Lithium and Sodium act as strong reducing agents. So, they reduce some metallic chlorides and oxides into metals easily. This property is applied in the preparation of some metals. For example, beryllium, uranium etc., can be obtained by the reduction of the corresponding halides using sodium.
Lithium and its compounds find important use as reagents in a number of organic syntheses. Lithium aluminium hydride (LiAlH4) is a powerful reducing agent commonly used in organic synthesis.
Sodium is used as a reagent to detect the presence of nitrogen, sulphur and halogens by Lassaigne’s extract method. It is also used for the preparation of sodamide (NaNH2), sodium peroxide (Na2O2) and sodium cyanide (NaCN), which are useful reagents for a number of synthetic processes.