Sodium

Discussion in 'Chemistry' started by HaleyDaScienceGeek, Jun 22, 2016.

  1. HaleyDaScienceGeek Registered Member

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    Hello there!
    I did a chemistry project a few weeks ago for school, and I demonstrated to my fellow classmates a reaction of sodium and water. I understand why these two react with each other, but I decided to investigate a little further. My friends and I set up different substances, most of which we use every day. Examples included hot sauce, milk, eggs, apple juice, and many more. With some of these liquids, the sodium reacted way more than any of us would have thought. I was just wondering why it reacted with these things so aggressively. Can anyone tell me if it reacted with the other chemicals in each of these liquids (and why), or was it just the water in each of them?
     
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  3. timojin Valued Senior Member

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    One thing you should keep on mind is the ratio of Sodium to water, all those liquids contain water but in different proportion. In the reaction Sodium gets oxidized and Hydrogen gets reduced, So any Hydrogen who have lost its electron in the liquid will receive the electron wtron Sodium. Keep in mind also when you dump the Sodium particle into the liquid, should be of the same weight and hopefully if the same size otherwise your observation might erratic.
     
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  5. HaleyDaScienceGeek Registered Member

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    I used the exact same amount of both sodium and whatever liquid I was testing. I just noticed that in the hot sauce and eggs, there was a very strong smell and a larger flame.
     
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  7. timojin Valued Senior Member

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    The hot sauce might be acetic that gives you more of hydrogen to be reduced If you consider water have a PH of it have 1.x 10- 7 available if hydrogen ions available , If you consider vinegar roughly
    1 x 10 -4 you will have 3 order of magnitude more of Hydrogen available so you should expect a more volatile reaction in the hot sauce if is acetic . Now as far the od0r , keep in mind, when a reaction is taking place in your case , gases are formed, In the food there are mixtures of flavoring and odor compounds as gases volatilize they carry other volatile compounds from your sources with them and in the eggs there are some sulfur ( mercaptan ) compounds that will give you other odors.
     
  8. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Yes I have little to add to what Timojin has said. What you perceive as the intensity of the reaction may be affected by the colour, smell etc of the gases and flames given off, which may appear more intense for the substances that are more chemically complex. The egg one is interesting, certainly. But all these examples are >90% water so I am sure it is mainly water that is the primary reactant with the sodium (and acetic acid of course in the sauce and malic acid in the apple juice).
     
  9. ajanta Registered Senior Member

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    542
    Chemical reaction between water and sodium is powerful and energetic. 2002, When I lived in Bangladesh, once a boy gave me some little pieces of sodium. I told him to keep it in kerosene and about water. But the bad boy was trying to make explosion with this.
     

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