# Lithium

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you can get elemental Lithium from Lithium batteries, store it under mineral oil as it will react with the air.

YT2095, you said a few years ago in the thread "where can i buy chemicals?" that you can get lithium from lithium batteries. However, ive heard that it's Lithium perchlorate instead. Is this correct, and if so how can i extract the lithium?

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nope its lithium sheets the use in lithium batteries. YT is perfectly correct. the sheets are pretty thin though. and you'll want to get it under oil ASAP.

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Ive never heard of the PerChlorate used in batts?

but yes, if you get a new CR2032 or 2016 batt and open it (idealy where theres a good airflow as Ether is used in the batts and its flamable) youll find a nice slice of it under the cap covered with a thin white membrane.

the recovery of Lithium metal from any salt will take some doing!, its the most reactive of the electro-chemical series and so even simple Thermit type displacements cant be done

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Thanks for your help But isnt there any risk of electricution from cutting into batteries?

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Oh, and does it matter what kind of oil you store it in? I cant easily get hold of kerosene or mineral oil.

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a typical CR20xx cell is only 3volts, no risk

just be Very carefull Not to short it out when opening it, at least no more than half a second at anytime.

practice on dead ones 1st, it also helps to have a Dremel cutting tool and Very sharp but small wire cutters.

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Ok, thanks. Btw how much lithium exactly can you get out of these things? I presume it'll take alot of batterys to get a sizeable amount

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10 batts will give you about 1 cm^3

Cool, thanks.

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oh yeah,

does it matter what kind of oil you store it in? I cant easily get hold of kerosene or mineral oil.

?

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it does matter yes, got any Xylene? or go to the Pharmacy and biy Liquid parafin, its Ph grade and very inexpensive.

you MUST make sure you coat this regularly though!

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Doobuzz, what do you want to do with the lithium. I have the feeling that if you are not yet capable of finding the right oil for storing it in, then time has not yet arrived that you play around with lithium.

Storing lithium is very difficult, because it floats on oil and in contact with air, it is very quickly oxidized. IIRC, its density only is 0.53 gram per cm³.

http://chem.homescience.net/compounds/lithium.html

Do you want to do chemical experiments? If so, then first try to perform other experiments with safer materials. Lithium is not something to start with.

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actualy, IF you can get air tight containers, you can use Helium gas and store it in that too!

you must rem that its only 1 element (helium) away from Hyrdogen, it is Very Light material

Woelen, would DiethlyEther work as a liquid for short term? expecting peroxides sure,

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I dont want to use it for anything destructive, i only want a small amount to demonstrate the reactivity of alkali metals. But thanks for the concern

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well if its for reactivity, then Lithiums not a best choice really, Sodium is much better, and Potassium better still (but in tiny amounts ONLY!).

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@Doobuzz: Lithium does not really demonstrate the reactivity of alkali metals. If you add it to water, then do not expect anything special. It does react, but only slowly. Adding baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) to vinegar is more spectacular to see than adding some lithium to water. Sodium, potassium and the higher alkali metals are MUCH more reactive than lithium.

@YT: I expect diethylether to be suitable for storage of lithium, but be sure that the ether is free of water. Most commercial ether contains a percent or so of water, and if you add a flimsy piece of lithium to this, then you loose most of it in a fairly short time (hours). Better is to use ligroin or petroleum ether with a 40 ... 60 C boiling range. This is a mix of alkanes and such a mix can only contain a very limited amount of water.

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Yeah, but extracting them's pretty damn dangerous, seeing as they're not especially easy to get hold of.

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go to a newagents/tobaconist and buy a can of Lighter petrol (not the Butane) the sort used in Zippo lighters, that will serve you well as an air blocking agent, I also neednt remind you that this stuff is Extremely Flammable!.

if you Only have Lithium metal at your disposale and wish to demonstrate its reactivity, then a Very strong jar of weak Chlorine gas with the Li metal lowered into it will demonstarte this quite nicely, you should get a lovely red/pink flame almost instantly, and then a white precipitate will form on the inside of the jar, this will be Lithium Chloride.

again, eye and hand protection and a Lexan sheet between you and it (and audience) will be needed.

it`s a fantastic reaction to watch though

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What can be done with a bunch of spent Lithium-ion cells I have ? They are half inch diameter, 3 inches long, out of laptops, should provide a decent amount of Li.

Miguel

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A spent lithium cell does not contain free lithium anymore. A fresh lithium cell contains lithium and some oxidizer. Each time, you take some current from the cell, some lithium and some of the oxidizer are spent. Finally, you just have some lithium salts, containing Li(+) ions in the cell.

The reactions are as follows:

Li ---> Li(+) + e

The electron flows through your circuit from - to + electrode.

The + electrode absorbs an electron at the same time:

Ox + e ---> Ox(-)

Here, Ox is some oxidizer at/near the positive electrode.

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What about rechargeable lithium cells such as laptop and camera batteries?

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Perhaps i'll give this one a miss seeing as lithium cells aren't the cheapest of things to buy (i'm working on a tight budget here! ). I'll try and get hold of some online, but thanks for the help.

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