Sodium aluminum hydride

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Structural formula
Structural formula of sodium aluminum hydride
Surname Sodium aluminum hydride
other names
  • Sodium alanate
  • Sodium tetrahydridoaluminate
Molecular formula NaAlH 4
Brief description

white solid

External identifiers / databases
CAS number 13770-96-2
EC number 237-400-1
ECHA InfoCard 100,033,986
PubChem 26266
Wikidata Q1961048
Molar mass 54.00 g mol −1
Physical state



1.27 g cm −3

Melting point

183 ° C (decomposition)

  • soluble in tetrahydrofuran and polyglycol ethers
  • reacts violently with water
safety instructions
GHS labeling of hazardous substances
02 - Highly / extremely flammable 05 - Corrosive 07 - Warning


H and P phrases H: 261-302-314
EUH: 014
P: 231 + 232-280-305 + 351 + 338-310-422
As far as possible and customary, SI units are used. Unless otherwise noted, the data given apply to standard conditions .

Sodium aluminum hydride is an inorganic-chemical compound of sodium from the group of hydrides .

Extraction and presentation

Sodium aluminum hydride can be obtained directly from the elements. The reaction has a very high yield if it is carried out at a temperature of 140 ° C. and a pressure of 350  bar in toluene with triethylaluminum as a catalyst .

It can also be made by reacting sodium hydride with aluminum chloride in tetrahydrofuran . In the reaction, triethylaluminum is used as a catalyst, which serves to form a soluble intermediate product.

The first synthesis was achieved in 1951 by Schlesinger and Finholt by reacting sodium hydride with aluminum bromide in dimethyl ether , with a yield of 60%.

Later they improved the structure by making it with aluminum hydride and sodium hydride in tetrahydrofuran.

It is also possible to display it by reacting lithium aluminum hydride or sodium tetrachloroaluminate with sodium hydride.


Sodium aluminum hydride is a white crystalline solid that reacts violently with water. It decomposes when heated, producing hydrogen , among other things . Like lithium aluminum hydride, it is an effective reducing agent, reducing, among other things, carboxylic acid esters to aldehydes and lactones to hydroxyaldehydes .


In addition to being used as a reducing agent , sodium aluminum hydride is also used to determine small amounts of water in ethers, olefins and hydrocarbons .

It is also being studied as a storage medium for hydrogen in the vehicle industry.

safety instructions

There is a risk of explosion in contact with water and halogenated hydrocarbons .

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d Entry on sodium alanate in the GESTIS substance database of the IFA , accessed on January 27, 2020(JavaScript required) .
  2. a b c d e f g h i Entry on sodium aluminum hydride. In: Römpp Online . Georg Thieme Verlag, accessed on January 26, 2015.
  3. a b c d e H.J. Emeléus & AG Sharpe: ADVANCES IN INORGANIC CHEMISTRY AND RADIOCHEMISTRY . Academic Press, 1966, ISBN 978-0-08-057857-6 , pp. 319 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  4. Entry on sodium aluminum hydride in the Hazardous Substances Data Bank , accessed January 26, 2015.
  5. Sven Geitmann: Energiewende 3.0: with hydrogen and fuel cells . Hydrogeit Verlag, 2012, ISBN 978-3-937863-16-0 , p. 105 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  6. Vitalie Stavila, Raghunandan K. Bhakta, Todd M. Alam, Eric H. Majzoub, Mark D. Allendorf: Reversible Hydrogen Storage by NaAlH Confined within a Titanium-Functionalized MOF-74 (Mg) Nanoreactor. In: ACS Nano . 6, 2012, pp. 9807-9817, doi : 10.1021 / nn304514c .