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Who Discovered Lithium

Lithium is a silver-white metal with the chemical symbol Li. It is the lightest metal known to exist. But who discovered lithium? This post will answer that question!

Who Discovered Lithium?

Petalite, a mineral that contains lithium, was first discovered in 1800 by the Brazilian chemist Jose Bonifacio de Andrade e Silva. He discovered the mineral in a mine on the island of Uto, Sweden. It was not until 1817, however, that Johan August Arfwedson detected the presence of a new element when analyzing petalite ore. He named the metal ‘lithos’ from a Greek word meaning ‘stone’. It was later changed to ‘lithium’. Arfwedson also found that this element was present in 2 other ores.

Arfwedson, however, was never able to isolate lithium metal from the ore. William Thomas Brande was the first person to isolate lithium in 1821. He isolated it by performing electrolysis on lithium oxide.

Summary: Johan August Arfwedson discovered lithium in 1817. In 1821, William Thomas Brande was the first person who successfully isolate the element.

Other Great Discoveries:

Who Discovered Carbon

Who Discovered Coffee

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