You are watching: What happens when sodium undergoes a chemical reaction with chlorine?
Neutral atoms and their linked ions have an extremely different physical and hunterriverpei.comical properties. Salt atoms kind sodium metal, a soft, silvery-white steel that burns intensely in air and also reacts explosively v water. Chlorine atoms form chlorine gas, Cl2, a yellow-green gas the is extremely corrosive to most steels and really poisonous to animals and plants. The vigorous reaction between the aspects sodium and also chlorine creates the white, crystalline compound salt chloride, usual table salt, which includes sodium cations and chloride anions (Figure \(\PageIndex1\)). The compound composed of these ions exhibits properties entirely different from the properties of the elements sodium and chlorine. Chlorine is poisonous, but sodium chloride is important to life; sodium atoms reaction vigorously with water, but sodium chloride merely dissolves in water.
When two atoms strategy each other, they have actually the potential come bond (or connect). If a metal and also a nonmetal interact, then an ionic bond will result. These varieties of bonds involve the metal donating it(s) valence electron(s) come a nonmetal. Together the electronic transfer occurs, both atoms will certainly achieve an ext stable confirmations. The end an outcome will it is in a much less reactive compound. These form of varieties are created of both cations and anions. In addition, they are crystalline and also solid in nature (Figure \(\PageIndex2\)). A couple of examples that real-world ionic compounds would be NaCl (table salt) and also NaF (active ingredient in toothpaste).The formula for table salt is NaCl. It is the an outcome of Na+ ions and also Cl- ions bonding with each other (Figure \(\PageIndex3\)). If sodium metal and chlorine gas mix under the best conditions, castle will form salt. The sodium loses one electron, and the chlorine gains that electron. This reaction is highly favorable because of the electrostatic attraction between the particles. In the process, a an excellent amount the light and heat is released. The resulting salt is mainly unreactive — the is stable. It will certainly not undergo any kind of explosive reactions, uneven the sodium and chlorine the it is make of.
Figure \(\PageIndex2\) NaCl crystals.
(Public Domain; NASA).
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