Lithium chloride

Lithium chloride
Preferred IUPAC name
Lithium chloride
Systematic IUPAC name
Lithium(1+) chloride
7447-41-8 YesY
3D model (Jmol) Interactive image
ChEBI CHEBI:48607 YesY
ChemSpider 22449 YesY
ECHA InfoCard 100.028.375
EC Number 231-212-3
MeSH Lithium+chloride
PubChem 433294
RTECS number OJ5950000
UNII G4962QA067 YesY
UN number 2056
Molar mass 42.39 g·mol−1
Appearance white solid
hygroscopic, sharp
Density 2.068 g/cm3
Melting point 605–614 °C (1,121–1,137 °F; 878–887 K)
Boiling point 1,382 °C (2,520 °F; 1,655 K)
68.29 g/100 mL (0 °C)
74.48 g/100 mL (10 °C)
84.25 g/100 mL (25 °C)
88.7 g/100 mL (40 °C)
123.44 g/100 mL (100 °C)[1]
Solubility soluble in hydrazine, methylformamide, butanol, selenium(IV) oxychloride, propanol[1]
Solubility in methanol 45.2 g/100 g (0 °C)
43.8 g/100 g (20 °C)
42.36 g/100 g (25 °C)[2]
44.6 g/100 g (60 °C)[1]
Solubility in ethanol 14.42 g/100 g (0 °C)
24.28 g/100 g (20 °C)
25.1 g/100 g (30 °C)
23.46 g/100 g (60 °C)[2]
Solubility in formic acid 26.6 g/100 g (18 °C)
27.5 g/100 g (25 °C)[1]
Solubility in acetone 1.2 g/100 g (20 °C)
0.83 g/100 g (25 °C)
0.61 g/100 g (50 °C)[1]
Solubility in liquid ammonia 0.54 g/100 g (-34 °C)[1]
3.02 g/100 g (25 °C)
Vapor pressure 1 torr (785 °C)
10 torr (934 °C)
100 torr (1130 °C)[1]
1.662 (24 °C)
Viscosity 0.87 cP (807 °C)[1]
Linear (gas)
7.13 D (gas)
48.03 J/mol·K[1]
59.31 J/mol·K[1]
-408.27 kJ/mol[1]
-384 kJ/mol[1]
Safety data sheet See: data page
ICSC 0711
GHS pictograms [3]
GHS signal word Warning
H302, H315, H319, H335[3]
P261, P305+351+338[3]
R-phrases R22, R36/37/38
S-phrases S26, S36/37/39
NFPA 704
Flammability code 0: Will not burn. E.g., water Health code 1: Exposure would cause irritation but only minor residual injury. E.g., turpentine Reactivity code 0: Normally stable, even under fire exposure conditions, and is not reactive with water. E.g., liquid nitrogen Special hazards (white): no codeNFPA 704 four-colored diamond
Flash point Non-flammable
Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):
526 mg/kg (oral, rat)[4]
Related compounds
Other anions
Lithium fluoride
Lithium bromide
Lithium iodide
Lithium astatide
Other cations
Sodium chloride
Potassium chloride
Rubidium chloride
Caesium chloride
Francium chloride
Supplementary data page
Refractive index (n),
Dielectric constantr), etc.
Phase behaviour
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
N verify (what is YesYN ?)
Infobox references

Lithium chloride is a chemical compound with the formula LiCl. The salt is a typical ionic compound, although the small size of the Li+ ion gives rise to properties not seen for other alkali metal chlorides, such as extraordinary solubility in polar solvents (83.05 g/100 mL of water at 20 °C) and its hygroscopic properties.[5]

Chemical properties

The salt forms crystalline hydrates, unlike the other alkali metal chlorides.[6] Mono-, tri-, and pentahydrates are known.[7] The anhydrous salt can be regenerated by heating the hydrates. Molten LiCl hydrolyzes to give LiOH and HCl.[8] LiCl also absorbs up to four equivalents of ammonia/mol. As with any other ionic chloride, solutions of lithium chloride can serve as a source of chloride ion, e.g., forming a precipitate upon treatment with silver nitrate:

LiCl + AgNO3 → AgCl + LiNO3


Lithium chloride is produced by treatment of lithium carbonate with hydrochloric acid. It can in principle also be generated by the highly exothermic reaction of lithium metal with either chlorine or anhydrous hydrogen chloride gas. Anhydrous LiCl is prepared from the hydrate by heating with a stream of hydrogen chloride.


