Lithium Organics

Lithium is the most reactive metal available. Albemarle provides this energy in manageable forms such as organometallic reagents. These reagents can be used to transform usually unreactive intermediates into highly reactive starting materials for the synthesis of valuable substances in the pharmaceutical and agrochemical industry, but also for the polymerization of butadiene to yield synthetic rubber.

Our product range includes

  • butyllithium (n-, sec-, iso-, tert-),
  • hexyllithium

as well as other lithium organics like

  • methyllithium,
  • phenyllithium and
  • lithium acetylide ethylene-diamine.
Experience and History

Albemarle is one of the world's leading manufacturers of lithium-based compounds and an innovative developer of metal-based fine chemicals for specialty applications.

For many years now, organolithium compounds have been straightforward reagents for organic syntheses. In the 1960s butyllithium, as one of the most prominent products in this group, started its industrial career as an initiator of the anionic polymerization of alkenes in the synthetic rubber industry.

Some decades later, pharmaceutical companies discovered the properties of butyllithium for their own syntheses, which allows for these versatile reagents to be used in the metalation of organic substrates. More and more companies are now equipped to use butyllithium and other organolithium compounds, which increases their technical capabilities of doing organic syntheses.

The most commonly used reagents are butyllithium and hexyllithium. They are available on a large industrial scale. These reagents can be used as strong bases in deprotonation reactions or for halogen/metal-exchange reactions. The use of hexyllithium as a base avoids the emission of butane.

Other Lithium Organics

Special organolithium compounds like methyllithium, phenyllithium and lithium acetylide-ethylene diamine are also available in multi-tons production quantities. Phenyllithium can be used either as a base but also - like the methyllithium and the lithium acetylide ethylene diamine complex - for the introduction of the respective organic group.

  • Methyllithium
  • Phenyllithium
  • tert-butyllithium
  • Lithium acetylide