Energy & Green Tech

Form Energy announces Iron-Air 100-hour storage battery

Officials with battery maker Form Energy have announced the development of the Iron-Air 100-hour storage battery—a battery meant to store electricity created from renewable sources such as solar and wind. As part of their ...

Energy & Green Tech

Global approach is needed on battery regulation

New European Union regulations on batteries could offer a huge boost to the global decarbonisation mission—but only if it leverages its political and economic weight to ensure a fairer global marketplace.

Energy & Green Tech

Electric car lithium demand powers mining revival in UK

As the global auto sector accelerates production of electric cars, one British company is hoping to cash in from mining lithium needed to make rechargeable batteries that power the vehicles.

Energy & Green Tech

What electric vehicle batteries will look like in the future

"Gigafactories" could one day be churning out millions of electric vehicle batteries in the UK. The government has already committed the country to a ban on selling new petrol- and diesel-engined cars by 2030, so it seems ...

Energy & Green Tech

The hidden culprit killing lithium-metal batteries from the inside

For decades, scientists have tried to make reliable lithium-metal batteries. These high-performance storage cells hold 50% more energy than their prolific, lithium-ion cousins, but higher failure rates and safety problems ...

Energy & Green Tech

Study puts charge into drive for sustainable lithium production

An important new study by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory has yielded critical fresh insights into the lithium production process and how it relates to long-term environmental ...

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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