Sciencemadness Discussion Board

Isolating Sodium With Lithium

disulfideprotein - 4-3-2012 at 22:30

Well... I believe that there is a very simple way to isolate sodium. Lithium is available in some batteries and after extracting the lithium you can take sodium chloride and wrap the lithium around the sodium chloride. After placing in a suitable container the heat is turned on and after an hour or something in that time range you would be left with sodium and lithium chloride. Am I correct?

Endimion17 - 5-3-2012 at 03:45

Yes, and you get few tiny, expensive pieces of sodium. If you're rich enough to buy that much lithium batteries, you might as well order few kilograms of sodium.

Ephoton - 5-3-2012 at 06:58

I dont think this idea would be a waist if one was only wanting hobby amounts of the metal.

the question is though does it work. I dont see it happening my self.

If I remember correctly lithiums tight molecular structure stops this from happening
it does not react like other alkali metals or nobody would care for sodium methoxide they
would just dump lithium into methanol instead.

AirCowPeaCock - 5-3-2012 at 11:09

I believe sodium is significantly cheaper than lithium, or at-least, that used to be the case.

Thus it may just be cheaper to use sodium.

[Edited on 3-5-2012 by AirCowPeaCock]

ThatchemistKid - 5-3-2012 at 11:52

actually there was an entire argument in which I was shown that this method does not work for sodium production. I recalled it working from a few years back what I had neglected to recall is that instead of using just NaCl in some experiments I used the hydroxide as well, which was partly responsible for my confusion...sigh those early KEWL days of mine.

refer to this thread.

TheChemINC - 5-3-2012 at 14:26

i have dont this before.... but i used potassium chloride instead and wound up with potassium metal. although it

was an extremely small amount, it still looked cool when it was thrown into water... :D

MrTechGuy1995 - 5-3-2012 at 14:59

Wait wut.....

Li + NaCl --> LiCl + Na

It should be the other way around.....

LiCl + Na ---> Li + NaCl

Lithium would rather keep it's only valance electron compared to sodium which is lower in electronegativity.

Lithium being .98 and Sodium being .93.

Or am I mistaken?

Endimion17 - 5-3-2012 at 15:37

^^you are mistaken. Lithium is a stronger reducer.

MrTechGuy1995 - 5-3-2012 at 19:00

Thought as much. Now would that work with KCl and Na?
Or is Lithium an exception?

disulfideprotein - 6-3-2012 at 09:59

I dont know weather that would work but im guessing not.