Inorganic chemistry

Why the formula Sodium chloride is NaCl?

sodium chloride?

Sodium Chloride formula :

characteristics of sodium chloride

Why the formula of sodium chloride is NaCl?

Sodium chloride formula is NaCl used in chemistry here we study about it’s formula definition characteristics and applications in detail.

The sodium chloride (table salt) is the salt we use in our daily lives for salting foods prepared by hand or processed (industrialized). It is a substance that is also present in various natural foods consumed by us in everyday life, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, seeds, etc.

Content Index :

  • 1 Definition
  • 2 Chemical characteristics
    • 2.1 Sodium (Na)
    • 2.2 Chlorine (Cl)
  • 3 Physical characteristics
    • 3.1 Melting Point
    • 3.2 Boiling point
    • 3.3 Polarity
    • 3.4 Solubility in water
    • 3.5 Solubility in other solvents
    • 3.6 Density
    • 3.7 Electrical conductivity
  • 4 Ways to obtain
    • 4.1 Physical Obtaining
    • 4.2 Chemical obtaining
  • 5 Importance for the human being
    • 5.1 Functions of the sodium cation (Na +)
    • 5.2 Functions of the chloride anion (Cl-)
  • 6 Risks to the human body
  • 7 Applications


Sodium chloride belongs to the inorganic function of salts and is composed of the union of the sodium cation (Na +) and chloride anion (Cl-) by means of an ionic bond.

Chemical characteristics

Sodium chloride is formed by two chemical elements:

Sodium (Na)

  • It belongs to the family of alkali metals (AI) (capable of easily forming cations).
  • It has an electron in the valence layer.
  • It has an atomic number equal to 11.
  • It has a high electropositivity (ability to lose electrons).

Chlorine (Cl)

  • It belongs to the halogen family (VIIA).
  • It is a nonmetal (that’s why it easily becomes an anion).
  • It has seven electrons in the valence layer.
  • It has an atomic number equal to 17.
  • It has a high electronegativity (ability to gain electrons).

Since the two chemical elements that make up sodium chloride have high electropositivity and high electronegativity respectively, an ionic bond (established between atoms with a tendency to lose and gain electrons) occurs between them.

The chemical structure of sodium chloride is composed of a single chloride anion (green sphere), which interacts with six sodium cations (blue spheres), as we can see in the following image:

sodium chloride structure
Sodium Chloride Structure

Physical characteristics

Melting point

Sodium chloride can be transformed from solid to liquid at a temperature of 801 ° C.

Boiling point

Sodium chloride can be transformed from a liquid state to a gaseous state at a temperature of 1465 oC.


Because it is a substance caused by ionic bonding, that is, because it is an ionic compound, sodium chloride is polar.

Water solubility

We can dissolve it in 1 L of water, at 25 ° C, up to 359 grams of sodium chloride.

Solubility in other solvents

Since sodium chloride is a polar compound, it cannot be dissolved in any non-polar solvent such as oil.


The density of sodium chloride is 2,165 g / mL, therefore being denser than water, which has a density equal to 1 g / mL.

Electric conductivity

Because it is an ionic compound, sodium chloride is able to conduct electric current only when:

  • It is in a molten state, that is, liquid.
  • Dissolved in water

Ways to obtain

Sodium chloride can be obtained both physically and chemically:

Physical Obtaining

Fractional crystallization

Sodium chloride is obtained by evaporation of ocean water.

Underground mines

It is exploited through mining techniques.

Underground deposits

It is extracted in deep underground tanks by dissolution in water (the salt present in the tank dissolves) and subsequent pumping.

Chemical obtaining

Synthesis reaction

Sodium chloride can be obtained from the chemical synthesis reaction (simple substances originate a compound substance) between gaseous chlorine and metallic sodium:

2 Na (s) + Cl2 (g) → 2 NaCl (s)

Neutralization reaction

Another way to obtain sodium chloride chemically is through the neutralization reaction between hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide, in which we have the formation of salt and water:

HCl (l) + NaOH (aq) → NaCl (aq) + H2O (l)

Importance for the human being

Sodium chloride by itself has no function in the human body, but when dissociated into sodium cations (Na +) and chloride anions (Cl-), each of these two ions has several important functions for our body. Some of these functions are:

Functions of the sodium cation (Na +)

  • Prevents blood clotting
  • Fights the formation of kidney and gallstones
  • Participate in the regulation of body fluids
  • Participate in the regulation of blood pressure

Functions of the chloride anion (Cl-)

  • Participates in the formation and constitution of gastric juice (hydrochloric acid – HCl)
  • Participate in the formation of pancreatic juice.

Risks to the human body

Excessive consumption of sodium chloride can cause the following harm to humans:

Dangers caused by excess sodium cations in the body:

  • Increased wound healing time
  • Increased incidence of cramps
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Kidney Overload
  • Increased fluid retention in the body

Dangers caused by excess chloride anions in the body:

  • Destruction of vitamin E
  • Decreased production of iodine in the body


In addition to being used to salt foods, sodium chloride can also be used in the following situations:

  • Shampoo production
  • Paper production
  • Production of sodium hydroxide (NaOH)
  • Detergent production
  • Soap production
  • To melt the snow in places where there are blizzards
  • Metallic Sodium Production
  • Gaseous Chlorine Production
  • In isotonics for electrolytic body replacement
  • In nasal decongestant solutions

.Production of salt solutions; among other applications

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