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Get Lithium Metal from an Energizer Battery

video Get Lithium Metal from an Energizer Battery
We show you how to get Lithium Metal from an Energizer Ultimate Lithium battery.

There are a great many types of lithium batteries and the particular chemistry of interest is "lithium iron disulfide" batteries which contain pure lithium metal and less toxic electrolyte than other batteries. Lithium ion batteries do not contain lithium metal (just lithium ions) and other pure metal lithium batteries often contain incredibly toxic electrolyte that make them too dangerous for the average person to safely open.

It just so happens that the popular Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries are based on lithium iron disulfide chemistry making them the ideal choice for the home chemist to obtain lithium.

The rolled lithium core is protected by a mini-fortress of steel that you have to cut through. The danger is accidentally shorting the battery and causing the internal materials to fuse. The video shows you what you have to go through and what to expect when opening an energizer ultimate lithium battery.

Lithium is a powerful chemical reducing agent, it's also used for lithiation reactions in organic synthesis, batteries, unusual pyrotechnic formulations and some types of nuclear technologies.

It's in the same category as the alkali metals which include the ever so popular sodium, potassium and cesium.

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Alec Eiffel4 years ago
I tried this instructable and it worked really well. It's a lot harder than it looks . I was wondering why does the metal fizz when you put into water?

That and fire...

NurdRage (author)  Alec Eiffel4 years ago
It's like sodium, it reacts with water to produce hydrogen
If I recall correctly, sometimes it will form H3 instead of H2 and cause an even more violent reaction.
NurdRage (author)  lobo_pal4 years ago
H3 doesn't exist under normal conditions.
In Chem AP we watched a sodium reaction, and he explained the sometimes the Hydrogen rush to meet and three of them hit at once causing H3 which then reacts again to make two H2 with another Hydrogen. Right?
NurdRage (author)  lobo_pal4 years ago
O_o whoa... the sheer idiocy.... Would explain why he's a teacher and not an actual scientist. Trihydrogen cations are present in extreme gaseous conditions like gas plasma discharges and interstellar clouds. But in an aqueous medium, anything powerful enough to protonate hydrogen gas would already be reactive with other things like the water or whatever else happens to be nearby long before it can produce trihyrogen cations.
I may not be repeating it right, but he said that for some reason that escapes me that some reactions are more violent than others.
NurdRage (author)  lobo_pal4 years ago
there are plenty of reasons for alkali metal reations to be violent. maybe that's what he meant but didn't properly explain why.
Well, I'm starting my major in Chem E in the fall, so I'm trying to study up on stuff.
ARVash lobo_pal4 years ago
 Perhaps our Lobo misheard and he was instead saying Deuterium and Tritium aka ^2H and ^3H, Hydrogen Isotopes. 
 also isn't H3 tritium? The radioactive gas that glows under it's own radiation?
but saying H3 isnt saying tritium its like saying H2 is dueterium and thats only 1/3 correct H2 can be tritium, dueterium or protium and can be a mix of all three and i dont suppose saying H is saying hydrogen gas
thorpenny3 years ago
what is the chance that this metal (powdered) would act as a good fuel in a flash powder composition?

Extremely high... Yet to get this in a powdered form would be nigh impossible due to it high reactivity with moister and practically about everything else... Would not recommend trying...

.Unknown.3 years ago
I did this, right, but on my last go, after pulling out the core, I started to unravel it, and it suddenly burst in to red flames....wth?

Probably moister in the air, it is very reactive with water...

redlizard53 years ago
Could you put the lithium into a zip lock bag for storage

Yes but it should be stored under mineral oil otherwise i could have the potential to spontaneously under go combustion...

funke753 years ago
I remember from highschool chemistry that some metals can be stored in mineral oil to prevent there oxidation. I believe my teacher had sodium stored this way because of its volitile reaction. would this be a viable way to store the lithium? and if so, would we be able to save the lithium from oxidizing even more if we did your unwraping process under mineral oil so that it never even touchs the air?

yes

hintss funke753 years ago
I believe if you buy lithium, it is shipped that way, so yes.
Saturn V3 years ago
Why would you want lithium? What practical uses does it have?
hintss Saturn V3 years ago
it burns on contact with air. some type of igniter that lights on impact?

I think it is the moister in the air that actually does it... Right..?

Also can be used to make lithium salts, it will also ignite if water is put on it.... Not to forget to mention, it is fun!!

kiko27043 years ago
NurdRage can I use dead/used batteries?

You can but the Lithium Quality will be Drasitcally Diminished...

finniano3 years ago
can you do the same thing with energizer lithium photo batteries? it is 3 volts. it doesnt say that its ultimate lithium, but the packaging is blue and silver just like the ultimate lithium ones.
Yes, Energizer lithium photo batteries will work as they are lithium-manganese dioxide batteries. The lithium might be more difficult to obtain cleanly, but don't quote me on it as I haven't taken one of those apart.
I'd be careful though...I took apart a battery that happened to be slightly different, and it turned into an unguided rocket...it was pretty exciting, but in a bad way.
poikilotherm11 months ago
So, I tried this (three times.) The first time, it worked perfectly. The second time, it also worked perfectly. The third time, the battery started burning - not only that, but after I threw it away from me, it took off, shot around the room I was in, caused a large amount of general panic, and what's more, scared the daylights out of some guests. Everyone was no worse for the occasion, fortunately, though.
Oh yes - the battery was a laptop battery, not an energizer one...was that an incredibly stupid thing to do or what?
Anyways, I think I found out what happened. The "incredibly toxic electrolyte" was ignited by the sparks produced by the battery terminals touching...
Regardless, my battery-opening days are over.
YoungPyro193 years ago
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NurdRage (author)  YoungPyro193 years ago
I could... but why would you want it?
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NurdRage (author)  YoungPyro193 years ago
the pure form is dangerously unstable. For most uses, salt forms are preferable and much safer to handle. But to make a video on a particular salt form i need to know what you're going to use it for so i know what salt would be best.
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@younPyro19: From the ATF: Binary explosives are pre-packaged products consisting of two separate components—usually an oxidizer like ammoni¬um nitrate and a fuel such as aluminum or another metal. These components typically are not listed separately on the List of Explosive Materials and do not meet the definition of "Explosives" in 27 CFR 555.11. Therefore, ATF does not regulate the sale and distribution of these component chemicals, even when sold together in binary "kits." However, when the binary components are combined, the resulting mixture is an explosive material subject to the regulatory requirements found in 27 CFR, Part 555

Please learn before you hurt yourself, or worse, someone else. Explosives are not toys.
docm8trx3 years ago
dont tell that kid how to make anhydrous....if AFTER reading this particular ible, he wants to make the other, he probably wants to make a certain substance that will remove the enamel from his teeth. also, its easier to remove the strips if you first soak the cells in acetone then pull off the pos terminal withdiagonal cutters...beeeeeeeeeeeeeeee carrrrrrrrrrefulllllllllll.....
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