Sodium is a Periodic Table elemental metal with atomic number of 11. Sodium does not exist in nature except in its more stable compounds like sodium chloride (salt), or sodium carbonate. Sodium metal is typically produced by electrolysis of molten salt, yielding a light, lustrous, metal, similar to mercury’s silvery appearance when kept under inert nitrogen or argon atmosphere.
Sodium metal is extremely reactive with water, alcohols, or most halogen-containing compounds, thus it is essential for safety of those handling sodium to isolate it from all sources of water or those other chemicals with which it can react explosively. Most sodium reactions with other chemicals produce by-product hydrogen gas, which due to its explosion potential, can be destructive.