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Author: Subject: Any uses for lithium metal
Darien
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[*] posted on 5-8-2021 at 13:34
Any uses for lithium metal


I know about the Birch reduction and the distillation of cesium and rubidium. Are there any other cool uses for lithium metal for home chemistry?
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WGTR
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[*] posted on 5-8-2021 at 14:40


Lithium easily reacts with nitrogen to form lithium nitride. Reacting this product with water forms ammonia. The ammonia can then be oxidized catalytically to nitric oxide and then nitric acid.

I'm not saying this pathway is economically practical, but I think it's interesting and kind of cool.




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Bedlasky
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[*] posted on 5-8-2021 at 16:28


Lithium carbide from acetylene and lithium in liquid ammonia.

You can also try to make solution of lithium electride in certain amines:

https://woelen.homescience.net/science/chem/exps/electride/




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zed
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[*] posted on 6-8-2021 at 00:53


Yah! You can use your Lithium Deutride and Tritride, in your thermonuclear fusion devices.

You can ingest your Lithium as Carbonate, and thereby stabilize your Manic Depression, but your friends might think you less fun, and you will surely be less likely to entertain yourself by detonating those aforementioned Thermonuclear fusion devices.
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karlos³
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[*] posted on 6-8-2021 at 06:01


Lithium acetylide can be made, ideally without high pressure and such, when prepared as the ethylenediamine complex.

And other lithiumorganic stuff, phenyllithium is not so bad too for example.
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clearly_not_atara
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[*] posted on 7-8-2021 at 11:10


Lithium can form radical anions with some polyaromatic compounds, such as naphthalene, biphenyl, etc. These can have interesting colors and are useful in the preparation of finely divided metals (Rieke metal), such as manganese or zinc, from nonaqueous solutions of their halides.
[img]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_naphthalene#/media/File:Lithium_Naphthalenide.jpg[/img]




[Edited on 04-20-1969 by clearly_not_atara]
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metalresearcher
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[*] posted on 7-8-2021 at 11:20


You can make potassium metal by heating KCl and Li metal in a stainless steel retort heated to 800 C.
I have done that successfully using a copper tube attached to the retort which ends in the condensor under mineral oil. It just distills off as K metal boils at 768 C so the equilibrium of

Li + KCl <=> K + LiCl

(liquids) (vapor + liquid)
shifts to the right.

The same applies to Na but requires a slightly higher temperature (900 C) as the b.p. of Na is 883 C.

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Triflic Acid
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[*] posted on 7-8-2021 at 13:14


Take a large chunk, and cast it down into the shape of L and i. Then encase your new element sample in resin for display on the shelf.



There wasn't a fire, we just had an uncontrolled rapid oxidation event at the power plant.
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Schleimsäure
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[*] posted on 7-8-2021 at 15:41


With 1-Chlorobutane it will form the very versatile n-Butyllithium.
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Darien
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[*] posted on 14-8-2021 at 23:15


The polyaromatic anions and the making of potassium metal sound like tempting projects. If I had chlorobutane that would also be an interesting project.
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[*] posted on 15-8-2021 at 00:49


Quote: Originally posted by Darien  
The polyaromatic anions and the making of potassium metal sound like tempting projects. If I had chlorobutane that would also be an interesting project.


You can use 1-bromobutane instead. It is really easy to prepare, once you have HBr, which is another interesting preparation on its own (from, say, sulphuric acid and NaBr — or I was told that phosphoric acid could work, too).
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MidLifeChemist
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[*] posted on 15-8-2021 at 16:48


If you heat lithium in a propane furnace at high temperatures for several minutes at 500C, let it cool, and then place it in water, it will react vigorously, giving off not only hydrogen, but some of the foulest smallest gas you have ever experienced. It's something everyone should see at least once!
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Triflic Acid
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[*] posted on 23-8-2021 at 16:22


What happens that gives it a smell?



