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Author: Subject: Sodium metal - Illustrated Practical Guide
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[*] posted on 4-5-2011 at 04:51
making sodium


I loved your method of making sodium metal given below;

http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/viewthread.php?tid=9797

I am thinking of using this method to make sodium metal and was wondering if any strong and noticeble fumes and odors were released durring the process?

[Edited on 5-4-2011 by Polverone]
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len1
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[*] posted on 6-7-2011 at 23:11


A number of people have asked me questions about sodium, and also UV chlorination in the other thread.

I no longer recommend the method in this post. The Sodium chapter in my book gives a thorough explanation of a much simpler setup. UV chlorination is also explained in the CCl4 chapter, I havent time to repeat all that here.

If you want to see it its now on google books. Search for the title in the Book thread. The page restriction on google books can easily be got around by going to another computer.
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[*] posted on 31-7-2011 at 02:41


Someone asked me for a link to the Sodium chapter I referred to. Here its is.

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=VqosZeMjNjEC&pg=PA14...
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[*] posted on 3-10-2013 at 05:44


The attached document describes the construction of a Castner cell for producing sodium :cool:

Attachment: ExperimentalElectrochemistryXI.pdf (718kB)
This file has been downloaded 860 times





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watson.fawkes
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[*] posted on 3-10-2013 at 07:20


Quote: Originally posted by leu  
The attached document describes the construction of a Castner cell for producing sodium
This is a chapter from Experimental Electrochemistry, by Nevil Monroe Hopkins, 1905. Interesting that this was almost a full century after it was first done by Davy.
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[*] posted on 7-5-2014 at 08:57


I might be building a Castner cell soon, and having not read this entire thread yet, I'm not sure if the insolating plug ( for the cathode) problem was completely solved.
In the first post, len1 used clay, which deteriorated after a while.
My idea is to use a light bulb screw-plug (or whatever it's called.) The idea would be to brake a bulb (preferably a dead one), wire the PSU to the wires that go into the bulb. Then solder cathode to the very bottom of the "screw-plug". So it screws in upside down, into the bottom of the cell.
The metal jacket terminal is directly connected (screwed) to the nickel cell casing which serves as the anode.
Some problems are:

•Light bulb terminals are made out of aluminum (at least the ones I've tested), which of course will react with the NaOH melt. Perhaps it can be coated in PTFE tape, and connected to the anode with solder too.
•I have not tested whether NaOH reacts with the black insolating ceramic yet - maybe it will.:(
•The wires going into the bulb are very thin, and will certainly over-heat at more than ~5 amps I'll bet. It's quite cramped inside the bottom of the bulb and very hard to solder a new thicker wire - with patience, I could do it I'm sure.

Other than that, it seems like it wouldn't be very hard to make this cell. I can't wait!
Here's a crappy illustration of the idea for those still confused.

Caster cell design - Resized.png - 8kB




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[*] posted on 27-10-2014 at 06:30


Just an idea like that, you could lower the cathode socket a lot in a tube which would not be heated, this way, Solid NaOH could act as a plug, as such the clay would last almost indefinitely.
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[*] posted on 27-10-2014 at 08:19


PTFE will degrade in molten NaOH.

The solid NaOH plug is a good idea.




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[*] posted on 14-12-2015 at 16:16


This is really late, but I have some questions that will hopefully be answered?:
1. Where did you obtain the larger metal parts like the cell wall and the collector? I checked local hardware stores, but they are all too small.
2. How were you able to tell if they and the stainless steel pots were galvanized/coated?
3. Is current for the cathode passed through the stub sticking out the bottom of the stem?




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