Sodium

Sodium to block the Immodium

General Information

Element Name: Sodium

Symbol: Na

Atomic Number: 11

Atomic Weight: 22.98976928

Group: 1

Period: 3

Color: Silvery White

Classification: Metallic

Discription

Sodium element 11 is a soft metal which reacts violently with water to form solutions of sodium hydroxide. Sodium salts give a characteristic strong orange/yellow color to flames. Soap is generally a sodium salt of fatty acids. The importance of common salt to animal nutrition has been recognized since prehistoric times. Sodium is a vital element and the human diet mush contain a sensible amount of sodium. The sodium cation is the main extracellular (outside cells) cation in animals and is important for nerve function in animals. The most common compound is table salt, most formally known as sodium chloride. The chemistry of sodium is dominated by the +1 ion. Sodium is a group 1 element and is an alkali metal.

History

  • There was no distinction from sodium and potassium until the 18th century, however they were both isolated and discovered in 1807 by Sir Humphrey Davy at England.
  • He discovered sodium by the electrolysis of very dry molten sodium hydroxide, NaOH.
  • After a short time, Thenard and Gay-Lussac isolated sodium as well but by reducing sodium hydroxide with iron metal at high temperatures.

Uses

  • Sodium is in much of the human diet, for food preservation and consumption, such as table salt
  • Soap is also generally a sodium salt of fatty acids
  • Sodium metal is used in the preparation of titanium
  • Sodium metal is used in the manufacture of sodamide, sodium cyanide, sodium peroxide, and sodium hydride
  • As the alloy with potassium, NaK, is an important heat transfer and chemical reducing agent
  • Sodium compounds including (sodium chloride, NaCl), (sodium carbonate, Na2CO3), (sodium bicarbonate, NaHCO3, "bicarb"), and (sodium hydroxide, NaOH) are important agents in paper, glass, soap, textile, petroleum, chemical, and metal industries
  • Sodium vapour is used in lamps for street lighting

Properties

  • Sodium salts have orange/yellow flames and orange street lighting is orange because of the presence of sodium in the lamp.
  • Very reactive and combustible

Biology

  • Sodium is a vital element. The human diet must contain a sensible amount of sodium
  • The importance of common salt to animal nutrition has been recognized since prehistoric times, but the importance of sodium as salt in the diet was recognized well before sodium itself was understood to be an element
  • Sweating results in sodium ion loss in sweat and it is most important that the sodium ion is replaced through proper diet
  • Sodium metal is a major fire risk.
  • Sodium compounds are relatively harmless as long they are as not eaten in high quality. People with heart diseases may need to be careful about how much sodium is in their diet

Geology

  • Sodium is the sixth most abundant element in the earth's crust at about 2.6 - 3.0%.
  • The most common mineral is rock salt , but it occurs in many other minerals as well
  • Sodium is present in the sun and other stars