ReactivityApplicationsSources and also Extraction

Lithium is a rare element found generally in molten rock and also saltwater in very small amounts. That is understood to it is in non-vital in human organic processes, although the is supplied in numerous drug treatments due to its positive impacts on the person brain. Due to the fact that of the reactive properties, humans have utilized lithium in batteries, nuclear blend reactions, and thermonuclear weapons.


Lithium was very first identified as a ingredient of that the mineral petalite and also was found in 1817 by Johan august Arfwedson, yet not isolated till some time later on by W.T. Brande and Sir Humphry Davy. In that is mineral creates it account for only 0.0007% the the earth"s crust. It compounds are used in details kinds of glass and also porcelain products. More recently lithium has become important in dry-cell batteries and also nuclear reactors. Some compounds of lithium have actually been offered to treat manic depressives.

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Lithium is an alkali metal with the atom number = 3 and an atom mass the 6.941 g/mol. This way that lithium has 3 protons, 3 electrons and also 4 neutrons (6.941 - 3 = ~4). Being an alkali metal, lithium is a soft, flammable, and highly reactive metal that has tendency to form hydroxides. It additionally has a pretty short density and under typical conditions, that is the least dense solid element.


Sources and also Extraction

Lithium is most generally found linked with aluminum, silicon, and also oxygen to form the minerals well-known as spodumene (LiAl(SiO3)2) or petalite/castorite (LiAlSi4O10). These have actually been discovered on each of the 6 populated continents, yet they room mined generally in western Australia, China, and Chile. Mineral resources of lithium are coming to be less essential, together methods have actually now been developed to make use of the lithium salts found in saltwater.

Extraction from minerals

The mineral forms of lithium space heated come a high sufficient temperature (1200 K - 1300 K) in order to crumble them and also thus permit for subsequent reactions to an ext easily take place. After this process, among three methods can be applied.

The use of sulfuric acid and sodium carbonate to allow the iron and also aluminum come precipitate indigenous the ore - native there, much more sodium carbonate is used to the staying material permit the lithium come precipitate out, forming lithium carbonate. This is treated with hydrochloric mountain to form lithium chloride.The usage of limestone to calcinate the ore, and then leaching v water, forming lithium hydroxide. Again, this is treated v hydrochloric mountain to kind lithium chloride.The usage of sulfuric acid, and also then leaching v water, developing lithium sulfate monohydrate. This is treated through sodium carbonate to form lithium carbonate, and then hydrochloric acid to form lithium chloride.

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The lithium chloride obtained from any kind of of the three methods undergoes one oxidation-reduction reaction in an electrolytic cell, to separate the chloride ion from the lithium ions. The chloride ions room oxidized, and also the lithium ions are reduced.

\<2Cl^- - 2e^- \rightarrow Cl_2 \;\; \text(oxidation)\>


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