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how can i make lithium metal? (and yes i know i can get li metal from battery) Answered

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user
iceng (author)2011-07-07

OK
But why do you want Li ?
A good answer may get you more information.

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user
orksecurity (author)2011-07-07

... three answers, and all correct depending on what domain the question was interpreted in.

I'll add another one: The answer to "how can *I* (meaning cucuteoteo75) make lithium metal" is "Pure lithium is in the same general class as pure sodium -- oxidizes violently on contact with water, will cause severe burns if it comes in contact with flesh, NOT nice/safe stuff to be around. If you have to ask a DIY website, you really shouldn't be trying."

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user
Jack A Lopez (author)orksecurity2011-07-07

Hey, thanks for mentioning that. I probably should have said something about Li metal being reactive with air and water. It's probably even more reactive as a hot liquid. Maybe even pyrophoric. So uh... yeah... kinda would be good to have a plan and stuff, on how to keep it isolated from air and water, and water in the air... I mean um... before attempting to cook some up in the garage or backyard... Be sure to wear your safety glasses, kids. That's important!

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kelseymh (author)2011-07-07

Making lithium is pretty difficult, but possible.

You can make 7Li via the two Big Bang nucleosynthesis channels, 4He(3T, gamma)7Li and 7Be(n,p)7Li, but the rates are extremely low.

Making 6Li is even more problematic; you can produce it either via neutron spallation of 12C, or via alpha fusion and subsequent fragmentation.

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user
Jack A Lopez (author)2011-07-07

Lithium metal is produced commercially by electrolysis of lithium salts, similar to the way sodium metal is produced. Here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium#Production

The machine used to make it is called a Downs cell, named after its inventor.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Downs_cell

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Vyger (author)2011-07-07

Lithium is an element, you can't make it, just like you can't make gold although they really tried for many many years.

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