Instructables

How to make pure sodium?

Is there anyway I can make pure sodium from salt or balking soda,and no I would not make a bomb with it.

MitchIsTheOne10 months ago
I have started a new year of school with chemistry biology and physics as my classes. So far we have learned about all the alkali metals. The chemical reaction that takes place can be described by this formula:
Na + H2O = NaO2 + H
So far almost everyone has "explained" that sodium reacts explosively with H2O (liquid water). This, however, is not true. Sodium, being an alkali metal, is reactive toward Oxygen not water. Not trying to patronize but if the end result includes Sodium being bonded with the Oxygen to make Sodium Oxide (Sodiums version of rust) and the hydrogen being left out, one could deduce that Na reacts with Oxygen not water. This also explains the comment about it corroding in air. This is why our school (who are not really allowed to have it anymore) store pure Sodium in paraffin oil or paraffin wax. And because our teacher is a cow (the mooing variety) we don't learn any of that sort of stuff. But you may be able to skip a step. In our practical lesson we boiled salt water to get table salt (NaCl) but the water (strangely enough) boiled and the salt went everywhere. Maybe if the salt were evaporated without boiling it, it could leave a sheet of salt which could be directly electrolised possibly. We haven't done much on that so I'm not sure if you can electrolise a solid or if it can be any state.

This is not true, the equation for this is a synthesis reaction, of a active metal and water is this for sodium: 2Na+2H20= H2 +2NaOH or sodium hydroxide

sciencewhiz3 months ago

look no further :3

Salt or NaCl consists of :Sodium- the metal and Chlorine- and fortunately you can separate these but this is the only practical way of getting pure sodium metal

if you are able to melt the salt into a liquid and then run electricity through it you can break the salt down into sodium and chlorine so i would advise doing this in a well ventilated area as chlorine is a toxic gas

if you plan no making alot consider investing in making what is know as a Downs Cell

if you plan on making a little you could probably find a basic video on electrolysis on the internet just replace the solution with molten salt if you do this you should be good :3

i would also like to add this process is nothing more than you couldn't learn in a high school chemistry book so don't flip out

P.S. be careful

is there a way to make liquid sodium to replicate an experiment that replicates the Earth's magnetic field and how it acts. You do this by creating a steel ball with liquid sodium between it and an inner rotating steel ball.

Bushie2 years ago
Nothing like having somebody with less-than-zero knowledge of Chemistry and Physics trying to get all scientific-like with their "experiment-ing", is there..

Make Sodium ?!? Is he/she even aware that Sodium IS an element?

Obviously they mean isolate/purify some sodium from one of its compounds ~ but that's NOT what their subject-heading states..

And this then begs the obvious basic question: Why ???

Does he/she have some kind of death wish ??
Cmdr.K9 Bushie1 year ago
I have years of experience with explosives and I can tell you that "experimenting" on a small scale is an immensely helpful teacher. After you burn your eyebrows off once, you are much more careful when handling potentially hazardous substances.
As for your comment about "making" an element, it is very common for people, even those with extensive scientific knowledge, to say they are going to "make" an element. It is implied that they are extracting it, not making it.
Finally, why is a good question, but not when it is asked in an ignorant manner. I have had chemistry courses where students were required to make elements from common household substances. Usually, these assignments were done on paper, but not always.
By reaming a student for scientific ignorance, you have displayed your own ignorance. Please keep it to yourself.
Sokolov6 years ago
The easiest way to do it is not with salt. That's too much problem. F**K that. I am going to tell you what are you going to do. I am a Chemistry major. You will pass high current trough a pickle. Thats crazy ha! I thought the same thing. The pickle will emit a yellow light, which means that sodium is in excited state. Once the yellow glow is gone, you will open the pickle and there! grab the sodium and make a bomb.
The FBI Sokolov4 years ago
FBI! Hands in the air where we can see them!

You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford one, one will be appointed for you. Do you understand these rights?
The FBI, always late to the party.
OF course it is.
Bushie Orro2 years ago
That's probably because they can't read clocks...

