Automotive

Ground-breaking electric Chevrolet Volt runs out of juice

As their company was swirling around the financial drain in the early 2000s, General Motors executives came up with an idea to counter its gas-guzzling image and point the way to transportation of the future: an electric ...

US seeks ways to recycle lithium batteries in cars, phones

The U.S. government will lead an ambitious effort to develop technologies to recycle lithium-ion batteries from electric vehicles, cellphones and other sources to ensure a reliable and affordable supply of metals crucial ...

Energy & Green Tech

What does it take to make a better battery?

Cambridge researchers are working to solve one of technology's biggest puzzles: how to build next-generation batteries that could power a green revolution.

Energy & Green Tech

When lithium-ion batteries are placed on best behavior

Amionx, the California company has won headlines for its explosion-free battery technology; the company expects to license its advance for use in commercial products by the end of 2019.

Energy & Green Tech

Best hope yet for aluminium-ion batteries

UNSW Sydney's Dr. Dong Jun Kim has led a team of researchers to show rechargeable aluminium-ion batteries are a possibility with a future in renewable energy storage.

Energy & Green Tech

Extending the life of low-cost, compact, lightweight batteries

Metal-air batteries are one of the lightest and most compact types of batteries available, but they can have a major limitation: When not in use, they degrade quickly, as corrosion eats away at their metal electrodes. Now, ...

Energy & Green Tech

3D-printed lithium-ion batteries

Electric vehicles and most electronic devices, such as cell phones and laptop computers, are powered by lithium-ion batteries. Until now, manufacturers have had to design their devices around the size and shape of commercially ...

Energy & Green Tech

New materials are powering the battery revolution

There are more mobile phones in the world than there are people. Nearly all of them are powered by rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, which are the single most important component enabling the portable electronics revolution ...

Energy & Green Tech

First-ever 3-D-printed electrolyte for lithium-ion batteries

For the first time, researchers have successfully printed a complete, albeit experimental, lithium-ion battery including a solid-state electrolyte. While electrodes have been produced using 3-D-printing technology before, ...

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Lithium

Lithium (pronounced /ˈlɪθiəm/) is the chemical element with atomic number 3, and is represented by the symbol Li. It is a soft alkali metal with a silver-white color. Under standard conditions it is the lightest metal and the least dense solid element. Like all alkali metals lithium is highly reactive, corroding quickly in moist air to form a black tarnish. For this reason lithium metal is typically stored under the cover of oil. When cut open lithium exhibits a metallic luster, but contact with oxygen quickly turns it back to a dull silvery gray color. Lithium in its elemental state is highly flammable.

According to theory, lithium was one of the few elements synthesized in the Big Bang. Since its current estimated abundance in the universe is vastly less than that predicted by theory; the processes by which new lithium is created and destroyed, and the true value of its abundance, continue to be active matters of study in astronomy. The nuclei of lithium are relatively fragile: the two stable lithium isotopes found in nature have lower binding energies per nucleon than any other stable compound nuclides, save for the exotic and rare deuterium, and 3He. Though very light in atomic weight, lithium is less common in the solar system than 25 of the first 32 chemical elements.

Due to its high reactivity it only appears naturally in the form of compounds. Lithium occurs in a number of pegmatitic minerals, but is also commonly obtained from brines and clays. On a commercial scale, lithium metal is isolated electrolytically from a mixture of lithium chloride and potassium chloride.

Trace amounts of lithium are present in the oceans and in some organisms, though the element serves no apparent vital biological function in humans. However, the lithium ion Li+ administered as any of several lithium salts has proved to be useful as a mood stabilizing drug due to neurological effects of the ion in the human body. Lithium and its compounds have several industrial applications, including heat-resistant glass and ceramics, high strength-to-weight alloys used in aircraft, and lithium batteries. Lithium also has important links to nuclear physics. The transmutation of lithium atoms to tritium was the first man-made form of a nuclear fusion reaction, and lithium deuteride serves as a fusion fuel in staged thermonuclear weapons.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA