Lithium Chloride Formula
Lithium chloride, also known as lithium (+1) chloride, is an inorganic salt mostly used for producing metallic lithium and as a catalyst in chemical synthesis.
Formula and structure: The lithium chloride chemical formula is LiCl. The molar mass is 42.39 g/mol. The molecule is formed by one lithium cation Li+ and one chlorine anion Cl-. The two ions are bound trough an ionic bond. The molecule can be found as a mono, di and tri-hydrate salts. The geometry is octahedral. Its chemical structure can be written as below, in the common representations used for organic molecules.
Occurrence: It is not found by itself in nature. The mineral lepidolite can be used as a source of lithium chloride.
Preparation: Lithium chloride can be produced through some preparation. The most used is the treatment of lithium carbonate with hydrochloric acid:
Li2CO3 + 2HCl → 2LiCl + H2CO3
A second procedure is the treatment of the mineral lepidolite with hydrochloric acid to produce lithium chloride. A third method is the reaction of metallic lithium with chlorine gas:
Li + Cl2 → Li2Cl
Physical properties: Lithium chloride is a white, hygroscopic solid. The density of this salt is 2.06 g/mL. Its melting point is 615 °C and the melting point is 1382 °C. Lithium chloride is highly soluble in water, butanol, methanol, ethanol and propanol. It is not soluble in acetone, ethyl acetate, etc.
Chemical properties: Lithium chloride is very versatile for the production of chemical compounds as chloride ion. This ion can be formed by the reaction of lithium chloride with silver nitrate:
LiCl + AgNO3 → Ag+ + Cl- + LiNO3(solid)
Lithium chloride can also be used for the production of metallic lithium.
Uses: Lithium chloride is used to produce the lithium that will be used in the manufacturing of parts for automobiles and machines. It is used as a catalysts in chemical reactions and can also be used in fireworks.
Health effects / safety hazards: Lithium chloride is toxic by ingestion. However, in past it was used as a medicine in the treatment of psychiatric diseases. It is not flammable.