What is lithium?

  • (noun): A soft silver-white univalent element of the alkali metal group; the lightest metal known; occurs in several minerals.
    Synonyms: Li, atomic number 3


Lithium (from Greek lithos 'stone') is a soft, silver-white metal with symbol Li and atomic number 3. It belongs to the alkali metal group of chemical elements. Under standard conditions it is the lightest metal and the least dense solid element. Like all alkali metals, lithium is highly reactive and flammable. For this reason, it is typically stored in mineral oil. When cut open, lithium exhibits a metallic luster, but contact with moist air corrodes the surface quickly to a dull silvery gray, then black tarnish. Because of its high reactivity, lithium never occurs freely in nature, and instead, only appears in compounds, which are usually ionic. Lithium occurs in a number of pegmatitic minerals, but due to its solubility as an ion is present in ocean water and is commonly obtained from brines and clays. On a commercial scale, lithium is isolated electrolytically from a mixture of lithium chloride and potassium chloride.

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Some articles on lithium:

Lithium Titanate
... Lithium titanate (full name lithium metatitanate) is a compound containing lithium and titanium ... It is the anode component of the fast recharging Lithium-titanate battery ...
Lithium, Missouri - Demographics - 2010 Census
... There were 28 households out of which 50.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.3% were married couples living together, 7.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 7.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 21.4% were non-families. 7.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older ...
Lithium Tetrachloroaluminate
... Lithium tetrachloroaluminate (LAC, lithium aluminium chloride) is an inorganic compound, a tetrachloroaluminate of lithium, with the formula LiAlCl4 ... Solution of lithium tetrachloroaluminate in thionyl chloride is the liquid cathode and electrolyte of some lithium batteries, e.g ... the lithium-thionyl chloride cell ...
Lithium Titanate - Lithium-titanate Battery
... The lithium-titanate battery is a rechargeable battery that is much faster to charge than other lithium-ion batteries ... It differs from other lithium-ion batteries because it uses lithium-titanate nanocrystals on the anode surface rather than carbon ... This increase in surface area is what allows the lithium-titanate batteries to be recharged quickly and provide high currents when necessary ...
Lithium–sulfur Battery - Chemistry
... Chemical processes in the Li–S cell include lithium dissolution from the anode surface (and incorporation into alkali metal polysulfide salts) during discharge, and reverse lithium ... This contrasts with conventional lithium-ion cells, where the lithium ions are intercalated in the anode and cathodes ... Consequently Li-S allows for a much higher lithium storage density ...