About Lithium

About Lithium Image and explanation

Lithium was discovered from a mineral, while other common alkali metals were discovered from plant material. This is thought to explain the origin of the element’s name; from ‘lithos’ (Greek for ‘stone’). The image is based on an alchemical symbol for stone.

Appearance

A soft, silvery metal. It has the lowest density of all metals. It reacts vigorously with water.

Uses

The most important use of lithium is in rechargeable batteries for mobile phones, laptops, digital cameras and electric vehicles. Lithium is also used in some non-rechargeable batteries for things like heart pacemakers, toys and clocks.

Lithium metal is made into alloys with Aluminium and magnesium, improving their strength and making them lighter. A magnesium-lithium alloy is used for armour plating. Aluminium-lithium alloys are used in aircraft, bicycle frames and high-speed trains.

Lithium oxide is used in special glasses and glass 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 carbonate is used in drugs to treat manic depression, although its action on the brain is still not fully understood. Lithium hydride is used as a means of storing hydrogen for use as a fuel.

Biological role

About Lithium has no known biological role. It is toxic, except in very small doses.

What are lithium batteries used for?

As lithium batteries are the preferred power source for most consumer and portable electronic devices, lithium batteries are found everywhere. They are in items you may not have even considered. Lithium metal batteries are found in items such as watches, calculators, cameras, car key fobs, and defibrillators. Lithium-ion Batteries are generally found in products such as mobile telephones, laptop computers, tablets, power tools, and e-bikes. They are in everyday items carried by airline passengers and are transported as cargo every day. 

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