Uses of Lithium

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Uses of Lithium
Ceramics and glass
Lithium oxide is a widely used flux for processing silica, reducing the melting point and viscosity of the material and leading to glazes of improved physical properties including low coefficients for thermal expansion.[83] Lithium oxides are a component of ovenware. Worldwide, this is the single largest use for lithium compounds.[82] Lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) is generally used in this application: upon heating it converts to the oxide.[84]
Electrical and electronics
In the later years of the 20th century, owing to its high electrochemical potential, lithium became an important component of the electrolyte and of one of the electrodes in batteries. Because of its low atomic mass, it has a high charge- and power-to-weight ratio. A typical lithium-ion battery can generate approximately 3 volts per cell, compared with 2.1 volts for lead-acid or 1.5 volts for zinc-carbon cells. Lithium-ion batteries, which are rechargeable and have a high energy density, should not be confused with lithium batteries, which aredisposable (primary) batteries with lithium or its compounds as the anode.[85][86] Other rechargeable batteries that use lithium include the lithium-ion polymer battery, lithium iron phosphate battery, and thenanowire battery.
Lubricating greases
The third most common use of lithium is in greases. Lithium hydroxide is a strong base and, when heated with a fat, produces a soap made of lithium stearate. Lithium soap has the ability to thicken oils, and it is used to manufacture all-purpose, high-temperature lubricating greases.[11][87][88]
Metallurgy
When used as a flux for welding or soldering, metallic lithium promotes the fusing of metals during the process and eliminates the forming of oxides by absorbing impurities. Its fusing quality is also important as a flux for producing ceramics, enamels and glass. Alloys of the…...

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