Monday, April 30, 2012
Dissolving lithium in anhydrous ammonia
Here's an interesting reaction where lithium metal is dissolved in anhydrous ammonia. I placed a couple small pieces of lithium in a test tube, then connected the tube to a larger flask of ammonium hydroxide via silicone tubing. Upon heating the flask, gaseous ammonia will be produced which is condensed in the test tube by cooling it with a bath of alcohol and dry ice. The resulting solution is brilliant bronze in color, but at lower lithium concentrations, the solution is deep blue -- a very beautiful reaction.