Lithium is a chemical element with the symbol Li and atomic number 3 as a chemical element. It is an alkali metal that appears as a soft, silvery-white substance. Being the lightest solid element and metal, it is highly reactive and flammable, necessitating storage in mineral oil. While it is relatively scarce in the Earth’s crust, it is more abundant in the cosmos due to its formation in cosmic reactions. Lithium is the 25th most common element in Earth’s crust.
Lithium and its compounds have various industrial applications, including heat-resistant glass and ceramics, grease lubricants, flux additives for iron, steel, and aluminum production, lithium batteries, and lithium-ion batteries. These applications consume more than three-quarters of lithium production. Lithium is also used to treat bipolar disorder and other mental health conditions. It has been found to have neuroprotective effects and is frequently used as a mood stabilizer.
However, pure lithium is highly reactive and flammable, so it is usually found in various mineral compounds rather than in its pure form.