Lithium chloride

From Sciencemadness Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Lithium chloride
Lithium chloride anhydrous.jpg
Anhydrous LiCl in a tube.
IUPAC name
Lithium chloride
Preferred IUPAC name
Lithium chloride
Other names
Lithium(1+) chloride
Lithium monochloride
Molar mass 42.39 g/mol
Appearance White solid
Odor Odorless
Density 2.068 g/cm3
Melting point 613 °C (1,135 °F; 886 K)
Boiling point 1,382 °C (2,520 °F; 1,655 K)
68.29 g/100 ml (0 °C)
74.48 g/100 ml (10 °C)
84.25 g/100 ml (25 °C)
88.7 g/100 ml (40 °C)
123.44 g/100 ml (100 °C)
Solubility Soluble in acetone, butanol, diethyl ether, ethanol, hydrazine, methanol, methylformamide, nitrobenzene, propanol, pyridine, selenium oxychloride
Solubility in acetone 1.2 g/100 g (20 °C)
0.83 g/100 g (25 °C)
0.61 g/100 g (50 °C)
Solubility in ammonia 0.54 g/100 g (-34 °C)
3.02 g/100 g (25 °C)
Solubility in ethanol 14.42 g/100 g (0 °C)
24.28 g/100 g (20 °C)
25.1 g/100 g (30 °C)
23.46 g/100 g (60 °C)
Solubility in formic acid 26.6 g/100 g (18 °C)
27.5 g/100 g (25 °C)
Solubility in methanol 45.2 g/100 g (0 °C)
43.8 g/100 g (20 °C)
42.36 g/100 g (25 °C)
44.6 g/100 g (60 °C)
Vapor pressure 1 torr (785 °C)
10 torr (934 °C)
100 torr (1130 °C)
59.31 J·mol-1·K-1
-408.27 kJ/mol
Safety data sheet Sigma-Aldrich
Flash point Non-flammable
Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):
526 mg/kg (rat, oral)
Related compounds
Related compounds
Sodium chloride
Potassium chloride
Rubidium chloride
Caesium chloride
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Infobox references

Lithium chloride is an ionic salt of lithium with the chemical formula LiCl.



LiCl will react with soluble salts of heavy metals, such as silver and lead(II) nitrate, to precipitate their insoluble chlorides.

LiCl + AgNO3 → LiNO3 + AgCl
2 LiCl + Pb(NO3)2 → 2 LiNO3 + PbCl2

Lithium chloride is also used as a flame colorant to produce dark red flames.


Lithium is a white hygroscopic solid compound, soluble in water and many other solvents, such as methanol, ethanol, isopropanol, butanol, formic acid, N-Methylformamide, hydrazine, THF, although it is poorly soluble in acetone and ammonia. LiCl is completely insoluble in dichloromethane. Lithium chloride has a melting point at around 614 °C.


Lithium chloride is sometimes sold as acaricid, for use against varroosis in honey bee colonies.

Lithium chloride can be purchased from chemical suppliers. ScienceCompany sells 100 g of LiCl at $18.95.

It can also be found on eBay and Amazon.


Although lithium chloride can be prepared by reacting lithium metal with hydrochloric acid or chlorine gas, this method is both uneconomical and extremely dangerous, as it consumes the expensive metal.

2 Li + 2 HCl → 2 LiCl + H2
2 Li + Cl2 → 2 LiCl

LiCl is much better prepared by reacting lithium carbonate with HCl.

Li2CO3 + 2 HCl → 2 LiCl + H2 + CO2

Completely dead lithium batteries are a good source of lithium carbonate. Lithium chloride can be dried to its anhydrous form by heating it in a stream of hydrogen chloride. Heating it without hydrogen chloride will cause it to partially hydrolyze.

Lithium oxide or hydroxide can also be used, but significant heat will be generated.


  • Make lithium metal
  • Make lithium compounds
  • Make lithium chlorate and perchlorate via electrolysis
  • Make red flame
  • Precipitate RNA from cellular extracts



Lithium chloride affects the nervous system, so it should not be used as a salt substitute.


Lithium chloride is hygroscopic and must be stored in an airtight container (if you don't want to use its hydrated form).


As lithium compounds can be hard to come by, they are best recycled.


Relevant Sciencemadness threads