CHARLES D. WINTERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHARLES D. WINTERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Lithium reacting with water. Chemical reaction between lithium metal and water in a test tube. The lithium is floating in the water, supported by the bubbles clinging to it as they are produced during the reaction. Water molecules (H20) are made of hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O) atoms. The lithium (Li) metal is more reactive than hydrogen and replaces one of them in the water molecules to make lithium hydroxide (LiOH). Each hydrogen atom combines with another to form hydrogen gas (H2). The equation for this reaction is: 2Li + 2H20 -----> 2LiOH + H2 Lithium hydroxide is a strongly alkaline substance used in greases and electrical batteries.
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