Sodium is a highly reactive metal in Group 1 of the periodic table. It is an Alkali metal which will readily react with water to produce sodium hydroxide and also easily tarnishes in oxygen. Much like Lithium, it is stored under oil to prevent oxidation by moisture and oxygen. Sodium is present in most living organisms and plays a large part in nerve transmissions in organisms. Sodium metal itself has some uses in nuclear reactors and as a reagent in some chemical reactions due to its reactivity. However, it is the compounds of Sodium that have the most uses. Sodium Hydroxide is a widely used reagent in many chemical reactions as an alkali. Sodium chloride is a common salt that is used widely in food preparation and also chemical reactions. Sodium was discovered and isolated by Humphry Davy in 1807 who made it by separating sodium hydroxide using electrolysis. It is located in Group 1, the Alkali metals. It is a metallic solid at room temperature that is easily cut by a knife. It has a melting point of 98°c and a boiling point of 883°c.
Sir Humphrey Davy
There are few uses for the pure metal, however its compounds are used in medicine, agriculture and photography. Sodium chloride (NaCl) is table salt. Liquid sodium is sometimes used to cool nuclear reactors.
Obtained by electrolysis of melted sodium chloride (salt), borax and cryolite.