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Lithium hydroxide

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Lithium hydroxide
Spacefilling model.png
Systematic name Lithium Hydroxide
Molecular formula LiOH
Molar mass Molar mass::23.94834 g/mol
Appearance White Hygroscopic Crystalline
CAS number CAS number::6108-17-4
Density and phase [[Density:: 1.51g/cm3]]
Solubility in water 12.513 g/100 ml (25°C)
Melting point Melting point::462°C decomposes
Boiling point Boiling point::924°C
Acidity ΔH°acid = 425.7 ± 6.1 kcal·mol−1
Molecular shape Linear
Crystal structure Cubic (?)
MSDS Material safety data sheet
Main hazards corrosive, irritant, and toxic
NFPA 704

NFPA 704 svg.png

R/S statement R: 22-36/37/38
RTECS number OJ6307070
Related compounds
Other anions

Lithium Amide

Other cations

Sodium Hydroxide
Potassium Hydroxide
Rubidium Hydroxide
Caesium Hydroxide

Related compounds Lithium Oxide
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Disclaimer and references

Lithium hydroxide is an inorganic compound in which Lithium, Hydrogen and Oxygen are bonded together into the molecular formula LiOH. It has a crystalline structure and silver-white color that looks much like other lithium salts. It is produced rather simply and has a basic structure. Lithium Hydroxide is a useful compound and is used in many fields of work. You will find it in submarines, spacecraft, rebreathers, and batteries. It serves it purpose in all of its uses and may be the most important part of their practicality. This is a useful compound that we may find useful in the future and more useful in the present.


Lithium hydroxide has a silvery-white coloring. The compound is a hydroscopic crystalline solid. It can take two forms, the anhydrous and the monohydrate. Anhydrous means all water removed. An example of anhydrous Lithium hydroxide would be the white powdered form. That you can order from many chemical distributors. Monohydrate means containing one molecule of water, hence the word mono, meaning one. An example of the monohydrate form of Lithium hydroxide would be a crystalline structure much like Lithium salts. This is also a readily available compound.[1]


Lithium Hydroxide monohydrate

The word inorganic, as used in chemistry means, containing no carbon atoms. The compound Lithium hydroxide contains no carbon (C). There are two ways in which we obtain Lithium hydroxide, dissolving lithium in water 2 Li + 2 H2O → 2 Lithium hydroxide + H2 or dissolving lithium oxide in water Li2O + H2O → 2 Lithium hydroxide. Dissolving lithium in water is a double displacement reaction and dissolving lithium oxide in water is a combination reaction. Another way that we use to produce lithium hydroxide is the causticization of lithium carbonate. This is the most common way that industries obtain this particular compound.[2]


There is a wide variety of tasks that lithium hydroxide is used for. Many of which are important and useful. There are two main uses that you may find rather obscure but, these uses are relevant to the cause. The first main use is in batteries, it is commonly used in NiMh batteries. NiMh stands for Nickel Metal Hydride. They are a commonly used battery. In the last year or so they have been somewhat taken over by Lithium Ion batteries. NiMh have a very good large capacity and have no memory. These factors are good because a large capacity battery has a long life between charges and no memory means that they have to ability to be recharged before they are completely depleted. When these batteries were first released they were greatly popular and widely used among many companies. What the lithium hydroxide provides is the first solid state battery meaning that they, instead of the contents being liquid, they are solid. This increases the longevity of the battery between charges. This kind of battery is a cheap yet very effective alternative to the all too popular lithium battery. Lithium hydroxide is used for a few little things as well, production of other lithium compounds, production of industrial grease and lubricants.[3]


SCUBA Diving Rebreather

Another obscure use for lithium hydroxide is the purification of oxygen. Lithium hydroxide absorbs carbon dioxide in places where there is no natural source of air. It is used in space craft, submersible water craft such as submarines, and in SCUBA rebreathers. Lithium hydroxide has the unique ability to resupply clean air and get rid of harmful bodily output such as carbon dioxide. This is important because oxygen is important to us. If we had no way to replenish and purify our air in submarines we would be limited to our exploration and defense. Lithium hydroxide use in rebreathers is important because rebreathers provide a way for military, rescue teams and divers can enter inhospitable regions in which we as humans cannot breathe.

The way a SCUBA rebreather works is, it recycles the gases that our body produces. One gram of lithium hydroxide can remove up to 450 cubic centimeters of carbon dioxide to make that into a visual picture, think of 450 regular sized dice stacked into a cube. A mask attached to the users face provides them with usable oxygen that the lithium hydroxide and other special chemicals are recycling. It may seem that lithium hydroxide plays a small part in the overall mechanics of a rebreather but, without this compound this would not be possible and the capabilities of divers, submarines and rescue teams would be limited because of the lack of fresh air.[4]