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Production of table salt

  1. May 28, 2017 #1
    I don't know if it really fits in here, but I was wondering something the other day. Imagine you have a completely sealed small transparent room completely filled with chlorine gas, that doesn't contain a ppb of anything else. Now imagine I'm able to teleport a chunk of pure sodium in there, that is in perfect stoichiometry with the chlorine gas. Would the reaction start instantaneously? If I would leave and come back an hour later, would there - if you neglect the iodine in real table salt - be a pile of table salt at the bottom of the room? Is this a realistic way to produce it, or can it only be achieved through electrolysis?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 28, 2017 #2


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    I am not sure if it will spontaneously react, or if the water is necessary to get it to react. There are some videos online showing the reaction. Here is one.
  4. May 28, 2017 #3
    The reaction will start instantaneously and will be violent. See here .
    Sodium with bromium will be even more violent, because bromium is a liquid and you can get more of the stuff in contact at the same time.
    You could make sodium chloride from Sodrium hydroxide or sodium carbonate and hydrochloric acid. If you use large concentrations, they can still boil and splatter amd spray strong acids or bases on you. You also need very precise concentrations, or measure the pH if you want to eat the result. There's no reason to ever do this, since you can get sodium chloride cheaper from seawater.
    Electrolysis isn't used to create tab;e salt, but to reverse the reaction and produce sodium metal from table salt.
  5. May 30, 2017 #4

    stefan r

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    Chemical reaction have an autoignition temperature. Nothing happens "instantaneously".

    Not sure about teleportation. If the gas is displaced violently by the metal chunk then that should ignite it. If the teleport is a switch and the sodium is at or close to zero degrees K then it might sit there until warms up.

    The salt is not likely to be in a pile. Should be above the melting point of sodium chloride.

    Is the room pressure safe? Reacting a gas will drop the pressure. Reactions stop when they reach equilibrium. That will be either extremely low pressure or a temperature change. Since the room is transparent the heat should radiate out. There should still be a trace amount of chlorine gas in the room even if it cools. Sodium is a gas at 883C and 1 atmosphere pressure. Sodium chloride is a gas at 1314C. The boiling temperature drops if you lower the pressure.

    In a large room or if reflective surfaces reflect heat back into the transparent room the entire mix should be in gas form. You would have diatomic sodium-chloride vapor molecules. If the room is cooling through the surface then sodium chloride liquid will condense on the surfaces. Should be similar to water on a beer bottle. If cooling is only through radiation and the "transparent room" is a magical box that does not interact then you should get nucleation similar to clouds. If this is on earth or in a gravity field then the droplets will drop to the floor. Should be a film not standard table salt grains.

    High purity NaCl can be produced easily from sodium bicarbonate(baking soda) and hydrochloric acid. Heat drives off the water and carbon dioxide helps transportation.
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