# Extracting sodium from salt

At my school, my teacher tell us to extract sodium from normal salt ($\ce{NaCl}$) but without using electrolysis of molten sodium chloride. So is there a way to do that?

• Most methods do not use sodium chloride, favouring alternative salts. – KalleMP May 27 '18 at 8:33
• What did your teacher have in mind? I mean, what did they think was the correct answer? – Martin May 27 '18 at 11:25
• I suppose there might be a chemical equilibrium reaction that could be achieved with free Fluorine but the process is unlikely to be safe. – KalleMP Jul 28 '18 at 23:26

## 2 Answers

I don't think it is safe or realistic to do that without extensive training and equipment, but yes, historically sodium metal has been made by chemical reduction of sodium salts at high temperature and condensing sodium vapor produced. For example, sodium carbonate was heated with charcoal. Even though equillibrium does not favor sodium metal, the fact that the small fraction of sodium produced is removed takes advantage of Le Chatelier's principle to keep making more sodium.

It has been done but it is not a trivial exercise.

NurdRage has documented one method on YouTube with a lot of extra ideas in the comments. Make Sodium Metal Without Electrolysis Using Domestic Chemicals

He has also succeeded in principle of isolating Sodium by the alcohol catalysed reduction with Magnesium (and sodium hydroxide).

Neither method uses sodium chloride though.