What Are Some Uses of Sodium?


Quick Answer

Sodium in its metallic form is used to make esters and other important organic compounds. In its gaseous form, sodium is used in sodium-vapor street lamps. Sodium ions in the human body transmit electric impulses and help regulate body water content. Sodium salts such as sodium chloride (table salt), sodium carbonate (washing soda) and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) have several household applications.

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Sodium is used in metallurgy to purify molten metals and strengthen certain alloys. Sodium metal is used as a heat exchanger in several nuclear reactions. It is used in chemical industries as a reagent. Sodium is also used to make sodium hydroxide, an important base that has several applications in chemistry. Sodium vapor is used in streetlights where it produces a yellow light. Sodamide, which is used in the production of indigo and the drying of ammonia, is the amide form of sodium. Anti-knock agents for cars require sodium in their manufacturing process.

Sodium is more commonly used in its various salt forms. Sodium chloride is an essential component of the human diet. The human body requires sodium ions to transmit electrical impulses between neurons by regulating the membrane potential of the cells. Sodium also helps maintain the water levels in the blood stream.

Sodium chloride, sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate are used in the textile industry, and in the manufacture of household cleaners, glass, paper and soap.

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