Lithium | Properties | Uses | Other Details - Elements and Compounds


Saturday, March 4, 2023

Lithium | Properties | Uses | Other Details

Lithium Properties Uses and Other Details

    What is Lithium

    Lithium is classified as an alkali metal, and chemically it is an element. Lithium is a very light metal of silver color, its density is 0.534 grams per cubic centimeter. Lithium is found in the solid state at room temperature, with a melting point of 180.5 °C (356.9 °F) and a boiling point of 1342 °C (2448 °F). The symbol for lithium is Li. The atomic number of Lithium is 3 and its atomic weight is 6.941 AMU. An atom of Lithium has 3 electrons, 3 protons, 4 neutrons and 2 energy levels. Lithium is located in Group 1, Period 2 and Block S in the Periodic Table.

    Lithium was discovered by Johann August Arfvedson in 1817.

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    Lithium Properties Uses and Other Details

    Properties of Lithium

    • Lithium is a shiny silver colored metal.
    • Lithium is a very soft metal, it is so soft that it can be cut with an ordinary knife and scratched with a fingernail.
    • Lithium is much more reactive than water. When lithium is added to water, lithium hydroxide and hydrogen gas are formed. Lithium hydroxide is soluble in water.
    • Lithium is a very good conductor of electricity and heat.
    • Lithium has the highest specific heat of all the solid elements.
    • There is a wide difference between the melting point and the boiling point of lithium.
    • Lithium reacts with oxygen to form monoxide and peroxide.
    • Lithium is a chemically active metal.
    • Lithium does not react with oxygen at room temperature, but at 100 °C it reacts with oxygen to form lithium oxide (Li2O).
    • Lithium combines with sulphur, hydrogen, nitrogen and halogens under special conditions.
    • Lithium reacts with hydrogen at temperatures above 500 °C to form lithium hydride.

    Uses of Lithium

    • Lithium is most commonly used in making rechargeable batteries.
    • Lithium is used to make non-rechargeable batteries, which are used in heart pacemakers.
    • Liquid lithium is used as a coolant in nuclear reactors.
    • Lithium is used to make lubricants.
    • Lithium is used as an alloy to increase the capacity of copper, cadmium, magnesium and aluminum metals.
    • Lithium has the highest specific heat of all solid elements, so it is used to make heat transfer devices.
    • Lithium-magnesium alloy is used to make armor.
    • Lithium-aluminum alloys are used in aircraft, high-end bicycle frames, and high-speed trains.
    • Compounds of lithium are used in making porcelain.
    • Lithium oxide is used in making special glasses and glass ceramics.
    • Lithium carbonate is added to glass to make it stronger.
    • Lithium chloride has the property of absorbing moisture, so it is used in industrial drying systems.
    • Lithium Acetylureas are used in the synthesis of Vitamin A.
    • Lithium carbonate is used in the treatment of patients with a mental illness called bipolar disorder.
    • Lithium hydride is used to store hydrogen as a fuel.
    • A small amount of lithium is added to the molten metal during the making of copper-nickel alloys, this lithium acts as a deoxidizer and reduces gas holes, bubbles and cracks in the metal.
    • Lithium catalysts are used to make stronger synthetic rubbers.

    Interesting Facts about Lithium

    • Lithium is the lightest of all metals.
    • Lithium is a lighter metal than water, so when lithium is added to water, it floats on top of the water.
    • Lithium has been used to make the 200-inch-diameter glass of the Hale telescope on Mount Palomar.
    • Most of the Lithium is produced in Australia.
    • Lithium is kept in oil or in argon gas to store it, otherwise it can react with oxygen and moisture present in the air.
    • Lithium is readily absorbed by plants, so trace amounts of lithium are found in plants.
    • Lithium may explode upon contact with acids, oxidants, halogens, hydrocarbons, concrete, sand, asbestos, explosives and water.
    • Lithium emits toxic gases when it catches fire, which can cause very serious health problems when exposed to them.
    • In 2019, about 77000 tons of lithium were produced all over the world.

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