Atomic Number: 11
Atomic Weight: 22.98977
Element Type: Alkali Metal
Crystal Structure: Cubic Face Centered
Melting Point: 97.8°C = 208.04°F = 370.95
Boiling Point: 883.0°C = 1621.4°F = 1156.15
Critical Temp: °C = °F = K
Atomic Radius: 2.23 Å (Å = Angstrom =
Covalent Radius: 1.54 Å
(English, soda; Medieval Latin, sodanum, headache remedy)
Long recognized in compounds,sodium was first isolated by
Davy in 1807 by electrolysis of caustic soda.
Sodium is present in fair abundance in the sun and stars.
The D lines of sodium areamong the most prominent in the
solar spectrum. Sodium is the fourth most abundant elementon
earth, comprising about 2.6% of the earth's crust; it is
the most abundant of thealkali group of metals.
It is now obtained commercially by the electrolysis of
absolutely dry fused sodiumchloride. This method is much
cheaper than that of electrolyzing sodium hydroxide, as
wasused several years ago.
Sodium chloride is important for animal
nutrition. Sodium compounds are used in the glass, soap,
paper, textile, chemical, petroleum, and metal industries.
Metallic sodium is used in manufacturing of sodium peroxide,
sodium cyanide, sodamide, and sodium hydride. Sodium is
used in preparing tetraethyl lead. It is used in the reduction
of organic esters and preparation of organic compounds.
Sodium metal may be used to improve the structure of some
alloys, to descale metal, and to purify molten metals. Sodium,
as well as NaK, an alloy of sodium with potassium, are important
heat transfer agents.