Lithium chloride is a hygroscopic metal chloride with extraordinary solubility in most polar solvents. Its chemical formula is LiCl. When hydrated, the salt crystallizes, but the process can be reversed through heating to obtain the anhydrous salt. LiCl is produced when lithium carbonate is treated with hydrochloric acid.
As an ionic chloride, LiCl is commonly used as a source of chloride ion in chemical reactions. Its other uses include:
- Making lithium metal through electrolysis of molten LiCl/KCl
- Brazing flux for welding aluminum auto parts
- In dry air streams, LiCl is used as a desiccant
- Organic synthesis - it is an additive in Stille Reaction
- Flame colorant as it produced dark red flames
- Used in the process of calibrating hygrometers
- In molten form, LiCl can be used to produce lithium niobate, and carbon nanotubes
When handling LiCl, precautions must be observed because the chemical has a variety of adverse effects on the central nervous system.