Robot circulatory system powers possibilities

Untethered robots suffer from a stamina problem. A possible solution: a circulating liquid—"robot blood"—to store energy and power its applications for sophisticated, long-duration tasks.

Energy & Green Tech

New 'blue-green' solution for recycling world's batteries

Rice University researchers literally have a solution to deal with the glut of used lithium-ion batteries left behind by the ever-increasing demand for electric vehicles, cellphones and other electronic devices.

Energy & Green Tech

New approach could boost energy capacity of lithium batteries

Researchers around the globe have been on a quest for batteries that pack a punch but are smaller and lighter than today's versions, potentially enabling electric cars to travel further or portable electronics to run for ...

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

New technology could wean the battery world off cobalt

Lithium-based batteries use more than 50 percent of all cobalt produced in the world. These batteries are in your cell phone, laptop and maybe even your car. About 50 percent of the world's cobalt comes from the Congo, where ...

Energy & Green Tech

Temperature heals lithium dendrites

Rechargeable lithium-ion, the dominant battery technology for portable electronics, is increasingly becoming the battery of choice for electric-vehicle and electric-grid energy-storage applications.

Energy & Green Tech

New design produces true lithium-air battery

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and at Argonne National Laboratory have designed a new lithium-air battery that works in a natural-air environment and still functioned after a record-breaking 750 charge/discharge ...

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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