Now correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought that salt and sodium were basically the same thing. While “free running table salt” sounds like it might start doing parkour in the dining room, salt is otherwise a rather unassuming form of seasoning. However, there are different types of sodium and the reaction caused when water is involved can be dramatic. WebElements explains below.
Sodium metal reacts rapidly with water to form a colourless solution of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and hydrogen gas (H2). The resulting solution is basic because of the dissolved hydroxide. The reaction is exothermic. During the reaction, the sodium metal may well become so hot that it catches fire and burns with a characteristic orange colour. The reaction is slower than that of potassium (immediately below sodium in the periodic table), but faster than that of lithium (immediately above sodium in the periodic table).
When a science enthusiast decided to throw a pound of solid sodium into a river, the reaction was even better than he or any of his periodic pals could have imagined. Check out the explosive video over the page.
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