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Published on Jun 13, 2009
We show you how to get Lithium Metal from an Energizer Ultimate Lithium battery.
Warning: This should be done outside or in a fumehood due to the toxic gases that may be formed under certain conditions. Gloves must be worn as the chemicals and lithium are corrosive.
There are a great many types of lithium batteries and the particular chemistry of interest is "lithium iron disulfide" batteries which contain pure lithium metal and less toxic electrolyte than other batteries. Lithium ion batteries do not contain lithium metal (just lithium ions) and other pure metal lithium batteries often contain incredibly toxic electrolyte that make them too dangerous for the average person to safely open.
It just so happens that the popular Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries are based on lithium iron disulfide chemistry making them the ideal choice for the home chemist to obtain lithium.
The rolled lithium core is protected by a mini-fortress of steel that you have to cut through. The danger is accidentally shorting the battery and causing the internal materials to fuse. The video shows you what you have to go through and what to expect when opening an energizer ultimate lithium battery.
Lithium is a powerful chemical reducing agent, it's also used for lithiation reactions in organic synthesis, batteries, unusual pyrotechnic formulations and some types of nuclear technologies.
It's in the same category as the alkali metals which include the ever so popular sodium, potassium and cesium.