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lithium carbonate[′lith·ē·əm ′kär·bə‚nāt]
Li2CO3, a salt; colorless crystals. Density, 2.11 g/cm3 at 0°C; melting point, 732°C (dissociation occurs at higher temperatures). It has low solubility in water (1.33 g in 100 g H2O at 20°C). Pure lithium carbonate is produced by passing CO2 through a solution of LiOH; in industry it is produced by the action of potash or soda on lithium salt solutions at temperatures of 80°-90°C.
Lithium carbonate is the most important lithium salt. It is the raw material for the production of other lithium compounds. Lithium oxide, Li2O, formed from Li2CO3, is used in the glass-making and ceramics industries because of its ability to impart valuable properties (thermal and chemical stability; strength) to the materials. Lithium carbonate is also used in pyrotechnics, the production of plastics (as a catalyst), and ferrous metallurgy (desulfurization of steel).