. Sodium metal should be stored under kerosene. Why


Best Answer

Ans. Sodium is kept in kerosene because it's a largely reactive metal. However, it'll respond with oxygen and water vapor present in the atmosphere producing sodium oxides and sodium hydroxides individually which is a largely exothermic reaction, If it's kept in an open container.

It should be handled with care because it can respond with humidity from our hands and can cause blisters. Kerosene oil doesn't react with sodium and acts as a barrier which restricts its reaction with oxygen and moisture.

The reaction is mentioned below:

4Na + O2→2Na2O

Na2O+H2O→2NaOH

It should be noted that under common conditions (room temperature and corresponding humidity/ air pressure) kerosene doesn’t react with air or oxygen (due to high enough activation barrier for this reaction). Therefore, in order to react with oxygen, kerosene requires either high enough temperature around 300oCunder normal pressure or at lower temperatures (as low as60oC in the presence of a catalyst like platinum, etc.)

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