Lithium was discovered in 1817 by Johann Arfvedson in Stockholm, Sweden. The name is derived from the Greek, λίθος (lithos), meaning stone.
Atomic Number: 3
Electron Configuration: [He]2s1
Classification: alkaline metal
CAS Number: 7439-93-2
Appearance: solid silver coloured metal
Discovery in: 1817
Key Isotopes: 7Li
Density: 0.533 g/L
Crystal Structure: cubic
Melting Point: 180.5 °C
Boiling Point: 1342 °C
Lithium has the highest specific heat capacity of any solid element, and is therefore used in many heat transfer applications. However, it is corrosive and requires special handling. It is used as an alloying agent in the synthesis of organic compounds, and has applications in the nuclear industry. It has a high electrochemical potential so is one of the most widely used battery anode materials. Lithium is also used in special glasses and ceramics. Lithium chloride is one of the most hygroscopic materials known, and is used in air conditioning and industrial drying systems (as is lithium bromide). Lithium stearate is used as an all-purpose and high-temperature lubricant.
Lithium has no known natural biological role. In very small doses it is toxic, but has found a use as lithium carbonate for the treatment for manic depression, although its action on the brain is not fully understood.
Lithium does not occur as the metal in nature, but is found combined in small amounts in nearly all igneous rocks and in the waters of many mineral springs.
Atomic radius: 1.820 Å
Covalent radius: 1.3 Å
Electron affinity: 59.612 kJ mol-1
First: 520.221 kJ mol-1
Second: 7298.145 kJ mol-1
Third: 11815.034 kJ mol-1
Scarcity factor: 5.5 (medium risk)
Crustal abundance: 16 ppm
Reserve base distribution: 49.1%
Production concentration: 58.6%
Top 3 countries for mining:
Top 3 countries for production:
Oxidation States and IsotopesEdit
Common oxidation states: 1
|Isotope||Atomic mass||Abundance (%)||Half life||Mode of decay|
Pressure and Temperature DataEdit
Molar heat capacity: 24.86 J mol-1 K-1
Vapor pressure: 109 Pa at 1000 K