Lithium hydroxide is an inorganic compound with the formula LiOH. It is a white hygroscopic crystalline material. It is soluble in water and slightly soluble in ethanol, and is available commercially in anhydrous form and as the monohydrate (LiOH.H2O). While lithium hydroxide is a strong base, it is the weakest known alkali metal hydroxide.
3D model (JSmol)
|Melting point||462 °C (864 °F; 735 K)|
|Boiling point||924 °C (1,695 °F; 1,197 K) decomposes|
|Solubility in methanol|
|Solubility in ethanol|
|Solubility in isopropanol|
|Basicity (pKb)||−0.04 (LiOH(aq) = Li+ + OH–)|
|Conjugate base||Lithium monoxide anion|
Refractive index (nD)
Heat capacity (C)
Std enthalpy of
|Safety data sheet||"ICSC 0913".|
"ICSC 0914". (monohydrate)
|NFPA 704 (fire diamond)|
|Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):|
LD50 (median dose)
|210 mg/kg (oral, rat)|
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Production and reactions
- Li2CO3 + Ca(OH)2 → 2 LiOH + CaCO3
The initially produced hydrate is dehydrated by heating under vacuum up to 180 °C.
- 2 Li + 2 H2O → 2 LiOH + H2
- Li2O + H2O → 2 LiOH
Typically, these reactions are avoided.
Although lithium carbonate is more widely used, the hydroxide is an effective precursor to lithium salts, e.g.
- LiOH + HF → LiF + H2O.
Gas phase chemistry
The acidity of LiOH has been measured in the gas phase. The oxidolithium anion, LiO–, was produced by successive decarboxylation and decarbonylation of monolithium oxalate anion, LiO(C=O)(C=O)O–, by collision-induced dissociation and was identified by its exact mass. The gas-phase acidity of LiOH was inferred from the experimentally determined electron affinity of LiO• and previously known heats of formation to give a value of 426 ± 2 kcal/mol. This is considerably higher than the gas-phase acidity of water (390 kcal/mol) and even exceeds that of methane (417 kcal/mol). Thus, LiOH is a very weak acid and is in fact the weakest acid yet measured in the gas phase.
Lithium hydroxide is mainly consumed in the production of lithium greases. A popular lithium grease thickener is Lithium 12-hydroxystearate, which produces a general-purpose lubricating grease due to its high resistance to water and usefulness at a range of temperatures.
Carbon dioxide scrubbing
- 2 LiOH•H2O + CO2 → Li2CO3 + 3 H2O
- 2 LiOH + CO2 → Li2CO3 + H2O
The latter, anhydrous hydroxide, is preferred for its lower mass and lesser water production for respirator systems in spacecraft. One gram of anhydrous lithium hydroxide can remove 450 cm3 of carbon dioxide gas. The monohydrate loses its water at 100–110 °C.
It is used as a heat transfer medium and as a storage-battery electrolyte. It is also used in ceramics and some Portland cement formulations. Lithium hydroxide (isotopically enriched in lithium-7) is used to alkalize the reactor coolant in pressurized water reactors for corrosion control.
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