What Does Lithium Smell Like?

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According to the MSDS for ESPI Metals, lithium sulfide may have a rotten egg odor, but lithium is used to form many different compounds, including lithium nitride, lithium chloride, lithium carbonate, lithium bromide and lithium hydroxide. These compounds are all used for different applications and possibly create different smells.

Lithium was discovered in 1817 by Johan Arfvedson while he was analyzing petalite. Lithium is an alkali metal and the only alkali metal that reacts with hydrogen. Lithium is the least dense of the metals, and it burns a crimson flame until heavily burning, in which the flame turns white. Its name originates from the Greek word “lithos,” which means “stone.”