Salt vs Sodium | Sodium vs Sodium Chloride | Properties, Usage
Sodium is a vital element in our body. The daily dosage of sodium needed for a healthy body is 2,400 milligrams. People take up sodium in their diet in different forms, and the main sodium source is salt or sodium chloride.
Sodium, which symbolized as Na is a group 1 element with the atomic number 11. Sodium has properties of a group 1 metal. Its electron configuration is 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s1. It can release one electron, which is in 3s sub orbital and produce a +1 cation. Electronegativity of sodium is very low, allowing it to form cations by donating an electron to a higher electronegative atom (like halogens). Therefore, sodium often makes ionic compounds. Sodium exists as a silvery color solid. But sodium reacts very rapidly with oxygen when it is exposed to air, thus makes an oxide coating in dull color. Sodium is soft enough to cut by a knife, and as soon as it cuts, the silvery color disappears due to the oxide layer formation. Density of sodium is lower than that of water, so it floats in water while vigorously reacting. Sodium gives a brilliant yellow flame when burns in the air, it. Sodium is an essential element in living systems to maintain osmotic balance, for nerve impulse transmission and so on. Sodium is also used to synthesize various other chemicals, organic compounds and for sodium vapor lamps.
Salt or sodium chloride, which we use in food, can be easily produced from seawater (brine). This is done in large scale, because people from every corner of the world use salt for their food every day. Seawater contains high concentrations of sodium chloride; therefore, accumulating it in an area and by letting the water evaporate using solar energy, yield sodium chloride crystals. The water evaporation is done in several tanks. In the first tank, sand or clay in the seawater is deposited. The salty water from this tank is sent to another one in where; calcium sulfate is deposited as the water evaporates. In the final tank, salt is deposited, and along with it, other impurities like magnesium chloride and magnesium sulfate are settling. These salts are then collected into small mountains and allow staying there for a certain period. During this period, other impurities may dissolve, and somewhat pure salt can be obtained. Salt is also obtained from mining rock salt, which is also called halite. The salt in rock salt is somewhat purer than salt obtained from brine. Rock salt is a NaCl deposit resulted from evaporating ancient oceans millions of years ago. Large deposits like this are found in Canada, America, and China, etc. The extracted salt is purified in various ways, to make it suitable for consumption, and this is known as table salt. Other than using in food, salt has many other usages. For example, it is used in chemical industries for various purposes and as a source of Chloride. Further, it is used in cosmetics as an exfoliator.
What is the difference between Salt and Sodium?
• Salt is a sodium containing compound. Salt mainly contains sodium chloride, which has sodium cations.
• Sodium and salt have contradictory properties from each other.
• Sodium is very reactive with oxygen in the air, but salt doesn’t react with oxygen in the air.
• Salt (pure salt) is a stable crystal, but sodium is a non stable solid.