Lithium Metal in Batteries
One important field of application for lithium metal is the production of lithium batteries. All of the primary lithium batteries available on the market use lithium metal or lithium alloys with a low sodium content (“battery grade”) as the anode material.
Lithium Metal in Alloys
Lithium forms many alloys with other metals such as lead, copper, silver, magnesium, silicon, and aluminum. The alloys most commonly used in current aerospace applications are lithium aluminum alloys containing 1-3 weight % of lithium. These materials account for weight savings of 5%, an increased stiffness up to 7%, and increased strength of up to 30% as compared with the conventional lithium-free aluminum alloys.
Lithium in Organic Synthesis
Because of its high reduction potential and good molar solubility, lithium is a very versatile reducing agent for the partial hydrogenation of unsaturated compounds, especially for the reduction of aromatic systems (Birch reductions). These reductions are applied successfully in organic synthesis of many compounds of biological and pharmaceutical interest such as steroids and vitamins.