Sodium vs water: mother of explosions


If there was something that I liked at Chemistry hours it was the strong reaction of sodium (natrium) with water. Sodium reacts explosively with water and, as a result, you will get sodium hydroxide and hydrogen. Because of the heat produced in this reaction the sodium melts.

It almost seems counter intuitive, right? How could anything burn in water? Well, it can. The melting point of sodium is 96°C and the reaction generates more heat than that. Professor Martyn Poliakoff explains how this reaction occurs and what to understand from the slow motion video.

Chemistry is good. Why is that? Because it may save your life someday.I am not a Chemistry afficionado, however I know that acid + base = salt + water. If you drop acid on your hands, try to throw some sodium hydroxide in there. Water won’t help. Enjoy!

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