Lithium is a monovalent cation belonging to the group of alkali metals, but also shares some properties of magnesium and calcium. In nature lithium is found in minerals and mineral waters and in trace amounts in sea water plants and animal tissues. It does not occur free in nature because of the special arrangement of its electrons and the high density of the positive charge of its nucleus (50). The common lithium salts are the carbonate, the chloride, the citrate and the sulphate. The citrate and the chloride are difficult to use in tablet form because of their hygroscopic properties. The choice of an individual lithium salt may be decided by convenience of administration and procurement and its price, as the therapeutic effect is apparently derived solely from the lithium cation and not from its anionic partner.
Lithium Compounds Derivatives
- Lithium Concentrate
- Butyl Lithium
- Lithium Metal
- Lithium Hydroxide
- Lithium Chloride
- Lithium Carbonate
The lithium compounds, primarily found its application in rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries. It is used many products, such as ceramics, high strength alloys, low weight alloys, and heat-resistant glass that are mainly used in aircraft. Further, it is also used across the healthcare industry in order to treat bipolar disorder. The industry is driven by multiple consumer industries comprising glass & ceramics, and Li-ion batteries including others.
Chemical and physical Properties of lithium
- Lithium has a large liquidus range. It has high thermal conductivity as well as high heat capacity. These properties allow lithium to be used as an effective nuclear reactor coolant. However, the corrosive properties of lithium require precautionary hand ling.
- The high boiling point of lithium compared to sodium (1347 "C vs. 883 "C) results in a much higher ignition temperature, with possible effects on structures.
- Bulk solid lithium at room temperature does not burn spontaneously in water or air. In dry oxygen, carbon dioxide, air up to 250 OC, and dry nitrogen up to 160 OC, lithium metal dispersions are considered as inert.
- Oxidation of lithium in dry oxygen is low all the way up to the ignition temperature. The ignition temperature of lithium in pure oxygen is uncertain, cited at values as high as 630 'C.
- Lithium is the only alkali metal that will react with nitrogen to form a nitride. Thus nitrogen cannot be used as a cover gas as it is in sodium systems. Ignition temperatures for lithium metal in nitrogen are quoted between 170 "C and 450 OC.
- Rates, products and temperatures for lithium-air reactions are uncertain and contradictory. Values between 180 OC: and 640 OC have been reported for the ignition temperature of lithium in air. Discrepancy is due mainly to purity and moisture conditions.
- Lithium reacts readily with water (vapor and liquid) to form hydrogen gas. It is a hazard under some accident conditions.
- Molten lithium is extremely reactive. It will burn on contact with the moist skin of personnel working with it. It also produces, upon burning, aerosols irritating to the respiratory system.
- Molten lithium reacts noticeably with concrete, other materials containing moisture and with many ceramic insulating materials. Lithium attacks ceramics more aggressively than sodium does.
- At high temperatures, molten lithium reacts with all known molecular gases but can be handled up to 200 OC in paraffin vapors. Trace amounts of moisture catalyze lithium-gas reactions.
- Purity of lithium and the materials with which it interacts play a significant role in the nature of most lithium reactions.