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lithium carbonate

Product name lithium carbonate
GOST no data
CAS 554-13-2

Lithium carbonate Li2CO3 is a colorless, odorless crystalline solid. It is almost insoluble in organic solvents. It also has a poor solubility in water which slightly decreases at high temperatures: 1.5 g in 100 ml of water at 0°C; 1.26 g at 25°C; 0.99 g at 50°C; 0.83 g at 75°C. Solubility increases in the presence of other alkali metal or ammonium salts, excluding carbonates.

Lithium carbonate has a monoclinic crystalline lattice: a=0.839 nm, b=0.500 nm, c=0.621 nm, β=114.5, z=4, spatial group C2/c.

Being suspended in water Li2CO3 can absorb carbon dioxide converting into hydrocarbonate LiHCO3. The evaporation of lithium hydrocarbonate solution results in Li2CO3 precipitation accompanied with elimination of CO2. Solid lithium hydrocarbonate was not obtained yet.

Like other carbonates Li2CO3 reacts with almost mineral and carboxylic acids releasing carbon dioxide and to give corresponding lithium salts:

Li2CO3 + 2HCl → 2LiCl + H2O + CO2

Heating of the mixture of lithium carbonate with powder magnesium, aluminum, iron or silicon cause reduction of Li+ up to metal lithium which immediately oxidizes by carbon dioxide to form lithium oxide:

Li2CO3 + Mg → Li2O + MgO + CO↑

Similar reaction with powder carbon as a reducing agent leads to lithium carbide Li2C2 formation.

Lithium carbonate has a pharmacological activity, it affects on central nervous system.


Lithium carbonate is manufactured by the interaction of sodium or potassium carbonates with soluble lithium salts LiCl, LiNO3 or Li2SO4 at 90°C.

Li2SO4 + Na2CO3 → Li2CO3↓ + Na2SO4


  • as a source reagent for other lithium compounds syntheses;
  • for the production of ceramics, sitall, electric insulating porcelain;
  • in manufacturing of heat-resistant ceramics coatings used in combustion chamber and nozzle of jet engines;
  • as a component of glazes, enamels, acid-resistant coatings for aluminum, cast iron, sheet steel;
  • as a glass additive. Glasses doped with lithium carbonate possess increased strength, atmospheric resistance and enlarged optical transmission in UV-band;
  • as a flux in aluminum manufacturing industry (used to enhance productivity of electrolytic cell);
  • as a flux for soldering of aluminum and magnesium;
  • as a component of pyrotechnic mixtures;
  • in fuel cells;
  • as an additive in cement industry to improve acceleration and fast setting process;
  • in psychiatry as a mood stabilizer and for the primary treatment of depression and bipolar disorder;

Manufacturer(s) JSC Krasnoyarsk Chemical-Metallurgical Plant
OJSC Navoiyazot
OJSC Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant
Chemical structure of lithium carbonate

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