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Lithium Li (Element 3) of Periodic Table

03 Li (Lithium Element)

lithium element periodic table

Lithium Element Flashcard

About Lithium Element

Pure Lithium element is a silver white, soft material. It has the lowest density of all metals, which makes it the Lighest soild element.
Like the other alkali metals, Pure Lithium element is highly flammable and slightly explosive when exposed to air and especially water.
It reacts vigorously with water, but not as vigorously as sodium.
While reacts with water It forms highly flammable hydrogen gas and corrosive fumes of Lithium hydroxide (LiOH).
When the Lithium placed over a flame, this metal gives off a beautiful crimson color but when it burns strongly, the flame becomes a dazziling white.
The element surface becomes coated with a mixture of Lithium hydroxide (LiOH), Lithium nitride (Li3N), and Lithium carbonate (Li2CO3).
The element Reacts violently with strong oxidants, acids and many compounds (halons, halogens, hydrocarbons, concrete, sand and asbestos) causing fire and explosion hazard.
Metallic Lithium is soluble in short chain aliphatic amines, like Ethylamine (C2H5NH2), but insoluble in hydrocarbons.
So it should be stored in a Non-reactive liquid hydrocarbon such as Naphtha (flammable liquid hydrocarbon mixture).

pure lithium element

Pure Lithium Element Cut Piece

CAS Number: CAS7439-93-2
CID Number:  CID3028194
DOT Hazard Class:  4.3
DOT Number:  1415
RTECS Number:  RTECSOJ5540000

Properties of Lithium Element

Basic Properties of Lithium

Pronunciation:  Lith-ee-am
Appearance:  Silvery-white
Mass Number:  7
Standard Atomic weight: 6.94 g/mol
Atomic number (Z):  3
Electrons: 3
Protons:  3
Neutrons: 4
Period:  2
Group:  1
Block:  S
Element category:  Alkali metal
Electrons per shell:  K2, L1
Electron configuration: 1s22s1

Lithium electron configuration

Lithium Electron Configuration

Thermal Properties of Lithium

Phase:  Solid
Melting point:  453.65 K (180.50 oC, 356.90 oF)
Boiling point:   1603 K (1330 oC, 2426 oF)
Debye temperature:  400 K (126.85 oC, 260.33 oF)
Critical temperature: 3220 K (2946.85 oC, 5336 oF)
Critical pressure: 67 MPa (661 Atm)
Fusion heat: 3 kJ/mol
Vaporization heat:  136 kJ/mol
Specific heat:  3570 J/(kg K)
Molar heat capacity:  24.861 J/(mol.K)
Thermal expansion: 46 μm/(m∙K)
Thermal conductivity: 84.8 W/(m∙K)
Neel Point (magnetic ordering temperature) TN N/A

Electrical properties of Lithium

Electrical conductivity:  11×106 S/m
Electrical resistivity:  92.8 nΩ∙m
Electrical type:  Conductor
Critical point (Superconducting point):   N/A

Magnetic Properties of Lithium

Magnetic type:  Paramagnetic
Curie point: N/A
Magnetic susceptibility (xmol):  +14.2×10-6 cm3/mol
Volume magnetic susceptibility:  0.000000337
Mass magnetic susceptibility:  6.3×10-9 m3/kg
Molar magnetic susceptibility:  0.178×10-9 m3/mol

Physical Properties of Lithium

Density:  0.534 g/cm3 (In solid)  0.512 g/cm3 (In Liquid at M.P)
Molar volume:  0.00001297 m3/mol
Young’s modulus:  4.9 GPa
Shear modulus: 4.2 GPa
Mohs Hardness: 0.6
Bulk modulus: 11 GPa
Poisson ratio:  N/A
Vicker hardness:  N/A
Brinell hardness: 5 MPa
Sound Speed:  6000 m/s

Atomic Properties of Lithium 

Oxidation states:  +1
Valence Electrons:  2s1
Ion charge:  Li+
The ionization potential of an atom:  5.37 eV
Ionization energies:  1st: 520.2 kJ.mol 2nd: 7298.1 kJ/mol 3rd: 11815 kJ/mol
Ionic radius:   76 pm
Atomic radius:  152 pm (empirical)
Van der Waals:  182 Pm
Covalent radius:  128±7 pm
Filling Orbital:  2s1
Crystal structure:  Body centered cubic
Lattice angles:  π/2, π/2, π/2
Lattice constant:  349, 349, 349 pm
Grid parameters:  a= 3.490 Å
Attitude c/a:  7.25
Space Group Name:  Im_3m
Space Group Number:  229

body centered cubic

Body Centered Cubic (BCC)

