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lithium hydroxide

Product name lithium hydroxide
Synonyms lithium hydroxide anhydrous
GOST no data
CAS 1310-65-2

Lithium hydroxide LiOH is a colorless, hygroscopic, crystalline solid. It is boundedly soluble in water (9.83% wt at 0°C; 11.10% wt at 25°C; 11,52% wt at 50°C and 14.96% wt at 100°C). It is only slightly soluble in methanol, ethanol and other alcohols.

In crystalline phase lithium hydroxide is packed into tetragonal lattice (spatial group P4/nmm; a=0.3459nm; c=6.4334nm, z=2). In gaseous phase LiOH partially decomposes to form Li2O and H2O. At 820-870°C lithium hydroxide consists of dimer (LiOH)2 by 90 percent.

LiOH forms stable monohydrate LiOH*H2O (CAS 1310-66-3). That is colorless crystalline compound with a monoclinic lattice. Monohydrate begins to lose crystallization water at 40°C and fully dehydrates at normal pressure at 108.9°C to give anhydrous LiOH.

Lithium hydroxide is a strong alkali. It is fully ionized in water solutions. Like other alkalis LiOH vigorously and exothermally reacts with mineral and carboxylic acids to from corresponding salts (neutralization reaction):

2LiOH + H2SO4 → Li2SO4 + 2H2O

LiOH readily absorbs "acidic" gases such as dihydrogen sulfide H2S, sulfur oxides, nitrogen dioxide NO2, carbon dioxide resulting in corresponding salts:

2LiOH + CO2 → Li2CO3 + H2O

Molten LiOH or its water solutions affect destructively on glassware or porcelain. It also corrode iron and platinum. Gold, silver and nickel are stable to action of LiOH.

Production.

There are several methods for LiOH manufacturing:

  • by electrolysis of lithium chloride water solutions:

    LiCl + H2O → LiOH + ½H2↑ + ½Cl2

    This process is similar to sodium hydroxide preparation by mercury cell route. Lithium cations reduce on liquid mercury cathode to form amalgam. Then lithium amalgam reacts with water releasing dihydrogen and to give LiOH. Gaseous chlorine is formed on anode which is made of titan or its alloys with ruthenium or other metals.
  • by caustification of lithium carbonate:

    Li2CO3 + Ca(OH)2 → 2LiOH + CaCO3

    Suspended in boiling water lithium carbonate Li2CO3 reacts with calcium hydroxide to give LiOH and calcium carbonate which is separated by filtration. The filtrate then is evaporated and dried.

Uses.

  • as an electrolyte in alkali cells (i.e. in lithium-ion accumulators);
  • as a heat transfer medium;
  • as a carbon dioxide absorbent in life support systems (spacecrafts, submarines, rebreather gas mask and so on);
  • as a raw material for syntheses of lithium derivatives;
  • To produce lithium stearate and lithium palmitate which are used as general purpose lubricating water stable greases both at high and low temperatures.

Manufacturer(s) no data
Chemical structure of lithium hydroxide

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