Hydrogen from aluminium foil

Preparation of hydrogen using aluminium foil and drain cleaner

Scientific name: Preparation of hydrogen using reaction of aluminium foil with sodium hydroxide solution


Phản ứng Al +NaOH

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Получение водорода

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Naoh, water, Aluminum = hydrogen gaz.

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Reaction Of Aluminium with Caustic Soda


Wears safety goggles because sodium hydroxide solution may spray from the flask during this active reaction.

Please note that it is a very active exothermic reaction - the flask will become very hot soon.

Always follow general safety recommendations. Please note that conducting chemistry experiments you must comply with the relevant legal procedures in your country.

Reaction formula

2Al + 2NaOH + 6H2O → 2Na[Al(OH)4] + 3H2

Step-by-step instruction

  1. Put several pieces of aluminium foil in a flask.
  2. Pour sodium hydroxide solution in this flask. Sodium hydroxide solution is often sold as a drain cleaner.
  3. Hydrogen gas will be produced during this process.
  4. Put a balloon over the flask opening to collect the hydrogen gas.

Scientific background

Aluminium is a very reactive metal but it does not react with water because it is covered with protective layer of aluminium oxide. Sodium hydroxide will remove the aluminium oxide cover layer and aluminium starts to react with water:

2Al + 6H2O → 2Al(OH)3 + 3H2

Al(OH)3 + NaOH → Na[Al(OH)4]


Published on 29 August 2014

  • Fire
  • Heating with fire
  • Explosion
  • Poisoned gas
  • Organic
  • Electricity
  • Solution
  • Oxidation reduction
  • Color change
  • Precipitate
  • Gassing
  • Catalyst