Where Does Lithium Come From?


Quick Answer

Lithium is obtained in large amounts through the electrolysis of lithium chloride. The element lithium was originally discovered within the mineral petalite (LiAl(Si2O5)2) by Johann August Arvedson, a Swedish chemist, in 1817.

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Full Answer

Sir Humphry Davy and William Thomas Brande were the first to isolate lithium through the electrolysis of lithium oxide (Li2O). Lithium is a solid metal element widely used in heat transfer applications. It is quite lightweight. It is used in alloys with cadmium, manganese, aluminum and copper for making durable metals for aircraft. In other forms, it is used to eliminate carbon dioxide from the atmosphere of spacecraft and to treat people with manic depression disorder.

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