Background Information

Lithium was discovered by Johan Arfwedson in 1817 and first isolated by William Brande in 1821. It is a soft, silver-white metal with a solid physical state. In standard conditions it is the lightest metal and the least dense solid element. Lithium is highly reactive and flammable so is mostly stored in a mineral oil.

How is it used in everyday life?

Lithium is most commonly used in ceramics and glass – lithium oxide is a widely used flux to make silica which glass is made from. This is ideal as it reduces its melting point and viscosity leading to better glazes. Lithium is also important in the manufacturing of batteries. Due to its low mass, it has a high charge and high power-weight ratio so the batteries are nto too big and heavy. Finally, lithium can also be used to make lubricating greases and has the ability to thicken oils.

Lithium batterys