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A collection of Lithium related facts

by chemdude71

Lithium is a chemical element with the symbol Li and atomic number 3. It is a soft, silvery-white alkali metal. Under standard conditions, it is the least dense metal and the least dense solid element.

Symbol: Li
Atomic number: 3
Atomic mass: 6.941 u
Electrons per shell: 2,1
Electron configuration: 1s²2s¹
Discoverer: Johan August Arfwedson
Chemical series: Metal, Alkali metal, Period 2 element

List of facts

Lithium is a chemical element with the symbol Li
Lithium has the atomic number 3.
“Lithium” originated from the Greek word “lithos” which means stone
Like all alkali metals, lithium is highly reactive and flammable and must be stored in a vacuum, inert atmosphere, or inert liquid such as purified kerosene or mineral oil.
It is a soft, silvery-white alkali metal.
Due to its solubility as an ion, it is present in ocean water and is commonly obtained from brines.
Lithium metal is isolated electrolytically from a mixture of lithium chloride and potassium chloride.
lithium deuteride serves as a fusion fuel in staged thermonuclear weapons
lithium is a good conductor of heat and electricity as well as highly reactive element
lithium is the least reactive of the alkali metals
Lithium is the only metal that reacts with Nitrogen naturally.
Lithium actively reacts with water and forms Lithium Hydroxide and Hydrogen
Lithium gives its name to the lithium family of elements.
Lithium constitutes about 0.002 percent of Earth’s crust
Lithium salts have proven to be useful as a mood stabilizer and antidepressant in the treatment of mental illness
Lithium metal is soft enough to be cut with a knife.
When cut, it possesses a silvery-white color that quickly changes to gray as it oxidizes to lithium oxide
Lithium is one of only three metals that can float on water, the other two being sodium and potassium.
Naturally occurring lithium is composed of two stable isotopes, 6Li and 7Li
7Li is the most abundant isotope at 92.5% natural abundance
lithium is the only low-numbered element that can produce net energy through nuclear fission.
lithium is less common in the Solar System than 25 of the first 32 chemical elements
Seven radioisotopes have been characterized, the most stable being 8Li with a half-life of 838 ms and 9Li with a half-life of 178 ms.
7Li is one of the primordial elements produced in Big Bang nucleosynthesis
7Li can also be generated in carbon stars
The total lithium content of seawater is very large and is estimated at 230 billion tonnes
lithium in seawater exists at a relatively constant concentration of 0.14 to 0.25 parts per million
Chile is estimated (2020) to have the largest reserves by far (9.2 million tonnes), and Australia has the highest annual production (40,000 tonnes)
Salar de Uyuni area of Bolivia, which has 5.4 million tonnes of lithium
Lithium is found in trace amounts in numerous plants, plankton, and invertebrates, at concentrations of 69 to 5,760 parts per billion
Johan August Arfwedson is credited with the discovery of lithium in 1817
The development of lithium-ion batteries increased the demand for lithium and became the dominant use in 2007
When placed over a flame, lithium compounds give off a striking crimson color, but when the metal burns strongly, the flame becomes a brilliant silver.
The world’s top four lithium-producing countries from 2019, as reported by the US Geological Survey are Australia, Chile, China, and Argentina.
The three countries of Chile, Bolivia, and Argentina make up a region known as the Lithium Triangle.
The Lithium Triangle is believed to contain over 75% of existing known lithium reserves.
In 2021, most lithium is used to make lithium-ion batteries for electric cars and mobile devices.
Glazes containing lithium oxides are used for ovenware
A typical lithium-ion battery can generate approximately 3 volts per cell, compared with 2.1 volts for lead acid and 1.5 volts for zinc-carbon
Lithium compounds are used as pyrotechnic colorants and oxidizers in red fireworks and flare



Physical properties

Phase at STP solid
Melting point 453.65 K ​(180.50 °C, ​356.90 °F)
Boiling point 1603 K ​(1330 °C, ​2426 °F)
Density (near r.t.) 0.534 g/cm3
when liquid (at m.p.) 0.512 g/cm3
Critical point 3220 K, 67 MPa (extrapolated)
Heat of fusion 3.00 kJ/mol
Heat of vaporization 136 kJ/mol
Molar heat capacity 24.860 J/(mol·K)
Vapor pressure
P (Pa) 1 10 100 1 k 10 k 100 k
at T (K) 797 885 995 1144 1337 1610

Atomic properties

Oxidation states 0[2]+1 (a strongly basic oxide)
Electronegativity Pauling scale: 0.98
Ionization energies
  • 1st: 520.2 kJ/mol
  • 2nd: 7298.1 kJ/mol
  • 3rd: 11815.0 kJ/mol
Atomic radius empirical: 152 pm
Covalent radius 128±7 pm
Van der Waals radius 182 pm

Other properties

Natural occurrence primordial
Crystal structure ​body-centered cubic (bcc)
Speed of sound thin rod 6000 m/s (at 20 °C)
Thermal expansion 46 µm/(m⋅K) (at 25 °C)
Thermal conductivity 84.8 W/(m⋅K)
Electrical resistivity 92.8 nΩ⋅m (at 20 °C)
Magnetic ordering paramagnetic
Molar magnetic susceptibility +14.2×10−6 cm3/mol (298 K)[3]
Young’s modulus 4.9 GPa
Shear modulus 4.2 GPa
Bulk modulus 11 GPa
Mohs hardness 0.6
Brinell hardness 5 MPa
CAS Number 7439-93-2

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