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lithium hydride[′lith·ē·əm ′hī‚drīd]
LiH; colorless crystals. Density, 0.776 g/cm3. It is the most stable of all the alkali and alkaline-earth metal hydrides. In a vacuum it melts at 680°-697°C, with virtually no decomposition; at higher temperatures it decomposes. It reacts vigorously with water: LiH + H2O = LiOH + H2. In industry it is prepared mainly by the hydrogenation of fused lithium with pure hydrogen at 680°-700°C. Lithium hydride is used for the direct and rapid production of hydrogen (1 kg LiH yields 2.8 m3 H2) and many metal hydrides and as a strong reducing agent in organic synthesis.