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Li is the best reducing agent in aqueous solution, then why does it react gently as compared to Na, despite Na being least reducing in aqueous solution ? 

Asked by anirbanbag81 15th October 2017, 11:44 AM
Answered by Expert

According to periodic trends, all group 1 metals react with water,and form hydroxides with evolution of hydrogen gas. the reaction becomes increasingly violent on descending the group.Thus lithium reacts gently than other members of group
   Density of lithium is only about half of water molecule so it flots on the surface, gently fizzing and giving off hydrogen. It gradually reacts and disappear forming a colourless solution of lithium hydroxide. the reaction generates heat too slowly because lithiums melting point is too high for it to melt.hence it reacts gently
   In case of sodium, it has lower melting point than lithium and then reaction produces heat faster. sodium floats on the surface of water and enough heat is given off to melt it because its a exothermic reaction. The molten metal spread out and exposes a larger surface to the water, so it reacts faster, gets even hotter and catches fire. 
Answered by Expert 17th October 2017, 5:24 PM
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