The General Knowledge Show: Lithium Profile

Part of the General Knowledge Show.
A factfile on the element Lithium. Li.

Name of Element: Lithium

Atomic Number: 3

Relative Atomic Mass: 7

Electron Configuration: 2.1

Boiling Point: 1615K = 1342°C = 2448°F

Melting Point: 453.69K = 180.54°C = 356.97°F

Group: 1 = Alkali metals

Period: 2

State at Room Temperature: Solid

Properties: V.Reactive

Soft metal (Can be cut with a knife)

Silver-White in colour

Lightest Metal

Least Dense solid element at room temperature

Lowest melting point in the metals

Highly flammable (normally stored in mineral oil)

Corrodes quickly to become dull silver-grey in colour

Never occurs uncombined in nature due to high reactivity

Nuclei of Li is near to being unstable

Has a single valence electron

Reacts easily with water to form hydrogen and lithium hydroxide.

Lithium compounds burn with a crimson flame in a flame test

Lithium fires can only be put out with a Class D dry powder fire extinguisher.

Lithium is the only metal which reacts with nitrogen under normal conditions.


Used in Lithium batteries, which are disposable.

Lithium-ion batteries are rechargeable and are used in hybrid cars because lithium-ion has high electrochemical potential

Lithium niobate is used to make resonant crystals for the telecommunications industry, to be used in optical modulators and mobile phones.

Used in coolants in heat transfer applications

Used to treat gout (1800s)

Lithium carbonate, lithium citrate and lithium orotate are used as mood stabilisers

                Used to treat mania, depression and bipolar disorder

Used to treat SIADH (syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone hypersecretion)

Help to prevent cluster headaches and migraine

Used in the preparation of organotithium compounds

Lithium soap(lithium stearate) is used to thicken oils and to produce high-temperature lubricating greases.

Lithium compounds are also used in fireworks and flares as they burn red.

Lithium is used as a neutron absorber in nuclear fusion

Lithium-6 is used in nuclear weapons

Lithium-7 is used as a coolant during nuclear reactions.


Lithium is corrosive, and so skin contact should be avoided.

Inhaling lithium dust or lithium compounds can irritate the nose and throat, and continuous or   higher exposure can lead to pulmonary oedema or fluid in the lungs.

Caustic hydroxide is produced when lithium comes in contact with moisture, which makes handling dangerous.

When taken during the first trimester of pregnancy lithium can increase the chance of the baby developing Ebstein’s cardiac anomaly.


Liked it
2 Responses to “The General Knowledge Show: Lithium Profile”
  1. eylulhira Says...

    On February 12, 2011 at 8:40 am

    hımm bad knowledge

  2. hollysoholly Says...

    On February 14, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    very useful for science revision! thanks for the share! x

Post Comment
comments powered by Disqus