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Why do I never see anything made out of a lithium compound?

  1. Feb 13, 2004 #1
    I was in chemistry class today and I wasn't really paying much attention because its all quite simple stuff we're doing (systems in equilibrium) and my professor mentioned a Lithium compound that got me thinking.

    Why do I never see anything made out of a lithium compound?

    Its directly above sodium on the table and is atomic number 3 so arent its properties similar to that of sodium?

    Does it not occur in nature anywhere?

    Does it have any practical uses?

    To me lithium is the strangest element. Its #3 and we never deal with it.

    Its probably my favourite element followed by Tungsten, Uranium, Plutonium, Titanium, Chromium, Mercury
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 13, 2004 #2
    Both lithium metal and its compounds have many uses.

    lithium stearate is mixed with oils to make all-purpose and high-temperature lubricants
    lithium hydroxide is used to absorb carbon dioxide in space vehicles
    lithium is alloyed with aluminium, copper, manganese, and cadmium to make high perfomance alloys for aircraft
    Bahnmetall consists of lead containing 0.04% lithium, 0.7% calcium and 0.6% sodium is harder than pure lead and was used for railroad car bearings in Germany.
    compounds such as LiAlH4 and organolithium reagents (LiMe, LiPh, etc.) are very important as reagents in organic chemistry
    lithium metal has the highest specific heat of any solid element and so heat transfer applications
    various nuclear applications
    lithium is sometimes used as battery anode material (high electrochemical potential) and lithium compounds are used in dry cells and storage batteries
    lithium is used in the manufacture of special high strength glasses and ceramics
    sometimes, lithium-based compounds such as lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) are used as drugs to treat manic-depressive disorders

    Taken from Web Elements
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2004
  4. Feb 14, 2004 #3
    Hey used in batteries of mobile/cellular phones
  5. Feb 17, 2004 #4

    and of course dilithuim does not exist - crystals

    however if i remmber in theory dlithuim either exists in theory or we have found it or at last in theory there is not reason why it should not exist in the gas phase... i think to do with molecular obital theory?

    o been so long
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