How could I make Sodium succesfully?

Hello, there, I want to extract sodium from molten salt I have seen that I need Sodium Chloride, and Calcium CHloride to make it even easier to melt, but how could I make a device where I can melt and pass electric current through it with no lab quality things? Anybody could give me an idea?


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I just love when people who

I just love when people who are not competent in what they write want to teach others. So, about the melting point of salt:

The melting point of sodium chloride is FAR NOT 1800C, just 800C. It would even boil off if you heated it to 1800C. So no tungsten electrodes are needed.

Sodium Hydroxide is an

Sodium Hydroxide is an easier route to Sodium I reckon. It only melts at ~320 C so it's much easier to handle than salt, you can obtain it as drain cleaner.

You have to be very careful though, because droplets of molten NaOH are extraordinarily corrosive.

As for the machine, I'd try and do things simply, I once used NaOH to produce a little bit of sodium, by melting it in a metal can (which was the + side of an electric circuit) and dipping a spoon into the liquid, the spoon was connected to the - side of the battery.

Some little droplets of sodium formed on the spoon.

Strangely this only really worked for me once, I think using an aluminium can was a bad idea, but I don't really have anything better at hand.

Molten Na(OH) is far too

Molten Na(OH) is far too caustic, and if Jethro actually performed the experiment he claimed, he would have noticed that the Na(OH) instantly dissolved the Al forming sodium aluminate; that is why any can of lye [Na(OH)] explicitly tells you not to use an aluminum vessel. Weak solutions of Na(OH) will also dissolve Al and release H2 and great quantities of heat (this is basically what Drano is [a mixture of Na(OH), NaHSO3 and Al); the heat is suffient is some cases to ignite the H2 if there is enough O2 (most drains don't have large quantities of free oxygen, which is why your drains don't explode with Drano).
The original reaction was done by Sir Humphrey Davy using NaCl and a platinum crucible. Those tend to be rather pricy these days and standard for commercial electrolysis is, as I said before, a graphite crucible with a drain at the bottom to draw off the molten Na in kerosene or oil (caution, kerosene is flammable; I burned off my seventh-grade science teacher's eyebrows when the kerosene in a lab experiment caught fire). You can find the set up in most chem texts written before 1950 when they were big on these things.

Well, I have made sodium

Well, I have made sodium with molten NaOH several times.
using a method similar to this.
It works fairly well for small quantities.

Good luck and be safe!


Lab level stuff are required as the chlorine that you extract out are toxic and the sodium may cause explosion once they touch the air. But making lab level stuff at home is not impossible if you don't mind to spend a little money. (Some thousands HKD, ie some hundreds EURO)

I'm afraid that you're going to have to invest in lab equipment. Usually the sodium chloride is melted in a heated graphite vessel which serves as one electrode. In the center the other electrode attracts the chlorine which is vented off. Before the ozone layer was discovered you could just let the stuff float up. The molten NaCl serves to shield the Na from the air. Usually the molten metal is drained off into kerosene; it's probably easier just to by the Na commerically.

Martin, I have never heard of a citizen-accessible shop that sells sodium. :?:

I don't go to the lab much anymore and homeland security may have changed things, but when I was a student, reagent grade sodium was fairly common. You could easily get thorium nitrate. As I recall, a while back LiH became hard to come by since it is a reagent in many organic reactions to produce meth and such nasties. Does Na have such applications?

Sorry, I don't understand what you mean by that. Do you know an accessible shop for buying Sodium in Hong Kong?


I have no idea what things are accessible in HK; as you noted different countries have different customs and that includes law regulating chemical supplies.

In my childhood, my father used to keep half a stick of dynamite in the basement; he bought it in the local hardware store where it was commonly sold to locals for the removal of tree stumps and rocks. I doubt that you can get it so easily anymore.

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