Sodium is a chemical element with the symbol Na (from Latin: natrium) in the periodic table and atomic number 11. It is a soft, silvery-white, highly reactive metal and is a member of the alkali metals; its only stable isotope is 23Na. The free metal does not occur in nature, but instead must be prepared from its compounds; it was first isolated by Humphry Davy in 1807 by the electrolysis of sodium hydroxide. Sodium is the sixth most abundant element in the Earth's crust, and exists in numerous minerals such as feldspars, sodalite and rock salt. Many salts of sodium are highly water-soluble, and their sodium has been leached by the action of water so that chloride and sodium are the most common dissolved elements by weight in the Earth's bodies of oceanic water.

Many sodium compounds are useful, such as sodium hydroxide (lye) for soapmaking, and sodium chloride for use as a deicing agent and a nutrient (edible salt). Sodium is an essential element for all animals and some plants. In animals, sodium ions are used against potassium ions to build up charges on cell membranes, allowing transmission of nerve impulses when the charge is dissipated. The consequent need of animals for sodium causes it to be classified as a dietary inorganic macro-mineral.

Read more about SodiumCompounds, History, Commercial Production, Applications, Biological Role, Precautions

Other articles related to "sodium":

Downs Cell - How It Works
... The electrolyte is sodium chloride that has been fused to a liquid by heating ... Although crystalline sodium chloride is a poor conductor of electricity, fusing it mobilizes the sodium and chloride ions, which become charge carriers and allow conduction of electric current ... and strontium, and, in some processes, sodium fluoride are added to the electrolyte to reduce the temperature required to keep the electrolyte liquid ...
Croscarmellose Sodium
... Croscarmellose sodium is an internally cross-linked sodium carboxymethylcellulose for use as a disintegrant in pharmaceutical formulations ...
1080 Usage In New Zealand - Alternatives - Sodium Nitrite
... Sodium nitrite is a naturally occurring substance commonly used as a meat preservative, but toxic at higher doses ... Sodium nitrite is expected to be registered for use in for killing possums, but not rats ...
Sodium Perchlorate - Production
... Sodium perchlorate is produced by anodic oxidation of sodium chlorate, not sodium chloride, at a platinum electrode ...
Sodium - Precautions
... Care is required in handling elemental sodium, as it generates inflammable hydrogen and caustic sodium hydroxide upon contact with water powdered sodium may combust spontaneously in ... Excess sodium can be safely removed by hydrolysis in a ventilated cabinet this is typically done by sequential treatment with isopropanol, ethanol and water ... Fire extinguishers based on water accelerate sodium fires those based on carbon dioxide and bromochlorodifluoromethane lose their effectiveness when they dissipate ...

Famous quotes containing the word sodium:

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