Lithium general description
Lithium is a soft, silver-white metal with a low density, making it highly reactive and flammable when exposed to air or water. It has a wide range of applications, including in rechargeable batteries for electronic devices and electric vehicles due to its high energy density, as well as in ceramics, glass, lubricants, and psychiatric medication to treat bipolar disorder and other mental health conditions. Lithium also has some industrial applications, such as in the production of aluminum, magnesium, and nuclear reactors.
Uses of lithium
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.
Data from Delta Analysis and U.S. Geological Survey.
To download the data, click the cloud in the right corner at the bottom of the figure.