Sodium Hydride is an inorganic compound and a strong base too. The chemical formula for the compound is NaH with a molecular weight 24.0 g/mol. This is an ionic compound that is composed of the sodium cation and hydride anion. It has an octahedral crystal structure like
NaCl and surround by six other hydride ions.
The preparation of sodium hydride includes a direct reaction between sodium metal and the hydrogen gas. The chemical reaction could be given as below –
NaH is a colorless and white solid compound with a density of 1.4 g/mL, and a melting point of 800 degree Celsius. Because of the reactivity nature of the compound, it disperses quickly in a mineral oil and safe to handle as well.
When it exists in pure form, it can quickly ignite the air. At the same time, when it comes in contact with water content available in the air, it become flammable hydrogen gas. The compound is a corrosive base and easily hydrolysed when needed. To prevent fires or explosions,
NaH is sold as dispersion in mineral oil and allowing safe handling in air.
In organic chemistry, sodium hydride is used frequently as a string base and not soluble in organic solvents. The dangerous nature of the compound makes it powerful reducing agent or drying agent for laboratory chemicals. The compound is flammable and violent. It may result in annoying explosions when handled carelessly.