sodium hydride

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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.

Subjects: Chemistry.

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