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Author: Subject: Invisible sodium
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[*] posted on 29-6-2018 at 19:20
Invisible sodium

So after reading some stuff obout the invisible sodium I decided to try to pull it out of the water before it explodes.
So wearing as much clothing as possible in case it shoots molten sodium everywhere.
I pulled it out as soon as it cools down.
It immediately froze as soon as the pliers touched it and it turns white.
It's also pretty hygroscopic and after 30 seconds some water is stuck seen on the surface.
As soon as it came in contact with the water it acted like sodium hydroxide slowly dissolving.
So judging from this I think it's just sodium hydroxide that's floating on water that eventually explodes similarly to how molten NaCl would.
It seems that the water around it isn't enough to dissolve all the sodium hydroxide so it just melts and stays there.
I attached a photo of the solid. The liquid stuck on the pliers is mineral oil.
(I forgot there was a thread on this, you can merge this thread on that one)

image.jpeg - 1.3MB

[Edited on 30-6-2018 by Foeskes]

[Edited on 30-6-2018 by Foeskes]
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[*] posted on 29-6-2018 at 23:46

There is at least one other thread. Possibly two. I will merge them later.

Molten NaOH was the conclusion I eventually came to as well. It is an odd phenomenon but that really is the only plausible explanation. The thing is that there are a lot of other interesting things happening. And I think there are still a heap of unanswered questions regarding why this reaction proceeds in such a different manner when the paper is present. There is flame and solvated electrons as well as the normal H2 and fizzing. Given that it is only recently that the true mechanism behind Na/water explosions has been discovered, it would not be sensible to jump to conclusions too hastily.

I have played with Li, Na and K. Li does not show this behaviour. Paper contact seems to be critical for Na. I have seen the same results when wrapping the metal in tussue paper and submerging. Apparently it is possible to get the dark-looking metal with K without paper in a bubble under water. Thunderf00t has some interesting observations on this.
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