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In situ availability: 10 ppm
Atomic number: 3
Atomic mass: 6.941
group: 1
period: 2
normal phase: Solid
series: Alkali metals
density: 0.534 g/cm3
melting point: 453.69K,
boiling point: 1615K,
He ← Li → Be
Atomic radius (pm): 145 pm
Bohr radius (pm): 167
Covalent radius (pm): 134
Van der Waals radius (pm): 182
ionic radius (pm): (+1) 76
1st ion potential (eV): 5.39
Electron Configuration
Electrons Per Shell
2, 1
Electronegativity: 0.98
Electron Affinity: 0.62
Oxidation states: 1
Magnetism: Nonmagnetic
Crystal structure: Body centered cubic

Lithium is a Alkali metal in group 1. It has a Body centered cubic crystalline structure. This element has two stable isotopes: 6 and 7.

Availability on the Moon

Lithium is available in the lunar regolith[1][2]. Average concentration is low at 10 ppm.

Production and use

Due to the low concentration lithium on the Moon , extracting it might require extensive installation. 10 ppm is in the range of gold mines on Earth. One million tonnes of regolith would need to be treated to produce 10 tonnes of lithium, making it unpractical as a base resources. The Moon might need to import Lithium.

Lithium is used in energy storage devices and some alloys of aluminum.

Lithium is an essential trace element in food. A typical human body contains 0,000007 kg[3]. For one million persons the lithium required would be 7 kg. For an entire ecosystem serving these one million people the amount required might be about one metric ton (hypothetical ratio of 100:1). So Lithium would likely be sourced from Earth for this use.

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  1. Dreibus, G., et al. “Lithium and Halogens in Lunar Samples.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, vol. 285, no. 1327, 1977, pp. 49–54. JSTOR, Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.