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Topic: Reaction of Sodium metal with acetonitrile  (Read 5294 times)

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Offline perchlorate

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Reaction of Sodium metal with acetonitrile
« on: July 11, 2014, 11:06:30 AM »
Hi,

I am a post grad student doing research currently. I deal with pure sodium metal cut into thin pieces (approximately 0.5cm by 0.5cm) and assemble them in half cells for testing. I am thinking of using acetonitrile as solvent for my electrolyte in my half cell but while dripping some acetonitrile on a piece of sodium metal in glovebox today, there appeared to be some black smoke fuming from the sodium piece and turned white thereafter. I did coloumetric titration tests and water content came back to be around 50 ppm. Hence i don't think its the water content but rather a reaction happening.

Any comments to this?

Thanks!

Best Regards,
Paul

Offline Hunter2

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Re: Reaction of Sodium metal with acetonitrile
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2014, 12:28:54 PM »
Sodium is a strong reducer. Probably you get Cyanide and ethane.

2 CH3CN + 2 Na => 2 NaCN + C2H6

Offline perchlorate

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Re: Reaction of Sodium metal with acetonitrile
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2014, 10:47:57 PM »
I see. Thanks for the reply! :)

Offline sjb

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Re: Reaction of Sodium metal with acetonitrile
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2014, 02:54:25 AM »
Sodium is a strong reducer. Probably you get Cyanide and ethane.

2 CH3CN + 2 Na => 2 NaCN + C2H6

Maybe not that far, but I do know the alpha protons are quite acidic, so CH3CN + Na  :rarrow: Na+ -CH2CN + 1/2H2? Does the gas 'pop' with a burning split or similar

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