Written by Tadashi

Modified & Updated: 15 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett

99.9% fine lithium

Lithium is one of the most useful elements known to man and counts as one of the most mysterious ones too. Learn more about this versatile element with these 40 Lithium facts.

  1. Scientists estimate that the world’s oceans have an estimated 230 billion tons of dissolved lithium.
  2. On average, lithium makes up 0.002% or around 45 ppm of the Earth’s crust.
  3. Scientists have refined this percentage down to 20 mg of lithium for every 1 kg of matter in the Earth’s crust.
  4. Scientists also think lithium counts as the 25th most common element on Earth.
  5. Lithium is the least dense solid element, at 0.534 g/cm³.
  1. José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva first discovered petalite in 1800.
  2. Johan August Arfwedson discovered lithium in 1817 while working on a petalite sample.
  3. Jöns Jakob Berzelius first used the name lithium for the new element in that same year.
  4. William Thomas Brande first refined scientifically-pure lithium in 1821.
  5. Metallgesellschaft AG first began commercial production of lithium in 1923.
  6. Lithium grease found its use as a machine lubricant during WWII.
  7. John Cade introduced lithium medicines for use in 1949.
  8. Both sides of the Cold War used lithium for nuclear weapons production.
  9. The lithium market declined in the 1990s with the end of the Cold War.
  10. The development of lithium-ion batteries had the lithium market recovering in the 2000s.
  1. Humans can easily cut lithium metal using even a simple butter knife.
  2. Lithium has a flammable nature, thus needing mineral oil to safely store it in.
  3. Lithium floats in both fuel oil and water.
  4. It melts at a temperature of 180.5 degrees Celsius and boils at 1,342 degrees Celsius.
  5. Lithium is one of the first three elements to ever exist along with helium and hydrogen.
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