1
$\begingroup$

I know sodium metal, when reacted with water, produces flammable hydrogen gas but I was wondering if that would also be the case if I had aqueous 1M sodium hydroxide?

Would this reaction be safe or will it also produce a harmful compound like hydrogen gas?

$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Yes, the sodium metal will react with the water to produce more sodium hydroxide and hydrogen (gas)... until there is no water left to react with. $\endgroup$ – Ben Welborn Aug 12 '16 at 18:42
  • $\begingroup$ ok, so will the sodium metal be consumed? And how fast would that be? $\endgroup$ – user510 Aug 13 '16 at 3:45
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ 1M aqueous sodium hydroxide is no different from water in this regard. $\endgroup$ – Ivan Neretin Aug 13 '16 at 8:49
  • $\begingroup$ Follow up question that (to me at least) is slightly less easy to answer: what if you react molten sodium metal with molten "anhydrous" sodium hydroxide? Do you get sodium oxide and hydrogen? $\endgroup$ – Curt F. Jan 6 '17 at 20:32
1
$\begingroup$

Sodium metal reacting with aqueous sodium hydroxide will continue to react, producing hydrogen ($\ce{H2}$) and sodium hydroxide ($\ce{NaOH}$). Eventually, however, the solution will become saturated with sodium hydroxide and the $\ce{NaOH}$ produced will form a coating on the outside of the sodium, preventing further reaction from occurring.

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ > Eventually, however, the solution will become saturated with sodium hydroxide and the NaOHNaOH produced will form a coating on the outside of the sodium, preventing further reaction from occurring. || sodium gladly reacts with sodium hydroxide at elevated temperature. Furthermore, 'saturated' aqueous solution for sodium hydroxide is 1:1 molar mixture. $\endgroup$ – permeakra Aug 13 '16 at 12:04
  • $\begingroup$ @permeakra I didn't know this before. What product will the reaction make, as a matter of interest? $\endgroup$ – sadljkfhalskdjfh Aug 13 '16 at 12:11
  • $\begingroup$ Sodium hydride and sodium oxide. $\endgroup$ – permeakra Aug 13 '16 at 12:27
  • $\begingroup$ what about room temperature, then it will follow what you said of coating or will there be a totally different reaction? $\endgroup$ – user510 Aug 13 '16 at 15:22

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.