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 Eiffel6 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 Eiffel6 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_pal6 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_pal6 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_pal6 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_pal5 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
thorpenny5 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.5 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...

redlizard54 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...

funke754 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?


hintss funke754 years ago
I believe if you buy lithium, it is shipped that way, so yes.
Saturn V5 years ago
Why would you want lithium? What practical uses does it have?
hintss Saturn V4 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!!

kiko27044 years ago
NurdRage can I use dead/used batteries?

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

finniano4 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.
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.
docm8trx4 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.....
furlow4 years ago
You have increase the sales of lithium AA batteries I think all battery companies will be happy! Since most products now include their own batteries.
omnibot4 years ago
Oooohhh, I have got to get me some of those batteries!!
bignerd5 years ago
is there an easier way?
also, when i was doing it and the pliers hit the edge it makes a spark
does that mean its shorted out?
hintss bignerd4 years ago

for a short time, probably not bad, but yes...
jessmt4 years ago
NurdRage... Please tell us about yourself; or is that forbidden? Why the voice disguise? Afriad of all the teen guys here hitting on you, or up to no good?
Anyway, I like your videos... very interesting, here's a pointer for your Nitric Acid Mfg:
Sulfuric Acid (drain opener), Potassium or sodium nitrate like in the last way you show but with much better results if you pull a vacuum during distillation. Less decomp and it comes out crystal clear.
I bet all the Al-Qaeda wanna-be's love you! Oh no... the FBI!
Have fun!

Oh! By the way... What is the electrolyte on the CR123 (3v) lithium batteries? They reek of ether so I assume that is one of the things in there.
Ivraine5 years ago
I read somewhere that pyrite is used to create sulfur dioxide, which is used to make sulfuric acid. Can the iron disulphide in the batteries be used like pyrite? Or am I just confusing two separate chemicals?
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