Oh hey Karunian! I'm just playing with this thing called lithium metal!
Hey Jonathan! What are you doing?
Check it out! It starts of as a silvery colour...
But when it's cut into 2, it quickly tarnishes in the air, making it turn black!
It can be found in spacecrafts, batteries, and rebreathers too! It can also help treat bipolar disorder!
It's found in a mine called the James Bay mine, in Quebec.
It can also be found in ocean water, and can be obtained from brines
No way! Where's it found in Canada, though?
It's mined from pegmatite, an intrusive igneous rock, and recovered from mineral spodumene.
First, it is crushed and grinded to separate lithium minerals from pegmatite. Then it is heated at more than 800 degrees celcius.
It is concentrated, calcinated, then roasted with sulfuric acid. Then it is removed of its impurities of other elements.
How's the mineral processed?
After it goes through ion exchange and membrane electrolysis, becomes purified, and turns into lithium hydroxide. Lastly, it can be crystallized and turned into lithium carbonate.
Yes, it does! Before the material is processed, the lithium starts out as a soft silvery metal, that is less dense than water.
After all the processing, the lithium hydroxide becomes a white solid that has a strong odor, and a higher density than water. Lithium carbonate becomes a white powder, that is osourless, and also has a higher density than water
COOL! Does the material change during this process?