Sciencemadness Discussion Board

making lithium from its hydroxide

symboom - 4-5-2011 at 14:01

does anyone know how or if lithium can be made from its hydroxide like sodium and potassium can. it seems like it decomposes to lithium oxide some sources say but its melting point is a little above sodium hydroxide now its done with lithium chloride in propylene carbonate

462 °C melting point
924 °C decomp.

[Edited on 5-5-2011 by symboom]

blogfast25 - 5-5-2011 at 05:14

The only way Li is produced industrially is by the electrolysis of LiCl in a eutectic mixture with other salts.

In the past some ‘chemical’ routes have been used by heating the hydroxide, carbonate or chloride with strong reducing agents (Na, K, Mg, Ca, Al) in forcing conditions (high temperature, vacuum etc). None of these methods are now realistic.

Lithium metal is harder to obtain generally speaking than Na or K. Or Mg and Ca. Small amounts can be prised out of Li batteries (fresh, unused) and there are numerous web pages and UToobs dedicated to that subject.
Avoid shorting! :o

Saerynide - 5-5-2011 at 06:00

Ha! That was a fun project in my youngin' days - did that when the batteries first hit the market before youtube and tutorials for that was out :D

Definately avoid shorting. Be prepared for some very red fingers if youre not careful. Even a short of a split second or two causes the battery to get hot enough to give a rather painful burn :(

Waffles SS - 5-5-2011 at 10:12

Melting point of Lithium Nitrate:255c
Seems it is better to make Lithium metal by electrolysis but i think Nitrogen Dioxide(mother fuc*er) will produce