Lithium nitrate

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Lithium nitrate
IUPAC name
Lithium nitrate
Preferred IUPAC name
Lithium nitrate
Systematic IUPAC name
Lithium nitrate
Other names
Nitric acid, lithium salt
Molar mass 68.946 g/mol
Appearance Colorless deliquescent solid
Odor Odorless
Density 2.38 g/cm3
Melting point 255 °C (491 °F; 528 K)
Boiling point 600 °C (1,112 °F; 873 K) (decomposition)
52.2 g/100 ml (20 °C)
90 g/100 ml (28 °C)
234 g/100 ml (100 °C)
Solubility Soluble in acetone, liq. ammonia, ethanol, methanol, pyridine
Vapor pressure ~0 mmHg
105 J·mol-1·K-1
-7.007 kJ/g or -482.3 kJ/mol
Safety data sheet Sigma-Aldrich
Flash point Non-flammable
Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):
1,426 mg/kg (oral, rat)
Related compounds
Related compounds
Sodium nitrate
Potassium nitrate
Rubidium nitrate
Caesium nitrate
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Infobox references

Lithium nitrate is an inorganic compound with the formula LiNO3. The compound is deliquescent, absorbing water to form the hydrated form, lithium nitrate trihydrate. Its eutectics are of interest for heat transfer fluids.



Lithium nitrate is a powerful oxidizer. When mixed with a combustible material and ignited, it burns with a red flame.


Lithium nitrate is a colorless solid, soluble in water.

The hydrated form, lithium nitrate trihydrate, has an extremely high specific heat of fusion, 287 (± 7) J/g, and hence can be used for thermal energy storage at its melt temperature of 303.3 K.


Lithium nitrate is sold by chemical suppliers.


Lithium nitrate can be easily and safely synthesized by reacting nitric acid and lithium carbonate.

Li2CO3 + 2 HNO3 → 2 LiNO3 + H2O + CO2

If available lithium hydroxide can also be used, although the neutralization reaction is very exothermic, so the solution needs to be cooled during the reaction.

LiOH + HNO3 → LiNO3 + H2O

Never use lithium metal as it will catch fire and may even explode!


  • Red-colored fireworks and flares
  • Heat storage



Lithium nitrate, like most lithium compounds can be toxic to the body when ingested by targeting the central nervous system, thyroids, kidneys, and cardio-vascular system.

It is a powerful oxidizer and must be kept away from combustible materials.


In closed glass or plastic bottles, away from acids and flammable materials.


Lithium nitrate can be converted to an insoluble lithium compound and recycled. While it may be used as fertilizer to a degree, lithium is expensive and it's best to recycle it.


Relevant Sciencemadness threads