Sodium in Water (Demonstration)
(Reference: Kelter, Paul Kelterís Favorite Demonstrations, University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh 1989.)
Reactivity of IA metals
Illustrate reactivity of IA metals with water
Wear goggles and gloves, and be sure to have a fire extinguisher ready, just in case!
Sodium stored in mineral oil
250 mL beaker half filled with water
Place a couple of drops of phenolphthalein in 250 mL beaker (half-filled with water). Remove a pea-sized piece of sodium from mineral oil, and dry on paper towel. Make sure the lid is closed well on the sodium bottle. Drop sodium in water and stand back!
Hydrogen gas will be released as the water dissociates into H+ and OH-. The solution should turn pink due to the increasing concentration of OH- ions in solution.
After sodium has reacted completely rinse solution down drain with lots of water.
Ginger Chateauneuf, 2000.