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oil for lithium


akcapr
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I'll warn you, however, that the lithium will still float on the oil and a par tof it will be above the surface of the oil and still oxidize. It floats kind of like an iceberg floats in water. Most of it is under the surface, but enough stays above the surface to corrode and oxidize.

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yah mineral spirits are your best bet. if you cant find it in the drug store try a hardware store in the paint section. also as an addeed note a desicant and an oxygen remover ( i found it ina bag of beef jerky...i almost ate it... but it says "oxygen remover-DO NOT EAT" on it) in the lid of the container it helps cut down on the oxididization of the floating lithium... by the way where do your get your lithium?

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you can use other oils like gasoline or desil fuel (however you spell it) they work quite well a bit better than mineral spirits if you can safely store it..a caution, store only lithium like this sodium or any other metal can be an extreme fire hazard

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lithium is just as big a fire hazard as sodium and potassium metal are. What happens if moisture or oxygen gets into the container and the lithium begins to react? Is it really such a good idea to keep a sealed container of a highly volatile, flammable organic liquid with a highly reactive, caustic alkali metal in there?

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I am using pure paraffinum oil (thick viscous oil) for alkali metals. This oil is the purest, and with much better preserving properties than ligroin, kerosene etc. For lithium a small polyethylene mesh just above the metal pieces is added. This is to submerge the metal pieces in the oil, well below the surface. Stored in a small thickwalled glas bottle. And this bottle in a metal can, filled with vermiculite. Finally, all alkali metal storage bottles locked in a fire proof safe.

 

By experience I have found that even sodium is preserved unattacked by moisture and oxygen for years under this oil. Potassium is more sensitive, will slowly corrode surfacially.

 

But the real problems are with the 5 reactive lanthanides (La,Ce,Pr,Nd,Eu)! I have found that neodymium is just totally hopeless under paraffinum oil, corrodes heavily. The only method for these metals in the long run is packing under dry argon in sealed glass ampoules.

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I know what you mean about the lanthanides. It's kind of frustrating, but it's also neat seeing the colors. My La is a nice deep blue, while the Ce and Pr are nice and green. The neodymium looks kind of icky, but if I ever want to see the metal, I just need to scratch the surface a bit.

 

Sodium does remain fairly nice under standard oils. It gets a gray oxidation coating on it, but nothing too severe. Potassium is a pain in the arse, however. My K is heavily oxidize with lots of white globs and the pure metal barely showing through. There is no discoloration to the K, so if I wanted to I could probably remove the rind and expose the fresh metal as the superoxides and peroxides aren't present, but I'm just going to play it safe and let it sit there. If I get really concerned, I could remove the rind then use an air-tight sealent to seal the jar shut.

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I know what you mean about the lanthanides. It's kind of frustrating' date=' but it's also neat seeing the colors. My La is a nice deep blue, while the Ce and Pr are nice and green. The neodymium looks kind of icky, but if I ever want to see the metal, I just need to scratch the surface a bit.

 

Sodium does remain fairly nice under standard oils. It gets a gray oxidation coating on it, but nothing too severe. Potassium is a pain in the arse, however. My K is heavily oxidize with lots of white globs and the pure metal barely showing through. There is no discoloration to the K, so if I wanted to I could probably remove the rind and expose the fresh metal as the superoxides and peroxides aren't present, but I'm just going to play it safe and let it sit there. If I get really concerned, I could remove the rind then use an air-tight sealent to seal the jar shut.[/quote']

 

I have the same experience with potassium. In my wild youth, I melted some smaller pieces of K under paraffinum oil. And I don´t really know why, but the molten metal was so shiny silvery white and totally oxide free in molten state! Very beatiful. But when cooling and solidifying, the metal spheres immediately showed the typical bluish-violet surface coating, and started to oxidize heavliy.

 

And there must be some difference with the oil qualities. I have an original bottle potassium, almost filled (one or two ingots missing). This bottle is filled with oil, but some pieces are not totally immersed in oil, some small pieces actually above the oil surface. But still they do not seem to corrode. And the metal pieces at the bottom still have shiny unoxidized spots, after more than 25 years in that oil! Last time I opened the bottle (10 years ago) some air was sucked in when unscrewing the cap. So, I wont open it again (for a quarter of a century or so).

 

 

David Hamric, eBay, offers the lanthanide metals (and several others) in sealed glass ampoules under Ar, for reasonable price. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=6192355829&category=413&ssPageName=WD1V&rd=1

 

It is worth noting that La,Ce,Pr,Nd are shiny metal pieces, but the Eu is somewhat corroded with a yellowish tint, even in this Ar atmosphere. Probably from exposure to some small rest of oxygen somewhere in the process.

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lithium is the least reactive of all the alkaline metals it has to be either very very thin sheets witha huge surface area or very impure, with contaminates like rubidium that cause it to explode... lithium 99.997% pure will not explode or catch fire spontainiously, and anyway my chunk sinks in the gasoline

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