Sodium hydride

Sodium Hydride or Sodium Amide strong bases

Are you looking for a good article that describes sodium hydride and sodium amide? So, in this article, there will be a complete description of these both alkali metals. Both are strong bases that are used in many chemical preparations or labs. The article contains chemical formula, molar mass, etc. 

Read the article till the end to get the things related to these alkali metals with their uses and properties. 

Sodium Hydride

Empirical Formula: NaH 

Molar Mass: 23.99771 g/mol

Solubility in water: Reacts with water

Solubility: Insoluble in ammonia, benzene, etc. 

Boiling Point: Very High

NaH is an alkali metal and a salt-like hydride which contains Na+ and H- particles.It is a strong base and it raises the pH of the solution. It is prepared by the direct reaction of sodium and hydrogen. If you take pure NaH then it can burn easily in the air by releasing highly flammable hydrogen gas. 

Structure of Sodium Hydride

Deprotonation by sodium hydride

Here are some conversions which show deprotonation by sodium hydride. 

  • Alcohols to sodium alkoxides
  • Thiols to sodium thiolates
  • 1,3-dicarbonyl compounds to stabilized sodium enolates

Sodium Hydride as a reducing agent

Here is the chemical reaction by which you can observe its properties as a reducing agent. It decreases the main group compounds. In this reaction, boron trifluoride reacts to give diborane and sodium fluoride. 

6 NaH + 2 BF3 → B2H6 + 6 NaF

Uses of Sodium Hydride

  • It is used as a powerful reducing agent for many organic reactions
  • As a drying agent for lab chemicals
  • As a hydrogen storage agent in fuel cell vehicles
  • It is used as a strong base in both organic and inorganic preparations

Sodium Amide

Empirical Formula: NaNH₂

Molar Mass: 39.01 g/mol

Solubility in water: Soluble in water

Solubility: Insoluble in alcohol

Boiling Point: 752 °F at 760 mm Hg

Sodium amide is also a strong base which is commonly called sodamide. It is an organic compound. If we talk about its appearance then it is a greyish-white powder. It is an odorless colorless solid and denser than water. It is prepared from sodium metal and gaseous ammonia. According to the chemical name, we can say that it is composed of sodium ions and amide ions. It is the best nucleophile. 

You can get pure hydrogen gas by this method. 

        NaH + H₂O——>NaOH + H₂

Structure of Sodium Amide

Uses of sodium amide

  • It is a strong base used for many chemical reactions
  • It helps in the preparation of some dyes (like indigo)
  • Deprotonation of weak acids
  • For elimination reactions


If you want to prepare sodium amide then follow these steps. Firstly, take sodium metal and react with ammonia but it should be done in the presence of a catalyst as iron(III) nitrate. 

      Na + NH3 → NaNH2 + ½ H2


You can store sodium amide in air-tight containers such as flasks, under inert gas, etc. If you want to store for long periods then ampouling is the best way. An ampoule is a type of container which is small in size and made up of glass. 

Why does sodium react violently with water?

::.   As we know that there is one valence electron that is shielded in the sodium atom but it is quite stable in isolation. 

See the displacement reaction with water. 

2Na(s) + 2H2O(l) -> 2Na(aq)+ + 2OH-(aq) + H2(g)

( Where… S= solid, L= Liquid, Aq= Aqueous)

In the process of ionizing the sodium, there needs for energy. From the above reaction, you can understand the violent reaction of sodium with water. 

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