Is possible to separate sodium ions from an aqueous solution of NaCl? If so, how do I go about it?

  • $\begingroup$ separate for what purpose? To produce sodium or to produce pure water? $\endgroup$
    – matt_black
    May 13, 2017 at 13:46
  • $\begingroup$ @matt_black To produce sodium ions(Na+) $\endgroup$
    – Hammar
    May 13, 2017 at 13:55
  • $\begingroup$ You can't produce isolated sodium ions in any volume. You can electrolyse molten NaCl but this gives sodium metal (you are basically adding electrons to neutralise the ions). $\endgroup$
    – matt_black
    May 13, 2017 at 14:07
  • $\begingroup$ Research the Contact Process. The products of the chlor-alkali industry are Chlorine gas, hydrogen gas and aqueous sodium hydroxide. A titanium anode is used and a steel cathode is used. $\endgroup$
    – user45198
    May 13, 2017 at 14:16
  • $\begingroup$ Brine ($\ce{NaCl (aq)}$) and molten ($\ce{NaCl (l)}$) are very different things... $\endgroup$ May 13, 2017 at 19:48

1 Answer 1


You can't simply produce isolated sodium ions, you also need to have an equivalent amount of counter ions of the opposite charge. So, in this case, you are going to get sodium chloride unless you introduce some other negatively charged species.

So you could just evaporate water which will give an increasingly concentrated solution of sodium chloride and, eventually, solid sodium chloride (which will contain all your sodium ions alongside an equal number of chloride ions.

This sort of separation is commonly used for a different reason: to produce pure water. Sea water is too salty to drink but there is far more of it than fresh water. So distillation (retaining the fresh water) or reverse osmosis (which produces more concentrates salt on one side and fresh water on the other). These techniques produce both fresh water and more concentrated salty water (which is one way of getting more sodium ions in your product).


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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