Lithium: uses

The following uses for lithium are gathered from a number of sources as well as from anecdotal comments. I'd be delighted to receive corrections as well as additional referenced uses (please use the feedback mechanism to add uses).

Both lithium metal and its compounds have many uses.

  • lithium stearate is mixed with oils to make all-purpose and high-temperature lubricants
  • lithium hydroxide is used to absorb carbon dioxide in space vehicles
  • lithium is alloyed with aluminium, copper, manganese, and cadmium to make high perfomance alloys for aircraft
  • Bahnmetall consists of lead containing 0.04% lithium, 0.7% calcium and 0.6% sodium is harder than pure lead and was used for railroad car bearings in Germany.
  • compounds such as LiAlH4 and organolithium reagents (LiMe, LiPh, etc.) are very important as reagents in organic chemistry
  • lithium metal has the highest specific heat of any solid element and so heat transfer applications
  • various nuclear applications
  • lithium is sometimes used as battery anode material (high electrochemical potential) and lithium compounds are used in dry cells and storage batteries
  • lithium is used in the manufacture of special high strength glasses and ceramics
  • sometimes, lithium-based compounds such as lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) are used as drugs to treat manic-depressive disorders.

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