Reactivity of Lithium

Electronegativity:  0.98 (pauling scale)
Valence:  +1
Electron affinity:  59.5 kJ/mol

Nuclear Properties of Lithium

Half Life:  Stable (Infinity) 
Lifetime:  Stable (Infinity)
Quantum Number:  2S1/2
Neutron cross section (Brans):  71
Neutron Mass Absorption:  N/A
                 Isotopes:  6Li 7Li                     

Isotope Abundance (%) Atomic Mass g/mol Half Life (t1/2)
6Li 5 6.020 Stable
6Li 95 7.015 Stable

Chemical Reactions of Lithium Element

Reaction with Air

The metal reacts slowly with Oxygen (O2) at normal temperature, and forming Lithium oxide (Li2O). If burned the metal, a minor amount of Peroxide (Li2O2) is produces as well.
4 Li (s) + O2 (g) → 2 Li2O (s) [white]
2 Li (s) + O2 (g) → Li2O2 (s) [white]

Reaction with Water

Lithium reacts slowly with water, and forming a colorless solution of Lithium hydroxide (LiOH) and hydrogen gas (H2).
2 Li (s) + 2 H2O (l) → 2 LiOH (aq) + H2 (g)

Reaction with Halogens

The metal reacts with the halogens, and forming the corresponding lithium halides.
2 Li (s) + F2 (g) → 2 LiF (s)  (Lithium fluoride)
2 Li (s) + Cl2 (g) → 2 LiCl (s)  (Lithium Chloride)
2 Li (s) + Cl2 (g) → 2 LiBr (s)  (Lithium Bromide)
2 Li (s) + I2 (g) → 2 LiI (s)   (Lithium Iodide)

Reaction with Acids

Lithium Dissolves readily in dilute sulphuric acid (H2SO4), and forming Lithium (Li) ions and hydrogen gas (H2).
2 Li (s) + H2SO4 (aq) → 2 Li+ (aq) + SO42- (aq) + H2 (g)

Reaction with Hydrogen

Lithium reacts with hydrogen, and forming Lithium hydride (LiH).
2 Li (s) + H2 (g) → 2 LiH (s)

Reaction with Neutrons

The production of Tritium (Radioactive form of hydrogen) from Lithium Deuteride (LiD).
Li36 + n  → He24 + H13
This reaction produces the tritium on the spot.

Lithium History

Naming:  Greek: lithos (stone)
Discovery:  Johan August Arfwedson (1817), at Stockholm (Sweden)
First Isolation: William Thomas Brande (1821)

Lithium Uses

Because of its highest specific heat, Lithium is used in heat transfer applications. The production of lithium metal and its compounds has increased greatly.

The metal is Largely uses in Rechargeable batteries for Laptops, Mobile phones, Digital camera, Electric vehicles and many more electronic gadgets and also in non-Rechargeable batteries for many things like Heart Pacemaker, Toys, Remotes. Clocks etc…
Lithium metal is made into alloys with aluminium, magnesium, cadmium, and copper to improving their strength and making them lighter.
A Magnesium-Lithium alloy is used for Armour Plating, and Aluminium-lithium alloys are used in bicycle frames, high-speed trains, and to make high performance Aircraft parts.
Lithium is sometimes used as Lithium oxide (Li2O) in special glasses and ceramics, like the glass used in the 200-inch telescope at Mt. Palomar contains lithium as a minor ingredient.
Lithium hydroxide (LiOH) is a white powder, which is employed to extract carbon dioxide from the air in spacecraft and submarines. It is commercially available in anhydrous form and as the monohydrate (LiOH.H2O).
Lithium deuteride (LiD) is used in Nuclear weapons to fusion explosion.
Lithium hydride (LiH) is used as a means of storing hydrogen for use as a fuel.
Lithium chloride (LiCl) and Lithium bromide (LiBr) are extremely hygroscopic (readily attracts water) materials known, and are used in Air conditioning and industrial drying systems.
Lithium stearate (LiO2C(CH2)16CH3 or C18H35LiO2) is commonly used as an all-purpose high-temperature lubricant.
Lithium salts such as Lithium carbonate (Li2CO3), Lithium citrate (Li3C6H5O7), and Lithium orotate (LiC5H3N2O4) are mood stabilizers, that are used in the treatment of Bipolar disorder (Manic depression) and other mental illness conditions.
The main industrial use of lithium is in lithium stratum form (igneous rock), as lubricant grease’s thickener.

