# Electrolysis of sodium chloride solution [closed]

I am trying to understand electrolysis. My question is: when electrolysis is done with a NaCl solution I have learnt that sodium metal is not formed. Why is this?

## closed as off-topic by Jannis Andreska, M.A.R., Todd Minehardt, bon, ronDec 12 '15 at 18:51

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Let's look at these two redox couples: $$\ce{Na+ + e- <=> Na} \,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,E^0(\mathrm{red})=-2.71 V$$ $$\ce{2H2O + 2e- <=> H2 +2OH- }\,\,\,\, E^0(\mathrm{red})=-0.83 V$$ Because it is much easier to reduce water than $\ce{Na+}$ ions, the only product formed at the cathode is hydrogen gas.
$\ce {2NaCl (l) -> 2Na (l) + Cl2 (g)}$