Guide on Lithium & Lithium Interesting Facts | WorldOfChemicals

Lithium- Element properties, occurrence, applications and facts

Category : General Chemicals
Published by : Data Research Analyst, Worldofchemicals.com

Lithium is a soft, alkali metal with silvery-white appearance. It has atomic number 3 and is of group 1 of block s. Lithium got its name from Greek word “Lithos”, meaning stone. Lithium is symbolised as Li. Lithium is the first member of alkali metal family.

Properties:

Physical:

  1. Lithium is a soft and silvery element.

  2. Melting point of lithium: 180.54 degree Celsius and Boiling point: 1335 degree Celsius.

  3. Lithium has low density of 0.534gm per cubic centimetre.

  4. Lithium has hardness of 0.6 on Mohs scale, this shows that the metal can be scratched from fingernails.

Chemical:

  1. Lithium is a flammable and highly reactive element.

  2. Lithium at room temperatures reacts slowly with water but at higher temperatures it reacts rapidly.

  3. Lithium is less soluble in hot water but more in cold water.

  4. Lithium reacts with the moisture present in the air.

Occurrence of Lithium in the environment:

Lithium does not occur in nature freely because of its reactivity. It is slightly an abundant compound and has composition of 65 parts per million (ppm) on earth’s crust. Lithium is absorbed by plants and its composition in plants can sometimes reach around 30ppm. In terrestrial bodies it has composition of around 0.1 ppm. Lithium is also present in deposits of brine and in minerals as salt. The major commercial form of lithium is lithium carbonate.

Applications of Lithium:

  1. Glass and ceramics: Lithium oxide is extensively used for processing silica as flux, for reducing the material melting point and viscosity. 32% of lithium produced is used for ceramics and glasses.

  2. Electronics: Lithium became an important part of batteries because of having high electrode potential late in the 20th century.35% of lithium is used in batteries.

  3. Grease lubrication: Lithium used in greases utilizes 9% of the lithium produced.

  4. Metallurgy and nano-welding of silicon: For perfection of silicon nano-welds lithium has been considered perfect. Lithium as lithium carbonate is used in continuous casting as an additive to increase fluidity. 5% of lithium is used in this.

Lithium is also used in iron casting as an additive to foundry sand to reduce veining. Lithium as lithium fluoride is used as aluminium smelters additive for reducing melting temperature and increasing electrical resistance. This use accounts for 3% of production.

  1. Air purification: Lithium is used to remove carbon dioxide and for air purification in confined areas like abroad spacecraft and submarines.

  2. Medicine: Lithium is useful in the treatment of bipolar disorder. It has also been researched that lithium can be considered in the treatment of cluster headaches.

7 Interesting facts about Lithium:

  1. Being metal it is that soft that it can be cut using a knife.

  2. The density of lithium is so less, that it can float on water.

  3. It is difficult to put out lithium fire as it reacts with water, a powder extinguisher is required.

  4. It gives out red bright flame when burning.

  5. It can be alloyed with different metals like aluminium and copper to form strong lightweight metal as it is the lightest metal.

  6. Lithium was among the three elements along with hydrogen and helium which was produced in large quantities by a big bang.

  7. Lithium is the solid element with least density and is the lightest element.


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