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Reaction process
In this model, lithium-water interaction process is shown schematically at the molecular level. In the course of reaction, two hydrogen atoms are detached from two molecules of water and coupled to form hydrogen molecule leaving the volume of reaction as gaseous (hydrogen) bubbles. Lithium hydroxide produced in this reaction disintegrates into Li+ and OH- ions in water.
Reaction can proceed in quite a spectacular manner. Being lighter than water, lithium floats on the water surface. Emerging hydrogen bubbles push lithium piece in different directions. If hydrogen is set on fire, we can see the light running about on the water surface. Alkali elements (lithium being one of these) are capable of forming oxides E2O. Besides, peroxides E2O2 can also be produced, which are capable of interacting with CO2 of the air (for this purpose, peroxides are placed in the container, through which air is blown). Oxygen O2 is produced as a result of reaction 2 E2O2 + 2 CO2 = 2 E2CO3 + O2. This process is used for air regeneration in the space stations.
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