Hungry for interesting facts about lithium?
Scroll down to learn about:
1. Lithium on the Periodic Table.
2. Lithium as an Element.
3. Uses of Lithium.
4. History of Lithium.
5. Lithium Statistics.
(And make sure you watch the Lithium 101 video half-way down)
Lithium on the periodic table is a chemical element among the alkali metals, and is the least dense solid element.
The periodic table of the chemical elements is a tabular method of displaying the chemical elements.
The most interesting facts about lithium in this context are:
What do these interesting facts about lithium on the periodic table actually mean?
So interesting facts about lithium are not limited to lithium's many uses, but also the element lithium itself.
Lithium is a chemical element among the alkali metals, and is the least dense solid element.
Lithium has the symbol Li and the atomic number 3.
The name lithium comes from the Greek word lithos for stone.
Lithium was first used in 2nd century AD by the ancient physician Soranus of Ephesus. Soranus discovered the alkaline waters of his town could be used as a treatment for both mania and depression. It turns out these waters have very high levels of lithium.
However, Soranus was not aware of lithium specifically and did not isolate the element. Johan August Arfvedson, a Swedish chemist, discovered lithium in ore from a Swedish iron mine in 1817. William Thomas Brande and Sir Humphry Davy used electrolysis on lithium oxide to isolate the element in 1818.
However, it was the Australian doctor, John Cade, who first discovered the role of lithium in controlling bipolar symptoms. Click here for a detailed review of everyone involved in discovering lithium.
Lithium has the highest specific heat of any solid element and is used in heat transfer applications. It is also very light and very strong. It therefore has an astounding number and variety of uses. Just a sample of these are:
Lithium proved that drugs could successfully treat psychiatric disorders.
1. As a medicine to treat bipolar symptoms
2. Makes concrete harden faster
3. Added to molten glass, it makes the glass lighter and stronger
4. Is an effective power source for small, long-life batteries
5. Kills algae
6. Can be mixed with oils to make all-purpose and high-temperature lubricants
7. Is used to absorb carbon dioxide in space vehicles
8. Lithium hydride is used to inflate life boats
9. Lithium deuteride is used as the explosive agent in H-bombs.
In 2006, lithium consumption in the United States was
estimated to be 2,500 metric tons of contained lithium, the
same as the estimate for 2005 and nearly 32% more than in
The main markets for lithium as follows:
1. Ceramics and glass 21%
2. Batteries 20%
3. Lubricating greases 17%
4. Pharmaceuticals and polymers 9%
5. Air conditioning 7%
6. Primary aluminum production 5%
7. Other uses 20%.
In 2006, total exports of lithium compounds from the United
States decreased 11.6% compared with those of 2005. About
61% of all U.S. exports of lithium compounds went to Germany
The global market for lithium batteries has been increasing by more than 20% per year in the past few years.
Lithium-ion and lithium-polymer batteries appear to have the greatest potential for growth. The world market for these rechargeable batteries was estimated to be $4 billion in 2005.
See the sources for the above, and other intriguing lithium statistics in the US Geological Survey 2006 Minerals Yearbook: Lithium.
This is an excellent site with lithium facts from About.com with a lot of scientific information.
And, of course, the Bipolar Lives Lithium page is loaded with interesting facts about lithium, links and a useful overview.