Table of contents

What is Sodium?

Sodium is a chemical element that falls in the alkali metal group in the periodic table. Sodium is the most common alkali metal.

Sodium is represented by the symbol Na and the atomic number is 11.

Element Properties of Na
Atomic Number 11
Atomic Mass 22.98977 g mol-1
Atomic Weight 22.9898
Melting Point 97.81 °C (208 °F)
Boiling Point 882.9 °C (1,621 °F)

What is Chloride

The chloride is the negative charge ion. It is formed by when the hydrogen chloride is dissolved in water or when element chloride gains an electron.

chloride formula or representative symbol


what is Sodium Chloride

Sodium chloride (NaCl), also known as salt. Salt is an inorganic compound. NaCl is made with the reaction of Na (sodium) and Cl (chloride) o form white, crystalline cubes.

The reaction between Sodium and Chloride

Sodium is a highly soft and silvery metal. It is always found in nature in a combined state (either combined with another sodium atom or with another element).

In the free or pure state, the sodium atom reacts explosively with water. The resulting product of this reaction is sodium hydroxide.

On the other hand, chlorine exists as a yellowish-green gas with a suffocating odor. The chlorine gas is poisonous enough to be used as a chemical weapon in the first world war.

Interestingly, when both these atoms react, the resulting compound comes up with totally different properties (table salt).

This product is not at all vigorous like sodium and not poisonous like chloride. Instead, it is one of the main supporting chemical compounds to life.

The reaction is as follows

2Na + Cl2 → 2NaCl

The reaction between Sodium and Chloride at the atomic level

To learn more about the types of reactions and nature of the bond formed between Na and Cl, let's discuss this reaction at the atomic level.

Sodium belongs to the first group of the periodic table, which means it possesses only one electron in the valence shell.

On the other hand, chlorine belongs to the 17th group, which means it possesses seven electrons in the valence shell.

Related: Step by step guide for balancing redox reaction in a basic solution.

As we all know, an atom is stable only when it possesses eight electrons in its valence shell. Thus, for stabilization, atoms complete these eight electrons either by accepting from other atoms or by denoting them.

  • Step#1: Determine the electronic configuration of each atom

    The atomic number of sodium is 11, and its electronic configuration would be as follows

    Na11 = 1s2, 2s2, 2p6, 3s1

    As it can be seen, the valence shell (3s) of Na possesses only one atom. That's why it is unstable in the free state.

    On the other hand, the atomic number of Cl is 17, and its electronic configuration would be as follows

    Cl11 = 1s2 , 2s2, 2p6, 3s2, 3p5

    The valence shell (3s+3p) of chlorine possesses seven electrons. Thus, chlorine is also not stable and needs only one atom to complete its octet.

  • Step#2: Donation of electron

    Whenever Na and Cl react, one electron from the outermost shell of Na goes to the outermost shell of Cl, such as

    Na → Na+ + e-

    Cl + e- → Cl-

  • Step#3: Formation of ion pair

    A positive charge appears on Na (for donating an electron), and a negative charge appears on Cl(for gaining an electron). The electronic configuration of Na+ and Cl- will be such as

    Na+(10) = 1s2, 2s2, 2p6

    Cl-(12) = 1s2 , 2s2, 2p6, 3s2, 3p6

    Now, as it can be seen, the outermost shell of Na(2s+2p) possesses a total of eight electrons (2+6=8).

    Similarly, the valence shell of Cl(3s+3p) also possesses eight electrons (6+2=8). Thus, both the atoms get stable after this interaction. Chemical equation product calculator makes it easy to balance an chemical equation online.

    The final equation will be as follows

    Na + Cl → Na+Cl-

Related: Step by step process for balancing chemical equations.

The bond formed between sodium and chlorine

As a result of the reaction between sodium and chlorine, a chemical bond develops between these two atoms known as an Ionic bond.

"A chemical bond that is formed as a result of the complete donation of electrons from one atom to another and leads to the formation of ions is called an ionic bond."

In the product NaCl, sodium possesses a positive charge while chlorine carries a negative charge. In this way, the electrostatic forces also develop between them - making the bond stronger and more stable.

Related: A complete guide for balancing complex chemical equations.

Moreover, both the reactants complete their octet after reacting with each other; therefore, the final product (NaCl) is not reactive and completely stable.

The positively charged sodium and negatively charged chlorine cancel out each other effect; thus, the net charge on the product is zero.

We hope this article helped you a lot in understanding the chemical reaction of sodium and chlorine. Also find another article regarding endothermic and exothermic reactions and general chemical equation.