Lithium chloride

  • Formula: LiCl
  • Hill system formula: Cl1Li1
  • CAS registry number: [7447-41-8]
  • Formula weight: 42.394
  • Class: chloride
  • Colour: white
  • Appearance: crystalline solid
  • Melting point: 610°C
  • Boiling point: 1360°C; 1383°C
  • Density: 2070 kg m-3

The following are some synonyms of lithium chloride:

  • lithium chloride
  • lithium(I) chloride

The oxidation number of lithium in lithium chloride is 1.


One way to make lithium chloride is to react the hydroxide with hydrochloric acid. The resulting salt can then be purified by recrystallization. Another, slightly alarmingly, is by the thermal decompostion of lithium(I) perchlorate, LiClO4.

LiOH(aq) + HCl(aq) → LiCl(aq) + H2O(l)

LiClO4(s) + heat → LiCl(s) + 2O2(g)

While not a normal route of preparation because of the expense, lithium metal reacts vigorously with all the halogens to form sodium halides. So, it burns with chlorine, Cl2, to form lithium(I) chloride, LiCl.

2Li(s) + Cl2(g) → 2LiCl(s)

Solid state structure

  • Geometry of lithium: 6 coordinate: octahedral
  • Prototypical structure: NaCl (rock salt)
Crystal structure of lithium chloride.
Crystal structure of lithium chloride.

Element analysis

The table shows element percentages for LiCl (lithium chloride).

Element %
Cl 83.63
Li 16.37

Isotope pattern for LiCl

The chart below shows the calculated isotope pattern for the formula LiCl with the most intense ion set to 100%.


The data on these compounds pages are assembled and adapted from the primary literature and several other sources including the following.

  • R.T. Sanderson in Chemical Periodicity, Reinhold, New York, USA, 1960.
  • N.N. Greenwood and A. Earnshaw in Chemistry of the Elements, 2nd edition, Butterworth, UK, 1997.
  • F.A. Cotton, G. Wilkinson, C.A. Murillo, and M. Bochmann, in Advanced Inorganic Chemistry, John Wiley & Sons, 1999.
  • A.F. Trotman-Dickenson, (ed.) in Comprehensive Inorganic Chemistry, Pergamon, Oxford, UK, 1973.
  • R.W.G. Wyckoff, in Crystal Structures, volume 1, Interscience, John Wiley & Sons, 1963.
  • A.R.West in Basic solid state chemistry Chemistry, John Wiley & Sons, 1999.
  • A.F. Wells in Structural inorganic chemistry, 4th edition, Oxford, UK, 1975.
  • J.D.H. Donnay, (ed.) in Crystal data determinative tables, ACA monograph number 5, American Crystallographic Association, USA, 1963.
  • D.R. Lide, (ed.) in Chemical Rubber Company handbook of chemistry and physics, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, USA, 77th edition, 1996.
  • J.W. Mellor in A comprehensive treatise on inorganic and theoretical chemistry, volumes 1-16, Longmans, London, UK, 1922-1937.
  • J.E. Macintyre (ed.) in Dictionary of inorganic compounds, volumes 1-3, Chapman & Hall, London, UK, 1992.

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