What is sodium, where is it found and why it's important?
Updated: 21 hours ago
Sodium is a chemical element and the most common metal found in the universe.
It is a soft metal which can be easily cut with a knife.
When freshly cut, it will have a dull, greyish metallic colour which will quickly oxidise to a white/grey colour due to the oxygen in the atmosphere. But why is the element important?
Where is sodium in the periodic table?
Sodium is an alkali metal, located in group one of the periodic table.
The chemical symbol for sodium is Na, which is abbreviated from the Latin word, natrium. This is in reference to the Egyptian natural mineral salt, natron, which mainly consists of sodium carbonate (hydrated) or Ca(CO3)2 .
This abbreviation was first published in 1814 by Jöns Jakob Berzelius in one of the early systems of chemical symbols.
Sodium actually comes from the Arabic word, suda, meaning headache.
This is due to sodium carbonate being used in Arabic culture as a headache remedy.
It also has roots in medieval Europe, from the old headache remedy, sodanum.
What is sodium used for?
Sodium plays such a vital and huge part of the world in which we live.
It is normally one of the first chemical names of anything that you would learn in school, being generic table salt NaCl.
Sodium is commonly used in the production of titanium, sodamide, sodium cyanide, sodium peroxide, and sodium hydride.
It is usually found in its ionic form as Na(+) due to elemental sodium being highly reactive with water.
Even if there was a natural process for the formation of elemental sodium, any moisture that would come into contact with it would quickly erode it or cause it to react.
What does sodium do to your body?
In the human body, sodium is an electrolyte needed in reasonably high levels
It is controlled by the kidneys and urine to regulate the salt levels in your body.
Sodium levels themselves control the volume of blood in the body. This is a major factor in a person’s blood pressure value.
Can you detect sodium using flame photometry?
Shortly, yes. It’s ideal for Flame Photometric analysis.
Sodium has a full 1P and 1S orbital after the ionisation of the element losing its 1s1 electron from the outer shell to form the Na+ ion.
The element also cannot exist in its metallic form when given contact to water.
This ensures all of the sodium present in the solution would be in the ideal form to determine its concentration via photometry.
BWB offers several different models all of which include simultaneous sodium detection along with a variety of other periodic table group 1 & 2 elements.