas. In the presence of hot coke (pure carbon), sodium reacts with ammonia to form sodium cyanide (NaCN) and hydrogen gas.

Sodium also reacts with a number of organic compounds. For example, when added to an alcohol, it reacts as it does with water, replacing a single hydrogen atom to form a compound known as an alkoxide. Sodium also reacts with alkenes and dienes to form addition products, one of which formed the basis of an early synthetic rubber known as buna (for butadiene and Na [for sodium]) rubber. In the presence of organic halides, sodium may replace the halogen to form an organic sodium derivative.



Emsley, John. Nature's Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Greenwood, N.N., and A. Earnshaw. Chemistry of the Elements. 2nd ed. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann Press, 1997.

Hawley, Gessner G. The Condensed Chemical Dictionary. 9th ed. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1977.

Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology. 4th ed. Suppl. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1998.

Snyder, C.H. The Extraordinary Chemistry of Ordinary Things. 4th ed. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2002.

Trefil, James. Encyclopedia of Science and Technology. The Reference Works, Inc., 2001.

David E. Newton


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—An organic compound whose molecules contain a carbon-carbon double bond.


—An organic compound whose molecules contain two carbon-carbon double bonds.


—The process by which an electrical current is used to break down a compound into its component elements.

Heat exchange medium

—A material that transports heat from one place to another.


—An element with properties intermediary between those of a metal and a nonmetal.

Ternary compound

—A compound that contains three elements.


—The internal friction within a fluid that makes it resist flow.

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almost 7 years ago

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almost 5 years ago


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almost 10 years ago

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