Umm..

Does the FBI have clocks ?
gotta love miranda!
How much sodium will there be in the pickle and what voltage is needed, Sokolov?
120 volts (wall socket)
tfeist 4178273 years ago
uh, shouldn't you be using DC not AC so that all the sodium would be on one side? just like in electrolosis with water?
417827 Sokolov5 years ago
scratch that last comment is that black goo the right stuff? cuz i took that out and dried it on a furnace and put it in a gelatin medicine capsule, will it work?
hmmm.... that black goo might be rust (from the wires you stuck into the pickle) it could also be mold
you probably used really sweet pickles
brand new pickles i did it the right way and there was nothing but the black stuff, no silver i finally did it using the salt and torch method, it worked
417827 Sokolov5 years ago
where did u find this out?
Goodhart7 years ago
Here is some advice concerning the making of Sodium: Sodium making, and it's hazards....
Is 24 volts good
No
That would depend on how fast you want to have it all turn into a volcano of hot liquid and gasses....
Sedgewick17 (author) 7 years ago
Yea, I have looked at warnings such as these not to forget the chlorine hazard when salt is burnt off I am more interested in a way of creating it by electrolysis ,or by dissolving .
(removed by author or community request)
Is 24 volts good.
I did somthing like that a few years ago, but I filled the jar with mineral oil to prevent the sodium from having contact with water.
(removed by author or community request)
With an oxy/mapp blow torch.
Well, electrolysis was mentioned I believe, but dissolving? The chemical bonds are too strong to simply break them in that fashion, a reaction of some sort is needed (or use of the battery), and it is not an easy nor safe thing by any means.
spartan25275 years ago
Ok to make sodium metal just get some sodium hydroxide and magnesium powder and parrafin wax. You will also need a fuse for fireworks and a suitable crucibles to place the chems in. Then place a small amount of magnesium powder in the crucible. then on the pile of magnesium powder place a slightly larger amount of soudium hydroxide on it. Mix em together and place the fuse into the mixture. light the fuse and place the lid on the crucible. get a good distance from the crucible because the reaction is very violent. Once the reaction is done pour the wax in slowly while the mixture is on fire to control the sodium. Watch this video for better detail: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=908rjHQ5mmc
is 24 volts good
chemicguy6 years ago
Sodium Chloride is the way to go. You need to get your hands on a torch of some kind to melt it first so that the NaCl will conduct electricity (you can buy a soldering torch at any hardware store, mapp gas or oxy-acetylene is preferable). You don't need to melt the whole batch of salt, just enough so that you can stick your electrodes into a pool of it. If your using a high enough current, the rest of the salt will quickly melt. Then, if you want a decent amount of pure sodium, your gonna need a DC power supply with high amp capabilities (say around 50 amps; you can use any amperage that you want it will just take an eternity if it's low). You should find some graphite rods for your electrods. Finally, you need some inert gas like nitrogen, helium, argon, or another noble gas. When you remove the sodium that you have plated out on the graphite, it will immediately burn unless you immerse it in an inert gas. Once it has cooled, store it in kerosene.
Is 24 volts good.
why kerosene?
Kerosene, or mineral oil, or something else hydrophobic. Otherwise the humidity in the air will get to the sodium surface and it will react. Not as strongly as lithium, but enough to be unpleasant.
i didn't know that kerosene was a good insulator... (but i know about mineral oil)
Does it, kerosene also insulate high voltage (is it a more resistive then air?)
This has nothing to do with insulation. Sodium is highly reactive with water. The kerosene, being hydrophobic (i.e., it doesn't mix with water) acts as a mechanical barrier to keep air, and its humidity, away from the sodium.
then what about gasoline?
I don't believe gasoline is as hydrophobic as kerosene. However, I'm not a petroleum engineer.
. I can't find a chart of "hydophobianess." Probably help if I knew what the property was called. heehee
. Searching for "sodium +kerosene" turns up a lot of hits, but I didn't see anything about why kerosene is used so often, instead of some other liquid.
. Searching for "sodium +gasoline" just turns up stuff about de-sulphuring gaso and Na contamination.
I typed in "hydrophobic" (the chemistry term I knew), and got a Wikipedia article. That revealed that the noun form is "hydrophobicity."

