Periodic Table of Elements

Element Lithium - Li

Comprehensive data on the chemical element Lithium is provided on this page; including scores of properties, element names in many languages, most known nuclides of Lithium. Common chemical compounds are also provided for many elements. In addition technical terms are linked to their definitions and the menu contains links to related articles that are a great aid in one's studies.

Lithium Menu

Overview of Lithium

Lithium's Name in Other Languages

  • Latin: Lithium
  • Czech: Lithium
  • Croatian: Litij
  • French: Lithium
  • German: Lithium - s
  • Italian: Litio
  • Norwegian: Litium
  • Portuguese: Litio
  • Russian: Литий
  • Spanish: Lítio
  • Swedish: Litium

Atomic Structure of Lithium

Chemical Properties of Lithium

Physical Properties of Lithium

Regulatory / Health

  • CAS Number
    • 7439-93-2
  • UN/NA ID and ERG Guide Number
    • UN1415  / 138 
  • RTECS: OJ5540000
  • OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL)
    • No limits set by OSHA
  • OSHA PEL Vacated 1989
    • No limits set by OSHA
  • NIOSH Recommended Exposure Limit (REL)
    • No limits set by NIOSH
  • Levels In Humans:
    Note: this data represents naturally occuring levels of elements in the typical human, it DOES NOT represent recommended daily allowances.
    • Blood/mg dm-3: 0.004
    • Bone/p.p.m: 1.3
    • Liver/p.p.m: 0.025
    • Muscle/p.p.m: 0.023
    • Daily Dietary Intake: 0.1-2 mg
    • Total Mass In Avg. 70kg human: 7 mg

Who / Where / When / How

  • Discoverer: Johann A. Arfvedson
  • Discovery Location: Stockholm Sweden
  • Discovery Year: 1817
  • Name Origin:
    Greek: lithos (stone)
  • Abundance of Lithium:
    • Earth's Crust/p.p.m.: 20
    • Seawater/p.p.m.: 0.17
    • Atmosphere/p.p.m.: N/A
    • Sun (Relative to H=1E12): 10
  • Sources of Lithium:
    Spodumene, ambylgonite, lepidolite and desert lake brines. Also obtained by passing electric charge through melted lithium chloride. Around 39,000 tons of lithium is produced each year. The primary source of lithium is the USA.
  • Uses of Lithium:
    Used in batteries, ceramics, glass, lubricants, alloy hardeners, pharmaceuticals, hydrogenating agents, heat transfer liquids, rocket propellants, vitamin A synthesis, nuclear reactor coolant, underwater buoyancy devices and the production of tritium. Deoxidizer in copper and copper alloys.
  • Additional Notes:
    Lithium was first isolated in 1821 by W.T Brande. Near its melting point, lithium ignites in air. Lithium posses a dangerous fire and explosion risk when exposed to water, acids or oxidizing agents. It reacts exothermally with nitrogen in moist air at high temperatures. In solution lithium is toxic and targets the central nervous system.

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