Lithium compounds are used in ceramics and glass, in primary aluminum production, in the manufacture of lubricants and greases, rocket propellants, vitamin A synthesis, silver solders, underwater buoyancy devices, and increasingly in batteries.
Lithium batteries are proving to be an effective and affordable alternative to traditional batteries, and also in new battery applications. More than 50% of lithium mined is used in batteries. This use has recently increased rapidly spurring an increase in lithium mining to provide the lithium for batteries.
Lithium is mixed with other light metals such as aluminum and magnesium to form strong, light-weight alloys (an alloy is a mixture of metals).
Some lithium, in the form of lithium carbonate or lithium citrate, is used as medicine to treat gout (an inflammation of joints) and to treat serious mental illness.
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