Сhemical properties of lithium. Lithium is a metallic element with the symbol Li and atomic number 3. It is the lightest of all metals and is highly reactive due to its position in the periodic table.
Here are some of the key сhemical properties of lithium:
- Reactivity: Lithium is a highly reactive metal that readily reacts with water, oxygen, and many other substances. This reactivity is due to the low ionization energy of lithium atoms, which makes them prone to lose electrons and form positive ions.
- Electronegativity: Lithium has a low electronegativity, which means it tends to lose electrons rather than gain them. This property makes it a strong reducing agent in chemical reactions.
- Solubility: Lithium is highly soluble in nonpolar solvents such as benzene and ether, but it is insoluble in water due to its high reactivity.
- Oxidation state: Lithium has an oxidation state of +1, meaning it tends to lose one electron in chemical reactions to form a positively charged ion.
- Combustibility: Lithium is highly combustible and can catch fire when exposed to air or water. For this reason, it is often stored in oil to prevent contact with air or moisture.
- Isotopes: Lithium has two stable isotopes, lithium-6 and lithium-7, and several radioactive isotopes that are used in nuclear research.
- Toxicity: While lithium is an important element in the human body and is used as a medication to treat bipolar disorder, excessive consumption can be toxic. Lithium toxicity can cause symptoms such as tremors, confusion, and seizures.
In conclusion, lithium is a highly reactive metal with a range of chemical properties that make it useful in various applications, including as a medication and in the production of batteries. However, its high reactivity and potential toxicity highlight the importance of handling lithium safely and responsibly.