Why does Sodium react more vigorously with water than Lithium?

Sodium and Lithium both are alkali metals. They have some common properties, but few properties make the two elements different. Alkali metals shall donate the single valence electron to get a noble gas configuration. Hence, they are all univalent electropositive metals.

Lithium reaction with water

  • Lithium-ion is the most soluble. The solubility decreases with increasing size. Solubility in water is related to the ionic nature and size.
  • Smaller ions have greater charge density and can be solvated by more water molecules. This releases a higher enthalpy of hydration and makes the hydrated ions more stable.
  • Solubility of Li+ > Solubility of Na+

On moving down the group, the electropositive nature increases; hence sodium is more electropositive than lithium and also the size of sodium is greater than lithium. So Sodium reacts more vigorously with water than Lithium.

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