CHARLES D. WINTERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHARLES D. WINTERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Sodium reacting with water. Chemical reaction between sodium metal and water, causing flames and sparks. Water molecules (H20) are made of hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O) atoms. The sodium (Na) metal is more reactive than hydrogen and replaces one of them in the water molecules to make sodium hydroxide or caustic soda (NaOH). Each hydrogen atom combines with another to form hydrogen gas (H2). The equation for this reaction is: 2Na + 2H20 -----> 2NaOH + H2 Sodium hydroxide is a strongly alkaline substance used to manufacture other chemicals, paper, rayon, aluminium, detergents, petrochemicals and textiles.
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