How To: Make sodium metal

Make sodium metal

Learn to make sodium metal with this great video tutorial. Be sure to use latex gloves in the process, as the chemicals can be hazardous. This should not be performed by an inexperienced chemist.

1. Acquire a pot and lid for the experiment.
2. Place finely-ground magnesium powder into the pot.
3. Add a slightly larger volume of sodium hydroxide (lye) to the pot.
4. With a metal spoon, mix together the chemicals.
5. Pile the chemicals into a corner of the pot and insert a fuse with a 90 degree bend in it into the pile, so that the free end of the fuse is facing upwards.
6. In a separate vessel, melt paraffin wax.
7. Carefully light the fuse, quickly cover the pot with the lid and give a safe distance as smoke and flames will rise from the pot.
8. Once the smoke has died down, pour the wax onto the mixture to control the burning.
9. Once the flames have been extinguished, you can find small pieces of sodium metal in the ashes.

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