Biological Role of Lithium 

Lithium is Toxic, except in very small doses.
The metal is also corrosive and it requires special handling to avoid skin contact.
Lithium is Flammable, and Many reactions may cause fire or explosion. It gives off irritating or toxic fumes in a fire. It has a risk of fire and explosion on contact with combustible substances (catch fire easily) and water.
Effects of Exposure to Lithium by
Inhalation: effect will occur as Sore throat, burning sensation, cough, Shortness of breath, Laboured breathing, Lung oedema, However Symptoms may be delayed.
Skin: effects are Redness, Blisters, Pain, Skin burns.
Eyes: Redness, Pain, Severe deep burns.
Ingestion: Abdominal pain, Abdominal cramps, Nausea, Burning sensation, Shock or collapse, Vomiting, Weakness.
Heating the substance may cause violent combustion or explosion, even may spontaneously ignite on contact with air when finely dispersed (spread over a wide area). Toxic fumes are formed while heating.

Lithium Sources

Because of its high reactivity, Lithium does not occur freely in Nature, it is found combined in small amount in almost all igneous rocks and in many mineral springs.
Lepidolite (K(Li,Al,Rb)2(Al,Si)4O10(F,OH)2), Petalite (LiAlSi4O10), Spodumene (Kunzite, LiAlSi2O6), and Amblygonite (Li,Na)Al(PO4)(F,OH) are the most important minerals containing lithium.
Lithium is recoverd from brine pools in Nevada (USA), and Most lithium is presently produced in chile, from brines that yield lithium carbonate when treated with sodium carbonate. Large deposits of quadramene are found in North Carolina.
The metal is produced by the electrolysis of molten lithium chloride (LiCl) and potassium chloride (KCl).
Lithium is present in The Earth’s crust in 65 ppm (parts per million).


Polished Lepidolite Stones

Petalite mineral

Petalite Mineral

Spodumene or Kunzite mineral

Spodumene or Kunzite Mineral Bulk Stone


Amblygonite Mineral Stones

Annual world wide production is around 50,000-80,000 tonnes, and World wide Reserve is around 16,000,000 tonnes.
6×10-7% (In Universe)
0.00017% (In Meteorites)
6×10-9% (In Sun)
0.0017% (In Earth’s Crust)
18×10-6% (In Oceans)
3×10-6% (In Humans)
World’s Top 3 producers of Lithium
1) Australia
2) Chile
3) China
World’s Top 3 Reserve holders of Lithium
1) Chile
2) China
3) Australia

Lithium Price  

Pure (99.995%) metal price is around  $270-$300 per KG (KiloGram)

You Can Buy Pure Lithium Metal and Lithium Alloy Product

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Lithium Element Database

Atomic Spectroscopic Data

ASD Line
ASD Levels
Ground States and Ionization Energies
Handbook of Basic ASD

Atomic and Molecular Data

Electron-Impact Cross Sections

Bibliographic Databases on Atomic Spectroscopy

Atomic Transition Probability Bibliographic Database
Atomic Spectral Line Broadening Bibliographic Database
Atomic Energy Levels and Spectra Bibliographic Database

X-Ray and Gamma Ray Data

X-ray Attenuation and Absorption for Materials of Dosimetric Interest
XCOM: Photon Cross Section Database
Form Factor, Attenuation, and Scattering Tabulation

Radiation Dosimetry Data

Electrons (ESTAR)
→ Helium Ions (ASTAR)
→ Protons (PSTAR)

Nuclear Physics Data

Isotopic Compositions

Condensed Matter Physics Data

Atomic Reference Data for Electronic Structure Calculations
Los Alamos National Laboratory
National Institute of Standards and Technology
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Royal Society of Chemistry
Periodic Table
Web Elements
Michael Pilgaard’s Elements

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