Lithium soap

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Lithium soap is a soap consisting of a lithium salt of a fatty acid.[1][2] Sodium-based and potassium-based soaps are used as cleaning agents in domestic and industrial applications, whereas lithium soaps are used as components of lithium grease (white lithium).

Lithium soaps are produced by saponification of triglycerides, using lithium hydroxide or lithium carbonate as the saponification agent. Lithium soaps are used as lubricant components and form-release agents at relatively high temperatures.[3] The main components of lithium soaps are lithium stearate and lithium 12-hydroxystearate.[4]

Lithium grease[edit]

Lubricating greases are commonly formulated as mixtures of an oil and a lithium soap.[5] Some formulations include PTFE or other substances, such as molybdenum disulfide.

Lithium grease adheres particularly well to metal, is non-corrosive, may be used under heavy loads, and exhibits good temperature tolerance. It has a drip temperature of 190 to 220 °C (370 to 430 °F) and resists moisture, so it is commonly used as lubricant in household products, such as electric garage doors, as well as in automotive applications, such as constant-velocity joints.


  1. ^ Tharwat F. Tadros (1 April 2014). An Introduction to Surfactants. De Gruyter. pp. 6–. ISBN 978-3-11-031213-3.
  2. ^ Arno Cahn (30 May 2003). 5th World Conference on Detergents: Reinventing the Industry : Opportunities and Challenges. The American Oil Chemists Society. pp. 182–. ISBN 978-1-893997-40-0.
  3. ^ The Significance of Tests of Petroleum Products: A Report. ASTM International. 1934. pp. 152–. GGKEY:FWTS3ZUUWJL.
  4. ^ Uttam Ray Chaudhuri (19 April 2016). Fundamentals of Petroleum and Petrochemical Engineering. CRC Press. pp. 89–. ISBN 978-1-4398-5161-6.
  5. ^ Angelo Nora, Alfred Szczepanek, Gunther Koenen, "Metallic Soaps" in Ullmann’s Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry 2005 Wiley-VCH, Weinheim. doi:10.1002/14356007.a16_361