A white crystalline solid, NaH; cubic; r.d. 0.92; decomposes above 300°C (slow); completely decomposed at 800°C. Sodium hydride is prepared by the reaction of pure dry hydrogen with sodium at 350°C. Electrolysis of sodium hydride in molten LiCl/KCl leads to the evolution of hydrogen; this is taken as evidence for the ionic nature of NaH and the presence of the hydride ion (H−). It reacts violently with water to give sodium hydroxide and hydrogen, with halogens to give the halide and appropriate hydrogen halide, and ignites spontaneously with oxygen at 230°C. It is a powerful reducing agent with several laboratory applications.