It appears that the quanitative
measure for solid hydrophobes is done via the "contact angle" (the angle which the surface of a water drop makes at the surface of the material). I also can't find a quantitative measure of hydrophobicity for liquids (oils), nor can I find a nice table of relative or absolute hydrophobicities.

Argh.
I searched "relative hydrophobicity" and "relative hydrophobicity of oil", gasoline, etc, but could only get links to articles that one has to pay to read. :( Information wants to be free, dadgummit!
Yup. My experience as well. Sigh...
. Same. It would help if hydrophobicity were measured in something besides degrees. Searching for "centipoise chart" turns up a lot of good viscosity info. "hydrophobicity chart" fails miserably (unless you are dealing with amino acids).
Yes, exactly my results. Argh.
> hydrophobicity . I hope you don't talk like that around the baby. :)
All the time! Earlier today, the nanny brought her into the office, so I was telling her about the trouble I was having tracking down the RDO data structures for the ATLAS muon MDT detector; without them I'm going to have a hard time cloing the inner-detector overlay validation code for use with the muon system...

Google Is Your Friend
. The poor thing doesn't stand a snowball's chance in Hades of turning out "normal." LOL . . I'll talk to my dogs sometimes (not about HEP heehee) and they will sit there and look at me like it's the most interesting thing they have ever heard. ROFL If they start losing focus, I just slip in a "Milkbone" or "pig ear" and I instantly have their full attention again.
:-)
I'm a doctor, Jim!
. A lot of (all?) hydrocarbons are good insulators (something to do with all the electrons being bound up, IIRC), but they tend to be flammable or explosive. Most wiring insulation is a HC with a flame retardant added.
. A quick search didn't turn up anything on using kerosene as an insulator - I'm guessing that, if it weren't for the fire hazard, it would work well.
. I just talked to my Dad, a EE and he used to manage a (poly)ethylene/(poly)propylene/&c plant, and he couldn't think of any HCs that aren't good insulators. He also said most wiring insulation is PE or PVC (HC-based).
alright, thanks, learn something new everyday!
crazymaniac5 years ago
can you take the melted hot sodium and just pour it into a container with peanut oil and not immerse it in a noble gas, 'cause I don't where to find the gas or how to store it in the gas without mixing the gas with air
its not that bad if the sodium is exposed to air for a short period of time, all it does is corrode (rust) slightly. But it will corrode very heavily if it isnt STORED in a gas that will not react or combine with the sodium (such as the noble gases). It can also be stored in vegetable oil, kerosene, and basically any type of oil out there. (kerosene works the best in my experiences)
toogood7 years ago
Sedgewick17 (author)  toogood7 years ago
Thats probably one of the most dangerous websites I have ever seeen,but I did not see anything on making sodium?
Sedgewick17 (author) 7 years ago
Is there a way to use balking soda which if I remember right is NaCo3,and seperate the Co3 from the Na,and then melt the Na so it forms a block?
Na2CO3 is Sodium Carbonate, and is also known as washing soda or washing ash. Sodium BIcarbonate contains Hydrogen: Na3HCO3CO3
Sedgewick17 (author)  Goodhart7 years ago
I was working of memory,so I was not sure if I was right.So,is there anyway to make sodium from sodium Bicarbonate?
I am not sure, but it would probably be safer if you could get hold of Sodium Carbonate (to eliminate the Hydrogen gas that might be produced.
Sedgewick17 (author)  Goodhart7 years ago
Are you kidding! Taking out the Hydrogen Oxygen mix would make this incredibly dull. Joking it is a good Idea.
Come to think of it, even using the Sodium Carbonate, you may end up with Sodium plus Carbon-monxide and water.....that wouldn't be so good either with the sodium immersed in it.