Lithium is the lightest metal and can store a significant amount of energy for its size. It belongs to a group of elements known as alkali metals, which are soft, have low melting points and high reactivity. The element is prone to reacting with water and is thus only found in compounds.
Most lithium demand comes from batteries, which are used in a variety of devices including mobile phones, laptops and battery tools. Electrically powered vehicles such as e-bikes and e-cars also use lithium-ion batteries. The most common anode material for lithium-ion batteries is graphite. Its molecular structure provides natural gaps for lithium atoms to nestle into during charging, while keeping them far enough apart that they cannot grow and destroy the battery from within.
Aside from batteries, lithium has a range of industrial applications. It is a key ingredient in lithium grease, which can be used as a general lubricant to support motion and reduce friction between moving parts. It is also a component of lithium-ion batteries, which help to improve their performance and durability.
It can be obtained from the Desert Trader in the Calico Desert by trading one Warp Totem: Desert Recipe. It can also be purchased from the Carpenter’s Shop and the Wizard’s Tower in exchange for an Iridium Bar, or remixed into an Iridium Dye in the Purple dye pot at Emily’s or Haley’s house. In the UK, lithium is a key ingredient in the manufacture of disposable vapes (e-cigarettes). Research suggests that half of all single-use e-cigarettes end up in landfill. Importers of these items bear certain obligations for electrical and electronic waste, and should be listed on the public register under WEEE producer requirements.