Sciencemadness Discussion Board

Sodium Metal Production Idea

Science_Yak - 4-11-2020 at 19:18

In the thermochemical dioxane approach to producing sodium metal, there are low yields due to sodium evaporating and escaping the original reaction vessel when producing the aggregate. My question is would it be possible to add a heat sink to lower the reaction temperature and increase yield.

Ubya - 5-11-2020 at 14:17

you can't really lower the reaction temperature, adding a heatsink to the container walls will condense a bit more of the sodium, but the reaction is hot and fast, you'll need a big cointainer to hold the expanding sodium vapour, otherwise it is just going to escape before being condensed.
The issue now is that you have a tiny amount of sodium spread on the walls of a big container, so even if you now hat a high yield you won't be able to scrape all the sodium effectively before it oxidizes

Fyndium - 5-11-2020 at 14:48

Use a tall reaction vessel with exhaust chimney vent on top, and place your condenser coldfinger/coil there. Probably ain't doable with duct tape and silly putty - I prefer SS and TIG welder - but it's far from impossible. Actually, industry uses all these things, the difference is they invest a load of money to their facilities.

Practically, you could just get a meter long SS tube, weld the bottom shut and crank a condenser on top of it - or around it. Whatever goes up, condenses to the walls or to the condenser, but pressure can freely escape. Putting a simple coldfinger device on the exit doesn't sound bad at all, considering the stuff boils at extreme temps and easily solidifies when other things go boil.

I was planning on making such a vessel for cyanides when I had them on table. It would allow monitoring the escaping CO gas flare by attaching a burner if necessary, and when it ceases, one can just shut it, and any foaming or splattering, unless excessive, would stay within.

Closed apparatus has also the benefit of using inert gas. That will increase yield of easily oxidizing stuff by a noticeable degree. When I ran the benzaldehyde oxidation and steam distillation, I flushed the system with CO2 generated into a balloon, and added another one to the exhaust so the system pressure could swing within a margin by the expanding or shrinking balloon, and if for any reason the pressure builds up too much, the balloon will just burst because inflated balloons can hold like 25mbar. I also have done vacuum distillations by attaching CO2 filled balloon to the bleeder tube, hence no O2 is bled into the boiling BzH. One can also use this to flush a vacuum system when depressurizing, because airflow can foil the freshly distilled stuff that doesn't like oxygen. Of course, nitrogen or argon must be used when CO2 reacts with any of the reaction elements.

Fluorite - 5-11-2020 at 22:16

Maybe making sodium azide and heating it slowly should make pure sodium metal and nitrogen? But azides are toxic af :/ nevertheless after decomposed no azide should be left

Fery - 5-11-2020 at 23:04

Fluorite, an azide of one heavy metal is used as primary initiator in detonators... Do you think decomposition of NaN3 would run slowly or violently? Perhaps it would requite some phlegmatizer like NaCl...

Tsjerk - 6-11-2020 at 03:04

Decomposition of sodium azide produces pure sodium metal and nitrogen indeed, but the reaction is very exothermic so the sodium will be flying around in a molten state. If there is any oxygen around it will catch fire.

monolithic - 6-11-2020 at 08:28

Why not build a Castner cell? There's a few videos on YouTube of it working quite well.

(I've tried the NurdRage mineral oil/menthol reaction. It worked really well a few times, and poorly to not at all about 8 other times. Very hard reaction.)

[Edited on 11-6-2020 by monolithic]

morganbw - 6-11-2020 at 14:15

Shit please just look into prepublication. Maybe not for you but it is doable if you are not truly lazy.

[Edited on 11/7/2020 by morganbw]

AdamAlden - 7-11-2020 at 13:16

nurdrage recently figured out a way to do this he did a ton of experiments you guy might be interested.