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Sodium Reacts with Methanol

Sodium Reacts with Methanol

C039/1171

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Credit

TURTLE ROCK SCIENTIFIC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY TURTLE ROCK SCIENTIFIC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Sodium reacts with methanol. A small piece of sodium metal (Na) is dropped into a test tube with methanol (CH3OH). The reaction proceeds vigorously and produces bubbles of hydrogen gas (H2) and colourless sodium methoxide (CH3ONa): CH3OH + Na -> CH3ONa + H2. Sodium first sinks to the bottom of the test tube but then floats up due to hydrogen bubbles. Other alkali metals react similarly with alcohols, producing hydrogen gas and respective alkoxides.

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