How is sodium metal extracted? Explain with the help of equation of the reaction involved.
Sodium is extracted by electrolytic reduction of molten sodium chloride. On passing electricity through molten sodium chloride, decomposition occurs and sodium metal and chlorine gas are formed.
Molten sodium chloride contains sodium and chloride ions. The reactions that occur during electrolysis are:
1. The cathode produces electrons to reduce sodium ions to sodium atoms (or sodium metal) by acting as reducing agent. Sodium ions are cations; therefore, they are attracted to the negatively-charged cathode and get deposited there.
Chloride ions are anions; therefore they are attracted to the positively-charged anode. These chloride ions are oxidised to chlorine gas. Chlorine gas is produced at the anode.
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