The key difference between cobalt and lithium is that cobalt is a transition metal that is toxic, whereas lithium is an alkali metal that is nontoxic.
Cobalt and lithium are chemical elements we can find in the environment occurring naturally as components of other compounds. They have different chemical and physical properties.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Cobalt
3. What is Lithium
4. Cobalt vs Lithium in Tabular Form
5. Summary – Cobalt vs Lithium
What is Cobalt?
Cobalt is a chemical element having the symbol Co and atomic number 27. It is a metal and a d-block element in the periodic table. It is in group 9 and period 4. Moreover, we can classify it as a transition metal. Cobalt does not occur as an individual metal on earth’s crust; instead, it occurs in combination with other elements. However, we can produce the free element using the smelting process. Cobalt is a hard, lustrous bluish-gray metal.
The atomic mass of this element is 58.93 amu. The electron configuration of cobalt metal is [Ar] 3d7 4s2. At standard pressure and temperature, it is in the solid state. The melting point and boiling points are 1495 °C and 2927 °C, respectively. The most common oxidation states of cobalt are +2, +3 and +4. Its crystal structure is a hexagonal close-packed structure.
Moreover, cobalt is a ferromagnetic material. This means it is highly attracted to magnets. The specific gravity of this metal is 8.9, which is a very high value. Halogens and sulfur can attack this metal. However, it is a weakly reducing metal. We can protect it via oxidation by a passivating oxide film.
When considering the production of cobalt, we can use ores of cobalt such as cobaltite, erythrite, glaucodot, and skutterudite. However, manufacturers often obtain this metal by reducing the cobalt byproducts of nickel and copper mining.
What is Lithium?
Lithium is a chemical element having atomic number 3 and the chemical symbol Li. It is an alkali metal. According to the big bang theory of the creation of the earth, lithium, hydrogen, and helium are the major chemical elements produced at the earliest stages of world creation. The atomic weight of this element is 6.941, and the electron configuration is [He] 2s1. Moreover, lithium belongs to the s block since it is in group 1 of the periodic table, and the melting and boiling points of this element are 180.50 °C and 1330 °C, respectively. Lithium appears in silvery-white colour, and if we burn this metal, it gives a crimson coloured flame.
Furthermore, lithium metal is very light and soft. Therefore, we can cut it easily using a knife. Also, it can float on water, resulting in an explosive chemical reaction. Lithium has some unique properties other alkali metals do not have. For example, it is the only alkali metal that can react with nitrogen gas, and it forms lithium nitride upon this reaction. It is the smallest element among other members of this group. In addition, it has the least density among solid metals.
What is the Difference Between Cobalt and Lithium?
Cobalt is a chemical element having the symbol Co and atomic number 27, while Lithium is a chemical element having the atomic number 3 and chemical symbol Li. The key difference between cobalt and lithium is that cobalt is a transition metal that is toxic whereas lithium is an alkali metal that is nontoxic.
The below infographic lists the differences between cobalt and lithium in tabular form for side by side comparison.
Summary – Cobalt vs Lithium
Cobalt and lithium are chemical elements that we can find in the environment occurring naturally as components of other compounds. They have different chemical and physical properties. The key difference between cobalt and lithium is that cobalt is a transition metal that is toxic, whereas lithium is an alkali metal that is nontoxic.