Lithium hydroxide can exist in hydrated or anhydrous forms. It is strongly alkaline with chemical properties that resemble those of the Group 2 hydroxides.
LiOH is highly soluble in water, creating a strongly alkaline solution. It’s also a highly reactive compound that can interact with various substances. Lithium hydroxide can form lithium carbonate when reacted with carbon dioxide.
This compound is produced by reacting lithium carbonate with lime and has several industrial applications, including the following:
Production of Grease And Lubricants
Lithium hydroxide is commonly used in the production of greases and lubricants. As a thickening agent, this compound is combined with synthetic or mineral oil to produce a lubricating grease. Adding lithium hydroxide gives the grease its desired consistency and ability to adhere to its surface.
Lithium hydroxide can also be used as an additive in lithium-based lubricating greases to improve performance. It boosts the grease’s ability to endure high temperatures and pressures, minimize friction and wear, and ensure long-lasting lubrication.
Production of Batteries
Lithium hydroxide is widely used in the production of batteries, particularly lithium-ion batteries. It is used as a key component of the electrolyte in these batteries to help facilitate the movement of lithium ions between the cathode and anode during charging and discharging.
Lithium-ion batteries are primarily used in electronic devices such as laptops, smartphones, and electric vehicles. Adding LiOH helps in the process of storage and transmission of electrical energy in the battery.
When LiOH is mixed with fatty acids such as 12-hydroxystearic acid, it forms lithium soap through a reaction called saponification. This soap is typically used as a thickening agent and emulsifier in a range of products, including lubricating greases. With a solid structure, lithium soap aids in holding the oil together, offering steady lubrication and stability.
Another common application of lithium hydroxide is air purification. It is used in air purification systems, typically in confined spaces to absorb carbon dioxide and maintain a breathable atmosphere. With a strong affinity for carbon dioxide, LiOH reacts with CO2 to form lithium carbonate and water.
Carbon dioxide is also used in canisters within air purification environments. When air moves through these canisters, LiOH absorbs carbon dioxide from the air by interacting with it.
Production Of Lithium Salts
Lithium hydroxide is used in the production of different types of lithium salts. This process involves reacting LiOH with an acid to make the desired lithium salt. These salts include lithium carbonate (Li2CO3), lithium chloride (LiCI), and lithium bicarbonate (LiHCO3).
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