Sodium: uses

The following uses for sodium are gathered from a number of sources as well as from anecdotal comments. I'd be delighted to receive corrections as well as additional referenced uses (please use the feedback mechanism to add uses).

  • sodium metal is used in the preparation of tetraethyl lead, PbEt4, an important anti-knock reagent in leaded petrol (gasoline) - fortunately being phased out in many countries because of lead pollution problems
  • sodium metal is used in the preparation of titanium metal from TiCl4
  • the metal is used in the manufacture of sodamide, sodium cyanide, sodium peroxide, and sodium hydride
  • the metal is used in the reduction of organic esters, and in the preparation of organic compounds
  • the alloy with potassium, NaK, is an important heat transfer agent and a good chemical reducing agent (as some proportions of Na and K are liquid at room temperature).
  • sodium compounds including "common salt" (sodium chloride, NaCl), "soda ash" (sodium carbonate, Na2CO3), "baking soda" (sodium bicarbonate, NaHCO3, "bicarb"), and "caustic soda" (sodium hydroxide, NaOH), are important to the paper, glass, soap, textile, petroleum, chemical, and metal industries
  • sodium vapour is used in lamps for street lighting
  • table salt - don't use too much!

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