Why is ammonia a water-like solvent? How does it react with sodium metal?

1 Answer
Jan 22, 2017

Why? Well because it can be.........


Ammonia is a water-like solvent. It is relatively high boiling, and it can be used in the laboratory with fairly simple equipment. I've seen it used with beakers, and dry-ice/ethanol condensers. The vapour pressure of the ammonia forms an effective protective blanket around the solution. It's pretty smelly tho......

The reaction with sodium is truly beautiful, and chemists conceive of a long-lived solvated electrons, before the solvent is reduced.

Why should ammonia be high boiling? What special property does it share with water?