So today, I will tell you about the lightest metal on Earth – Lithium. Lithium is in the first group in the periodic table of chemical elements. Except for the smallest atomic mass, lithium has the lowest density of all metals, which is nearly 2 times lower than that of water. In appearance, lithium represents a shiny metal, which can be cut with a knife, but it would be required to exert sufficient force to achieve that.
source/image(PrtSc): Thoisoi2 – Chemical Experiments!
Lithium rapidly oxidizes in air, and while that is happening it’s being covered with a layer of oxides, carbonates, and lithium nitride black coating because this is the only metal that can react with atmospheric nitrogen at room temperature. Lithium can be stored in kerosene, however, due to its low density it will float on its surface. Now shall we look at some of the chemical properties of lithium. A piece of lithium reacts rather calmly with water, forming hydrogen and lithium hydroxide. If you ignite the released hydrogen, the flames will turn beautifully red, due to lithium ions.
However, if we take lithium in the shape of thin lithium foil, which is used in lithium batteries btw, that will ignite and explode upon reaction with water, which is very dangerous. If you set fire to a little piece of lithium, it will melt, and then light up with are very bright white flame to then form lithium oxide during combustion. The temperature of burning Lithium in the air is more than 2,300 degrees Celsius. It is surprising, however, that when it’s melted at temperature above 300 degrees Celsius, lithium practically doesn’t oxidize by the air and its surface remains glossy.
Li, as well as all other alkali metals, is an excellent reducing agent that easily loses electrons. If you ignite lithium on sand, it will react with the silica, that the sand consists of, forming an amorphous silicon. In addition, lithium reacts perfectly with sulfur. This reaction of lithium with sulfur formed so much energy that even our can melted, on which the reaction was carried. And yes, I have also burned through the carpet with this reaction, but that’s alright, I have many carpets. The other very dangerous lithium property is that when it starts to burn while being on wood, it will pick up oxygen from the cellulose molecules that make up the aforementioned wood. As such lithium explodes, creating a lot of hot sparks. Do NOT try to repeat the experiment!/Thoisoi2 – Chemical Experiments!