Lithium Carbonate


C.B.C. Group buys and sells lithium carbonate (Li2CO3 – the lithium salt of carbonate).

Lithium is used mainly in technical applications like glass and ceramics, thanks to its very low levels of iron and its technical characteristics.


What is Lithium


Lithium was discovered by Johann Arfvedson in 1817. He found a new element inside minerals as spodumene, lepidolite and petalite during his studies in Sweden.

Lithium (Li3) is a silvery-white chemical element, soft, alkali metal. Under standard conditions, lithium is lightest of the solid elements among metals. Like all alkali metals, lithium is highly reactive and flammable. When cut, it exhibits a metallic lustre, but moist air corrodes it quickly to a dull silvery grey, then black tarnish. It does not occur as a pure element in nature but only in compounds such as mineral deposits or salts including brine lakes and sea water.

Lithium can be processed to form a variety of chemicals, including lithium carbonate, lithium bromide, lithium chloride, butyl lithium and lithium hydroxide.

Lithium carbonate: applications in the industrial sector



Glass products like optical products, fibreglass and touch screens, are designed for durability or corrosion resistance or for thermal shock resistance caused by high temperatures. The addition of lithium in compounds increases the glass melt rate, lowers the viscosity and the melt temperature providing higher output energy savings and moulding benefits.



There are certain basic properties of lithium which are of interest in ceramics for the production of ceramic bodies and glazes.

  • It reduces thermal expansion coefficient but the amount of lithium used must be carefully controlled, because it can cause cracks or the formation of crystals (by turning a clear glaze to opaque).
  • It increases strength with consequent improvement in durability. In fact, lithium occurs in the same group of flux elements as sodium and potassium. When lithium reacts with other elements to form compounds, bonds are the result. These bonds are the reason lithium gives higher hardness to glazes then sodium and potassium.
  • It brightens colours and ensures their consistency during the years.
  • It acts as a viscosity modifier in glass melts and lowers the melting point of glazes. As an alkaline flux, it is a basic ingredient in the composition of ceramic glazes together with the vitrifying agent and the stabilizer.
  • Lowers firing temperatures during firing process leading to savings in energy consumptions


Specialty Applications

Lithium’s extremely high co-efficient of thermal expansion makes induction cook tops and cookware resistant to thermal shock and imparts mechanical strength.


Cements and Construction materials

Lithium carbonate is also present in cements, ceramic tile adhesives and construction materials. It accelerates the process of hardening and gives greater resistance.



The fastest growing market for lithium globally is for use in batteries as cathode material. Lithium-ion batteries have experienced strong and growing demand in recent years.

On the one hand, governments around the world strongly support the electrification of vehicles due to the increasing political and consumer focus on climate change and energy security. This led to a sharp growth in market for electric vehicles (bikes, scooters, buses, taxis, trucks, cars).

On the other hand, digital technology has made available a large number of portable devices that need light, rechargeable and long-lasting batteries. Today we can find lithium batteries in everyday items such as cell phones, computers or power tools.

Other applications of lithium


Lithium is also used as lubricants, i.e. as a thickener in grease. The use of lithium is also essential for the treatment of the air carried out by air conditioning equipment and for the treatment for bi-polar disorder in the pharmaceutical field. As regards the casting mechanisms, Lithium Carbonate during the production of aluminium, reduces on the one hand energy consumption and fluorine emissions to the environment, but on the other hand it increases the bath electrical conductivity and keeps the operating temperature low. In the steel casting, the addition of lithium to continuous casting powder processes provide thermal insulation and lubricates the surface of the steel; while in the iron casting, lithium reduces the effect of veining, thereby reducing the number of defective casts, in the steel casting.