Sodium Amide


Sodium amide (NaNH2) is a greyish-white powder with a slight ammonia odor that reacts violently with water, acids and halogenated compounds.  Sodium amide can ignite spontaneously in moist air or dry air above 842oF.  It is highly corrosive to eyes, skin and mucous membranes.  Water and conventional ABC fire extinguishers can intensify a fire involving sodium amide and should never be used. Sodium amide will form shock-sensitive peroxides capable of exposive decomposition when exposed to air, heat or stored for extended periods of time. Disposed of unused and unneeded quantities immediately.

Emergency Procedures

Skin/Eye Contact:  Brush off any visible solids.  Rinse with copious amounts of water for at least 15 minutes.  Seek medical attention as needed.  Thoroughly clean clothing before reuse.

Ingestion:  Will react immediately with saliva to cause serious burns and possible local combustion and even explosion of hydrogen in the mouth or esophagus. Do not induce vomiting.  Drink 2-3 glasses of water and seek medical attention immediately.

Inhalation: Causes severe burns to mucuous membranes. Risk of death from pulmonary edema. Move to fresh air immediately. Do not administer mouth to mouth resuscitation. Seek medical attention immediately

Fire:  Use Class D extinguisher such as Met-L-X or smother the fire with dry sand and/or soda ash.  Do not use water, carbon dioxide or halogenated extinguishing agents.

Spill:  Control all sources of ignition.  Wearing personal protective equipment, cover the spill with sand.  Scoop spilled materials with spark-resistant tools and place in a container for disposal.  DO NOT USE WATER or combustible materials, such as saw dust.


Wear safety glasses, impervious gloves and a fire-retardant laboratory coat.  Control ignition sources and avoid dust formation.  Avoid contact with water or moisture.  Keep a supply of dry sand available in the work area and ensure there is a Class D extinguisher immediately available.

When large quantities of sodium amide will be used, work under an inert gas, such as nitrogen or argon, in a fume hood or glove box.  Avoid contact with air, water or moisture.

Sodium amide is incompatible with oxygen, carbon dioxide, halogens and halogenated solvents, alcohols, oxidizing agents, hydrated salts, acids and a wide variety of other materials.  Sodium amide reacts violently on contact with powerful oxidizers and water.

Do not grind sodium amide or heat it.  Upon contact with water, acids or alcohols, potassium produces an exothermic reaction involving release of flammable hydrogen gas. Peroxidized sodium amide may explode upon handling.


Keep compound under dry inert gas such as nitrogen or argon. Store in tightly sealed containers in a cool dry place, separate from combustible materials.  Discard unused portions that will not be needed for extended periods of time (> 1 year)


Store wastes in tightly sealed containers under dry inert gas.  Used reagent can be deactivated under controlled environments. Dispose as hazardous waste. CONTAINERS OF SODIUM AMIDE THAT HAVE FORMED PEROXIDES MUST NOT BE HANDLED. Yellow or brown colored solids are evidence of contamination with peroxides. Contact EHS at 8-5294 immediately.

For More Information

See SDS for Sodium Amide from Acros Organics.


Stanley Howell
Program Manager - Chemical Safety

Steve Elwood
Associate Director for Laboratory Safety