Lithium chloride is mainly used for the production of lithium metal by electrolysis of a LiCl/KCl melt at 450 °C (842 °F). LiCl is also used as a brazing flux for aluminium in automobile parts. It is used as a desiccant for drying air streams.[5] In more specialized applications, lithium chloride finds some use in organic synthesis, e.g., as an additive in the Stille reaction. Also, in biochemical applications, it can be used to precipitate RNA from cellular extracts.[9]

Lithium chloride is also used as a flame colorant to produce dark red flames.

Lithium chloride is used as a relative humidity standard in the calibration of hygrometers. At 25 °C (77 °F) a saturated solution (45.8%) of the salt will yield an equilibrium relative humidity of 11.30%. Additionally, lithium chloride can itself be used as a hygrometer. This deliquescent salt forms a self solution when exposed to air. The equilibrium LiCl concentration in the resulting solution is directly related to the relative humidity of the air. The percent relative humidity at 25 °C (77 °F) can be estimated, with minimal error in the range 10–30 °C (50–86 °F), from the following first order equation: RH=107.93-2.11C, where C is solution LiCl concentration, percent by mass.

Molten LiCl is used for the preparation of carbon nanotubes,[10] graphene[11] and lithium niobate.[12]


Lithium salts affect the central nervous system in a variety of ways. While the citrate, carbonate, and orotate salts are currently used to treat bipolar disorder, other lithium salts including the chloride were used in the past. For a short time in the 1940s lithium chloride was manufactured as a salt substitute, but this was prohibited after the toxic effects of the compound were recognized.[13][14][15]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
  2. 1 2 Seidell, Atherton; Linke, William F. (1952). [Google Books Solubilities of Inorganic and Organic Compounds] Check |url= value (help). Van Nostrand. Retrieved 2014-06-02.
  3. 1 2 3 Sigma-Aldrich Co., Lithium chloride. Retrieved on 2014-05-09.
  5. 1 2 Ulrich Wietelmann, Richard J. Bauer "Lithium and Lithium Compounds" in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry 2005, Wiley-VCH: Weinheim.
  6. Holleman, A. F.; Wiberg, E. Inorganic Chemistry Academic Press: San Diego, 2001. ISBN 0-12-352651-5.
  7. Hönnerscheid Andreas, Nuss Jürgen, Mühle Claus, Jansen Martin (2003). "Die Kristallstrukturen der Monohydrate von Lithiumchlorid und Lithiumbromid". Zeitschrift für anorganische und allgemeine Chemie. 629: 312–316. doi:10.1002/zaac.200390049.
  8. Kamali A.R., Fray D.J., Swandt C. (2011). "Thermokinetic characteristics of lithium chloride". J Therm Anal Calorim. 104: 619–626. doi:10.1007/s10973-010-1045-9.
  9. Cathala, G., Savouret, J., Mendez, B., West, B. L., Karin, M., Martial, J. A., and Baxter, J. D. (1983). "A Method for Isolation of Intact, Translationally Active Ribonucleic Acid". DNA. 2 (4): 329–335. doi:10.1089/dna.1983.2.329. PMID 6198133.
  10. "Towards large scale preparation of carbon nanostructures in molten LiCl". Carbon. 77: 835–845. doi:10.1016/j.carbon.2014.05.089.
  11. "Large-scale preparation of graphene by high temperature insertion of hydrogen into graphite". Nanoscale. 7: 11310–11320. 2015. doi:10.1039/c5nr01132a.
  12. "Preparation of lithium niobate particles via reactive molten salt synthesis method". Ceramics International. 40: 1835–1841. doi:10.1016/j.ceramint.2013.07.085.
  13. Talbott J. H. (1950). "Use of lithium salts as a substitute for sodium chloride". Arch Intern Med. 85 (1): 1–10. doi:10.1001/archinte.1950.00230070023001. PMID 15398859.
  14. L. J. Stone, M. luton, lu3. J. Gilroy. (1949). "Lithium Chloride as a Substitute for Sodium Chloride in the Diet". Journal of the American Medical Association. 139 (11): 688–692. doi:10.1001/jama.1949.02900280004002. PMID 18128981.
  15. "Case of trie Substitute Salt". Time. 28 February 1949.

osmotic and activity coefficients in water Can. J. Chem.

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