There wasn't a fire, we just had an uncontrolled rapid oxidation event at the power plant.
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MrHomeScientist
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[*] posted on 25-8-2021 at 14:01


Quote: Originally posted by Triflic Acid  
Take a large chunk, and cast it down into the shape of L and i. Then encase your new element sample in resin for display on the shelf.

Molten lithium is incredibly reactive. I wouldn't recommend melting it without extensive research on what can handle it. Plus you'd have to do the whole operation in an inert atmosphere.
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Metallophile
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[*] posted on 25-8-2021 at 15:17


Quote: Originally posted by metalresearcher  
You can make potassium metal by heating KCl and Li metal in a stainless steel retort heated to 800 C.
I have done that successfully using a copper tube attached to the retort which ends in the condensor under mineral oil. It just distills off as K metal boils at 768 C so the equilibrium of

Li + KCl <=> K + LiCl

(liquids) (vapor + liquid)
shifts to the right.


I've seen this also works for Cs, on a video by Cody'sLab. I have a small jar of cesium hydroxide, and would like to try this. Would the reaction work with CsOH? Or should I turn it into chloride first? It melts much lower, but I guess I'd still need the higher temp to vaporize the Cs.
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Triflic Acid
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[*] posted on 25-8-2021 at 19:30


Use the chloride. The hydroxide must have some water, plus it might decompose to form water 2CsOH --> Cs2O + H2O. That will destroy your cesium as well as start a nasty fire. Use the scrupulously dried chloride.



There wasn't a fire, we just had an uncontrolled rapid oxidation event at the power plant.
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[*] posted on 11-10-2021 at 10:08


I successfully made some potassium metal this weekend with this method! While I am happy that it worked, I am disappointed with the efficiency. Starting with 7.78g of KCl and 1.22g of Li (a 68% excess), I produced 0.76g of K metal. I calculate that to be about 19% yield from KCl. Any ideas what could make this so bad? I used carbon fiber fabric to seal the threads, and that seemed to work pretty well. When everything cooled off, I took it apart and saw mostly white salt at the bottom of the retort. There was a little bit of black crud on the sides higher up, but it seemed far too hard and crunchy to be Li or K. Any remaining metal would have floated on the salt, right? I used an excess of Li, so there should have been something left in there. Where could it have gone?


20211009_215736.jpg - 73kB20211009_213418.jpg - 184kB
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Antiswat
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[*] posted on 22-10-2021 at 04:05


dunk it in MeOH, and put a bit of that into a gas cannon and shoot at night for great entertainment
lithium methoxide, can probably be used for some reductions or methylations - dont hang me up on this.

i believe you can also make calcium metal with lithium

@Metallophile
your retort seems quite tall- why is it so? threads may eventually fail you, consider looking into constructing a flange connection device instead




~25 drops = 1mL @dH2O viscocity - STP
Truth is ever growing - but without context theres barely any such.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solubility_table
http://www.trimen.pl/witek/calculators/stezenia.html
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[*] posted on 22-10-2021 at 06:45


Quote: Originally posted by Antiswat  

@Metallophile
your retort seems quite tall- why is it so? threads may eventually fail you, consider looking into constructing a flange connection device instead


A lot of it is insulation. The pipe itself is 21mm ID x 150mm long. The neck tube is 7mm x 460mm, and some of the height is due to the 135 degree bend I had to make, without kinking the tube. I am definitely up for design improvements though! I will say, the 316 stainless has held up very well, and it also has a surprisingly low thermal conductivity.

An interesting thing I noticed when cleaning up after that first attempt, was a strong whiff of ammonia when rinsing the retort with water. I'm guessing I made some Li3N? That wasn't really too surprising by itself. What I hadn't considered though, is that as the nitrogen reacts into a solid, more fresh air will be drawn in, and all of the lithium metal could eventually be consumed this way! I bought some "Bloxygen" canned argon, and I'm going to give it another try.
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